As I’ve now finished a second playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition, I felt it was time to wrap up this series of posts. Here are posts one, two, and three which are in regards to starting the game and importing a history, character creation, and dialogue and romance options with companions to bring you up to speed. I am unable to discuss any of the DLCs because after the first one was released, Bioware decided not to release any others on the XBox 360, so I haven’t purchased any of them.
The anger I have about the gaming industry’s ploys to wrangle more money out of their gamers is real. I was not ready to fork out $400 for a new gaming console, but if I want to know the rest of the story, that is exactly what I’ll have to do, and because you all know I’m passionate about this story, I’m going to do it…very, very soon. ARGH! As this post is not a rant on that, I’ll save that for fuel for another day.
This post is about the grand scale of the story of the world of Dragon Age. Inquisition is part three and a culmination of the events in the previous two games where story lines and characters come together.
In Origins, game one, your protagonist is from one of six “origin” stories (2 human story lines, 2 elf, and 2 dwarf) in which each avenue ends with you becoming a Grey Warden, an old order of warriors chosen to fight a specific evil known as darkspawn and their archdemon, an old god twisted by their tainted blood. They live underground and are rather hideous, similar to Tolkien’s orcs. The presence of an archdemon is a time referred to as a Blight and when the Grey Wardens are needed most, as they are the only real solution to ending a Blight. In this first game, there are a number of obstacles to overcome while you try to unite the country against the impending threat, and there is treachery around every corner as the Wardens are declared traitors after an initial battle against the darkspawn.
There are a number of characters who you meet in game one that will progress forward through each game, some of them taking on major roles in Inquisition. Same can be said of characters from game two. Fun fact: if you’re game one character is a human mage, you will be related to the protagonist in game two.
In game two, you are a human whose family has escaped the Blight and traveled across the sea in search of a safe haven. The entire game takes place in and around the city of Kirkwall. Although many people didn’t care for this game, especially in comparison to Origins – you could only play as a human, there was a lot of repetition in the floor plans, and the primary single location of the city as the backdrop – this is where game three is setup; the conflict between the mages and the Templars. Without giving too much away, one of your allies takes drastic action that incites a war between the mages, who are considered dangerous and are required to live in prison-like societies called Circles, and their captors/overseers, the Templars.
Fun fact: there is a Dragon Age 2 DLC that introduces you to a powerful darkspawn named Corypheus. It was Hawke’s father, a mage, and the Grey Wardens who imprisoned him.
Game three begins 10 years after the events of game one. Your protagonist is found as the sole survivor of a terrible, cataclysmic tragedy where a resolution to the Mage-Templar War was supposed to transpire. A conclave was called at the Temple of Sacred Ashes in Haven, a village you will have discovered in game one. With no memories of what happened and a strange mark upon your hand, you are considered responsible for a number of the current problems, including a giant hole in the sky; a Breach in the veil, the line between reality and the spirit world, is the source of a demon invasion. An old form of justice, an inquisition, is formed to solve the many problems that the world now faces.
Everything you’ve learned from the past two games will pay off as you make your way through Inquisition. The things you know about the Wardens are relevant. A relic you found in game two has resurfaced with a vengeance. You will see old, familiar faces (Hello, Flemeth) and meet interesting, new ones (Well, hellooo Solas). The world of Dragon Age is vast and all encompassing, and you will discover how well it’s constructed. I instantly became devoted to the series because it combined things I love such as fantasy, medieval times, old world orders, magic, dragons, romance, and adventure, and then went above and beyond to make it a fully fleshed out universe.
As I’ve tried to end each of these posts with some relevance to writing, you will find, if you choose to play, how key world building is and character development. It’s key to think multiple steps ahead, whether you’re writing a single story or a series. How do people know one another? This may reflect in how supposed strangers speak to one another upon meeting – there may be a history there. What is their religious affiliation? How do they feel about the history of their people? Their government? What consequences do their actions have later? This is a good one to consider, especially in a serial. Actions taken by a character may have unforeseen consequences that may be fun to explore later. Think of the domino effect.
Consider epic tales like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. I would count Dragon Age among them. There is so much more going on than the happenings of one person, and you get to live it first hand, well, vicariously through your character. Your decisions have bearing on the world around you and shape it. You become a leader in each game; you build loyalty and friendships or enemies. You get to save the world, and maybe the boy too. 😉
Aren’t these a few of the reasons we write?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of posts as much as I’ve enjoyed talking about it. I could do so much more. I’m continuing my fanfiction shortly, so if you’re not inclined to play, you can follow along the journey of my Origin character as she tries to save the world and the boy. I will continue to post them here, as well as on Wattpad and Archive of Our Own (which I just realized needs to be updated).
Have a great weekend and Happy Writing!