Two More DA: Inquisition Songs

I’ve been entertaining myself lately with songs that leap to mind during certain portions of Dragon Age: Inquisition even though they either contain too many anachronisms or just really don’t fit.  To that end, I thought I’d share a few of my head canon songs for entertainment purposes.

First, there’s Van Canto’s cover of Primo Victoria.  It has to be the cover because there are no electric guitars in Thedas.  There aren’t any Nazis, either, but at least we can get the music right if not the lyrics perfect.  If you can ignore the date of the D-Day invasion and hear “Nazi lines” and “Venatori” you might get a sense for why this one pops into my head.

Every time I’m getting ready to go to the Arbor Wilds and throw the weight of my epic army against the forces of evil (as in the Red Templars) I start hearing

Solas and Blackwall - Who's the Biggest Liar?

Blackwall and Solas have more in common that you might see at first glance.  Both are lonely, guilty men who ran from their respective pasts and come to face the music.  Each has constructed a fa├žade behind which he hides and each finds through their time with the Inquisition that the time has come to tear it down.

We never get a chance to ask Solas how old he is.  BioWare also leaves the reveal that the village he claimed to have grown up in had been in ruins for centuries until after he’s run off at the end of the game.

Our Inquisitor never gets the opportunity to confront him about his history.  When you consider how much traveling he says he’s done, how much distance he’d have to cover, and the fact that he doesn’t have his own freaking horse at the very least you have to question how he’s managed to stay so smooth-faced.

Stepping Inside

Generally, after a passionate kiss on the balcony outside her bedroom, a girl presumes returning indoors will result in something more or less physical.  Saetha, in this one single case, was like most women.

As she followed him into the room she couldn’t help but smile.  After months of her teasing and tempting, she’d finally gotten him to give in to his desire.  She thought she had, anyway. 

Solas, unfortunately (in this one single case), was utterly unlike most men.  Instead of taking her in his arms again, he started toward the stairs.

Transmutation - Chapter 10

Searching for Hope

Cullen took the time to investigate the novice barracks though he was sure he’d left all of the children in the atrium with Wynne and the apprentices.  There wasn’t much he could have done had he found a young mage cowering in the baths but he couldn’t chance some creature leaping up at his back.  

The bunk beds, lined up in ranks with trunks at their feet, gave him a clear view across the long room.   He found nothing more threatening than balls of dust and the occasional lost slipper or glove and a makeshift ragdoll that had fallen from some poor little girl’s pillow.  Cullen picked it up and tucked it into the bunk beside which he’d found it in the hope that its owner was one of the little ones safe behind Wynne’s barrier.  He prayed fervently to Andraste that they could be reunited soon.

When he felt satisfied nothing lurked in the shadows he left, closing the door behind him.  It went much the same on the rest of the lowest level.  Those who’d lived so close to the main doors had either fled before the doors had been shut or ascended to join the fighting.

Why Fiona Is an Idiot

So it turns out Alistair’s mom really is an elf and a mage. Scandalous! She was a Grey Warden at the time and when she’s miraculously, mysteriously cured of the taint she heads right for the Circle so she gets a pass on the apostate part, at least. Randy Ol’ King Maric, though, has some ‘splainin’ to do what with the maid that died having another of his bastards about the same time.

Given the sort of battle prowess one presumes she once had, having been recruited to the Wardens in the first place, one would have thought she’d be a great leader for the mage rebellion. She does manage to cement a power base for them with the regent of Ferelden and a safe haven in Redcliffe with one of the most defensible castles in Thedas.

Then, someone whacks her with the stupid stick. Consider the situation, if you would.

From Where to Archdemons Come?

As usual, I was reading the BioWare boards and an idea sprang into my head.  You see, it’s never sat well with me, this image of high dragons huddled in caves deep underground.  Dragons fly.  They don’t tunnel.

(Sidebar: Why are they called Archdemons and not Archdarkspawns or Archspawns?  [narrows eyes at writers]  It sounds cooler, sure, but do demons really come into it?)

