BioWare has revealed a prolonged ‘behind-the-scenes’ have a look at Dragon Age 4 that each informed a lot and so little on the similar time. Since then, we have had quite a few idea artwork drops to disclose much more puzzle items about what the way forward for Thedas appears like. True to BioWare’s nature, we can’t truly know the way a lot was hidden in plain sight till after launch, as was the case for earlier entries within the franchise, however that hasn’t stopped (*4*) into all the things we have discovered up to now. Hi, it is me. I’m followers.
I’ve accomplished literally nothing to hide my love for BioWare since beginning right here at Game Informer, and with over 20 playthroughs of the Dragon Age franchise and quite a few re-readings of the books and associating comics, that love is not going away anytime quickly. That a lot time spent in Thedas has given me plenty of up-close-and-personal time with the Dragon Age lore and I can not fairly absolve the nagging principle that’s at all times behind my head revolving round a sure egg-headed elf.
Obviously, there can be spoilers for Dragon Age Inquisition under. Last likelihood to again away slowly and fake this by no means occurred. It’s not you, it is me; I perceive.
Full disclaimer: all the views seen on this article are opinion-based with expertise within the video games and the lore surrounding them. Nothing is alleged as a “shot in the dark theory,” however please do not take these theories as confirmed for the upcoming sport. This is a speculatory article digging into pivotal moments within the collection.
Backstory, Meet Solas
When Dragon Age 4 was first revealed, it was with a easy teaser video with nothing however a Dragon Age 2 throwback and the voice of Solas. Solas was a key character within the third sport, Dragon Age: Inquisition; An odd elf with no affiliation to the Dalish or town elves, Solas spent as a lot time within the Fade as he did both dissing or smooching our Inquizzies. A posh character to make sure, made much more so on the very finish of Inquisition and the corresponding Trespasser DLC. It was in that last DLC for the third sport that we had been lastly launched to his true nature: The Dread Wolf.
In Elven legend, the Dread Wolf was a trickster that lied to lock away his fellow gods in an inescapable jail. In Trespasser, we study that the story wasn’t fairly how the Dalish keep in mind it. Instead, Solas aimed to free his fellow elves from slavery, revolting in opposition to his fellow gods and creating the Fade within the course of following Mythal’s homicide.
By his personal confession, Solas has a grasp plan to revive the Elven empire again to its authentic glory (attention-grabbing parallel right here with Tevinter philosophies represented all through Dragon Age lore, however that is an entire different dialogue) after he closed off the “old gods” inside the Fade’s realm. When the veil was created, its conception stripped the traditional elves of their immortality and extremely highly effective magic. This selection finally led to the entire downfall of elves as a folks, ensuing within the elves we meet in-game which might be both among the many nomad-like Dalish or the impoverished metropolis elves caught inside the alienage, ripe for slavers to select.
While Solas appeared regretful, that did not cease me from eager to punch him within the face. When our Inquisitor was seen stabbing a dagger right into a map of Tevinter with a promise to search out the Dread Wolf, my vengeful coronary heart sang with the possibility to take him out. The draw back to that’s that I have not been in a position to cease obsessing over his arc since then, one thing that the teasers for Dragon Age 4 have solely amplified.
While Solas appeared authentically regretful of his previous actions and his have to “tear it all down” for the elves, damning non-elves to non-existence, I feel there would possibly truly be a extra sinister narrative right here than what meets the attention. The TLDR is that I feel Solas is much more of a mendacity bastard than we realized. Hear me out, Solasmancers.
I’m nonetheless not over this Dragon Age 4 teaser! This goes to tie up SO many free ends from Dragon Age 2 – and with the corruption pink lyrium and the idol making a reappearance, this might imply BIG issues for what we expect we learn about how lyrium works. Also, WHERE IS FENRIS? pic.twitter.com/49HaaeBu6K
— Liana Ruppert (@DirtyEffinHippy) December 7, 2018
The pink lyrium idol we first noticed in Dragon Age 2 was immensely apparent within the reveal teaser for Dragon Age 4. Found inside the deep roads of an historical dwarven thaig, a lone pink lyrium idol was discovered, and as soon as unleashed upon Thedas, its corruption instantly unfold. Though it drove Varric’s brother and Knight-Commander Meredith mad inside the second sport, we truly noticed the total power of the altered lyrium state in Dragon Age: Inquisition. We noticed the way it did much more hurt than the “blue stuff,” and was parasitic in its have to develop and thrive. Wielded as the last word weapon, gamers had been left questioning simply the place the heck this variant originated from. I feel it originated from Solas.
Still with me?
While the behind-the-scenes Dragon Age 4 video provided rather a lot when it comes to which characters may very well be returning (I swear, that one shot was Dorian) and who’s new, the true coronary heart of this principle depends on the very first teaser with the mural. In Inquisition, Solas labored on a mural in his house under the library, a hand-painted tribute to the world round him. Unbeknownst to the Inquisitor, Solas was additionally hiding his true nature because the Dread Wolf in plain sight. The first Dragon Age 4 teaser makes use of an identical artwork fashion to his mural, although this creative tribute was sinisterly dripped in pink lyrium and his voice? Reeked of corruption.
At the tip of Dragon Age: Inquisition, there was a reduce scene the place a transference of energy may very well be witnessed between Solas and Mythal, one other previous god. We additionally know her as Flementh, an incarnation that saved Mythal from completely fading away. This is vital, however first, let’s backtrack to after we truly bought to see the pink lyrium’s results on Solas.
During the mission to recruit mages in Redcliff, the Inquisitor and Dorian are thrust ahead one 12 months into the long run, a future destroyed by The Elder One and his military of demons. If you are taking Solas with you throughout this mission, you may free him from a cage the place he was used to farm pink lyrium. During the primary interplay inside this setting, Solas eyes are an eerie pink and his voice is cracked nearly past recognition, a sound much like that of the Dragon Age 4 teaser. Is Solas corrupted? To me, that reply appears apparent, however I’m making an attempt to not enable my very own private theories to be conveyed as reality, as a result of BioWare itself has been very difficult in how they share information.
Exhibit A: Below is a picture of Solas’ Inquisition mural of the Dread Wolf:
Now for comparability, right here is his tarot card that exhibits off the identical Dread Wolf however with pink lyrium-infected eyes and a extra feral demeanor:
One factor I completely beloved concerning the tarot playing cards in Inquisition was how they modified and developed with the alternatives made in-game. Pre and submit loyalty missions, post-romance – they had been just some small items to a a lot greater image. Loyalty, like in most BioWare video games, evokes each love and loss inside the narrative and each main turning level in these character arcs impacted the artwork fashion of every particular person tarot card. The above card is the ultimate entry for Solas earlier than his identification was finally revealed and, to me, this spells out that it was his intention all alongside to change into contaminated by pink lyrium. Ultimately, to contaminate himself.
If this hunch is appropriate, this opens up a wholly completely different pandora’s field relating to Dragon Age 4. The greatest query, for me, is will Solas’ final quest for elven restoration result in one other blight? Does this imply that his enemies, the “old gods,” will need retribution? Can we cease him in time, or will this be one other gut-punch from the studio that I feel legitimately lives on our tears alone? We’ll have to attend and see, however I feel the pink lyrium – and its origins – are going to play a a lot greater position within the subsequent step for the Dragon Age narrative.
We know that lyrium itself comes from the blood of Titans, one thing that was confirmed in one other Inquisition DLC called Descent. Red lyrium is just lyrium contaminated by the taint that drives the blight, a devastating world occasion that we skilled with Dragon Age: Origins with a historical past that’s nonetheless not completely clear. Originally, the blame lay on the toes of Tevinters however then in Inquisition, we discovered that the preliminary blame wasn’t fairly proper.
In Inquisition, there’s a banter heard between Varric and Cole the place the spirit talked about that, at one time, “everything sang the same” till finally “the song was sundered.” Lyrium having a “song” is one thing referenced all through the franchise, starting with Justice in Dragon Age: Awakening. The dissonance between the 2 songs, I consider, are attributable to the creation of the veil, and that the veil’s creation is what began the blight. But what occurred within the veil behind-the-scenes to start out this nightmare?
When Corypheus recalled his time in historical Tevinter as one of many magisters to breach the Fade bodily solely to seek out the golden metropolis corrupted and empty, it was assumed that their bombardment is what spoiled this realm and kickstarted the blights. When making an attempt to wrest the Well of Sorrows from Coryphi-poo’s military throughout Inquisition, it’s discovered that it wasn’t the magisters that bespoiled the Fade, as a substitute it was the elves that introduced the downfall on themselves and that Tevinter acted as carrion upon a corpse.