At any rate, the thought of dragons snoozing so tightly bound and deeply buried that the Darkspawn take centuries to dig it up bothers me.  How did they get there and who put them to sleep?  (Fen’Harel?  Only time will tell, if BioWare ever does.)

What if what the Darkspawn find underground is not literally a sleeping dragon, it’s a magically sealed vessel containing the soul of an Old God?  They let it out and

Why I Leave Hawke in the Fade

Keeping the Tome of Koslun in Dragon Age 2 is a dick move. It’s like stealing ancient religious scrolls from the Vatican, running off to Luxembourg, and waving them in the Pope’s face while saying, “Neener neener”…and then killing the captain of the Vatican guards, most of his best men, and kicking the rest of them out of the country. When they’re gone you shove the scrolls in a chest and never speak of them again.

The game, however, did not give you the option of giving the Arishok the Tome without also giving him Isabela. It’s also the one thing Hawke actually achieves in the entirety of DA2: saving Kirkwall from the rampaging Qunari. That lasts for four years and then it descends into chaos after Anders does his thing. Hawke keeping Isabela in Kirkwall in the first place also arguably causes their continued presence and eventual loss of patience so, really, it’s all her fault in the first place.

Hawke’s whole story revolves around damage control, whether that damage accrues to (or from) her family, her friends, Kirkwall, or the mage or Templar faction. I play her like Mr. Incredible: I just cleaned that up! Can’t the world stay saved for, like, five minutes? Every time she turns around there’s another idiot doing something to endanger people and she’s the only one who can stop it.

Transmutation - Chapter 9

Tenuous Survival

A lone woman moved among the slaughter near the far door. She looked about her dazedly, dark hair matted and hanging in her face. To all appearances she was having as much trouble believing she’d survived as Cullen was. The mages who had been fighting around her sprawled in untidy, unmoving heaps.

Cullen recognized the enchanter lying just at her feet. His heart sank at the sight of the healer’s body but he picked his way to her through the filth and blood. She lay unmoving, so pale he thought she must have fallen to one of the demons. As he reached her side, however, Wynne sat up, her shaking hand going to her head while she swayed. The other woman gasped, “I thought she’d been killed.”

“As did I.” Wynne’s calm voice sounded wry as ever, weak though it was. She took but a moment to gather herself. “We have to get the children somewhere safe.” She spoke serenely, as though she weren’t sitting among dead abominations and the bloody remains of her friends.

The Darkspawn, the Deep Roads, and the Blight

I was pondering recently about the ruined land your Inquisitor finds in the Western Approach.  It’s been centuries since the Darkspawn roamed the lands freely and still nothing can live there.  As the blights of old lasted years the horde had plenty of time to ruin the land.

Since our superstar Warden ended the Fifth Blight in a mere year, Ferelden recovered quickly.  There are still a few references to tainted land but not a horizon-spanning, blasted waste.  One more reason your Warden is awesome—as if you needed one!

In following this trail of thought, however, I suddenly realized that the dwarves have a much bigger problem in reclaiming the Deep Roads than I’d thought.  Also, BioWare has a much bigger lore problem.  The Darkspawn have been carousing down there for a thousand years.

A Theme Song for Solas

I’ve written in a few places about how deeply The Head and the Heart’s Lost in My Mind moves me. Now that I’ve played Dragon Age: Inquisition it has a new layer of meaning for me. I picture Solas, humming this song as he’s painting the mural of your Inquisitor’s story. I imagine the lyrics running through his mind when he’s talking about or to the Dalish.

Most strongly, I want to see him singing this with Abelas, the perfectly pitched, civilized howl of loss and yearning and hope for moving forward. Solas sings the first two verses and Abelas the third then they burst the hearts of shemlen everywhere with the emotion of the chorus, sung together.

Excepting a minor anachronism the words fit beautifully for a pair of ancient elves embarking on a painful journey out of the past to which they’ve clung for so long.