It is smart that the Evanuris (the elven pantheon that consisted of 5 elven gods and 4 goddesses, led by Elgar’nan and Mythal) can be liable for the blight’s creation, however I feel it was Solas himself that led the cost, probably not directly. Always represented as “left of center” from the remainder of his “god” brethren, his quest for rise up and freedom hasn’t had the very best observe document for huh, this was a great choice with no adverse penalties. I feel that the Evanuris, the traditional elves of energy, took root on the opposite aspect of the veil when imprisoned and claimed that house as their very own seat of energy, a grasping enterprise fueled by impure ideas, as is the character of residing beings, and motivations that twisted this world into one thing hungry and corrupt. That, or they had been there as a seat of energy and noticed the magisters bumbling about and launched the blight onto Thedas in response to the invasion as retribution.
In varied artwork discovered inside Dragon Age: Inquisition, we see depictions of burdened elves strolling in a straight line with pink paint marring their our bodies, a pink paint that suspiciously appears like pink lyrium. They aren’t the proud elves we might anticipate to see, as a substitute, they give the impression of being half-dead and enslaved. With the solar overshadowing most of the elves in these work, most probably representing the solar god Elgar’nan, it appears like pink lyrium may have been used as a method to regulate one’s slaves. Elves enslaving elves was a robust motivator for Solas’ actions means again when, however the jumpstart for all of it was Mythal’s homicide. Was he part of the creation of pink lyrium, a purposeful taint, as a method of management? Was Mythal murdered as some kind of a tribute to the Titans when the elves’ lyrium provide started to run low? We’ve already seen his manipulations in motion with the orb that he allowed Corypheus to take management of and the ability he later amassed with Trespasser, and lore exhibits that the elves of previous had been type of all dicks.
A well-liked principle is that the taint that creates pink lyrium is definitely the blood of the previous gods, a principle closely supported by in-game lore. We’ve seen that with the required darkspawn blood for the Warden ritual, and we have seen it mirrored in Avernus’ analysis and conversations with the Architect in Awakening. Since tainted blood can be a method of management, although, by rather more brutal means, this additionally ties into the slavery linked again to Solas’ time among the many previous gods.
With Dragon Age 4 taking us to Tevinter and all the discoveries made in Inquisition concerning the true historical past of the elves, an historical rating can be settled between the Evanuris – and by proxy Solas – and the remainder of modern-day Thedas.
Solas talked about the significance of his orb (at all times speaking about his balls, Jesus), and orbs are closely depicted all through historical artwork within the video games. In depictions of the Black City, gold and blue orbs may very well be discovered, maybe representing the barrier separating pure lyrium from the Fade, which might end in entrapment of the Black City inside the Void.
BioWare loves its symbolism and I feel the orb’s significance is way from over concerning the story forward. I feel Solas’ orb, the one shattered on the sport’s finish, symbolized lyrium’s evolution into corruption and what which means for the residing on this aspect of the veil.
It’s onerous to really dive tremendous deep into theories like this with out trying into the assorted codex’s and surrounding books encompass the video games. BioWare is extremely artful in the way it interweaves varied bits of historical past inside this universe, tying within the comics, the books, and the compendium, with out making the video games reliant on these different mediums. The studio can be notorious for sharing main secrets and techniques in plain sight in a means that nobody realizes till the most recent sport is launched.
There’s an even bigger deep dive right here concerning the previous gods and the lore surrounding them, particularly with reference to Andruil’s insanity as she haunted the Forgotten Ones within the void, however that is going to should be an obsession for an additional article, in any other case you would be caught right here ceaselessly.
The lengthy and in need of it? I feel those that romanced Solas ought to most likely brace themselves for extra betrayal and ugly truths with the potential of redemption, in fact. I feel we’ll see how large of pricks the traditional elves actually are, a plot level I’d like to see Dragon Age 2’s Merrill be current for.
At the tip of the day, all the things above is concept as a result of we actually do not know something but; not even a launch window. That being mentioned, you may take a look at extra about Dragon Age 4 with our previous coverage here. You can even take a look at my principle that we’ll have a Mortalitasi companion here.