mage

Solas – The Mind

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Solas is voiced by Gareth David-Lloyd, known for his portrayal of Ianto Jones in in Torchwood and Doctor Who. I’ve you need me I’ll be in the corner dying from joy.

He mastered his magic without the help of tutors, spending years exploring the spirit realm of the Fade and coming to an understanding of its denizens that few others could claim. He would be happiest left alone to sleep in ancient ruins, searching for memories and knowledge that has been lost for ages, but the Breach in the sky threatens all worlds.

“The Hedge Mage” – Solas is very much a free thinker. He is not Dalish, but he’s not from an alienage either. He grew up an apostate in a small village. He spent most of his time alone in the wilderness, and that is where he prefers to be. He’s self taught, and has spent a lot of time in the fade, coming to understand it as few mages do. Because of that, he can use magic in ways that most other mages wouldn’t even think of.

Solas found the Fade on his own, he went in without preconceptions, letting him explore the area and befriend spirits without the black-and-white mentality that holds back mages trained in the Circle.

Solas is a new kind of character to appear in the Dragon Age universe. We have had several kinds of mages, and several kinds of elves, all of them breaking the rules to some effect. All of them have viewed the Fade with the same sort of caution. The Keeper even has taught Merrill repeatedly that she cannot trust anything inside the Fade. Yet, Solas will explore the land of dreams, and even befriend spirits he meets there. To him, it’s not a black and white issue at all. This is good, this is bad, this versus that, us and them – to Solas, there’s always a bigger story. There is always more to it. As Solas would put it, “It’s more complicated than that.”

I am, at this point, 100% convinced that Solas is a romance option for the Inquisitor. And I really do intend on taking it. As a side bar – I can always tell who my favorite characters will be (Cole, Solas) and, so far, my favorite romance has always been the elf (Zevran, Fenris). I have a problem, you see.

Anyway. As for the rest of the Inquisition, Solas does not get along with Vivienne. She is cold toward him as only Vivienne is capable. She is very much pro-circle, and holds all the same views as the circle in regards to the fade. So, naturally, he thinks she’s close minded and she thinks he doesn’t know what he talking about. While I think he’ll generally get along with Bull, they will also get into disagreements over the freedom of thought and other things about Qunari beliefs. I have complete certainty that Solas and Cole will get along swimmingly. Solas being a lover of the fade, and Cole being a type of spirit demon guy. I’m looking forward to that.

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I am extremely excited to see get to know Solas. How about you? What do you think of the newest (and final) companion of the Inquisitor? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Dorian – The Redeemer

 

BrKum9sCIAA_Os4He wears the labels of “pariah” and “outcast” proudly, knowing that views of the Imperium are unlikely to change until and unless someone of his ability stands up to make a difference.

Dorian is a Tevinter mage who, unlike every other Tevinter mage we’ve met thus far, disagrees with what the Imperium is doing. He comes from a wealthy and influential family, and is a very powerful mage. He would be the “perfect mage” (and, subsequently, the perfect son) if not for a few key ‘flaws’. For one, he opposing everything the imperium stands for. He thinks the imperium is corrupt and wrong in what they do. Also, he’s gay. And he’s not ashamed of either of these things. He’s become a sort of pariah among the upper families of Tevinter.

His place in the plot is interesting. So far, it is clear that Dorian once studied under Alexius, a corrupt Tevinter magister and a major member of the Venatori. Not much is known about the Venatori. We know that they’re activities cause the Inquisition to have reason to intervene, and we know that at some point the Inquisitor can storm a keep run by the Venatori, and the faction eventually takes over Redcliffe Castle. This, again, is extremely interesting as it is said that Ferelden will not fall as long as Redcliffe stands. This brings question to the state of Ferelden and the exact level of involvement from Tevinter.

Because of the state of Tevinter (and the world) Dorian is generally a bit jaded. He’s sarcastic, witty, and very intelligent. Behind this, he’s a bit of an idealist. As in, he’ll still be disappointed when bad people do that bad things he expected them to do. He also dabbles in some Tevinter specific magic that most mages from other places might consider ‘distasteful’. Namely, spells involving spirits and the dead.

Because of his general personality, he and Vivienne come into conflict quite a bit. They’ll tear into each other, but, according to David Gaider, they’re the Statler and Waldorf of Thedas. Maker help us. His interactions with Iron Bull are also noteworthy, as Tevinter has been at war with the Qunari for centuries, and neither of these character are typical of their homeland. I image there will be others who don’t appreciate his quips, and those that really do (namely, Varric. Possibly, Sera). And I image do his his spirit/dead things related magic he’ll have at least something interesting going on with Cole.

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So far, I quite like Dorian. And I quite like that fact that he’s definitely a romance option for a male Inquisitor. His personality type, right off the bat, is quite similar to Zevran. And I love Zevran. So I’m very excited to get to know him and the story surrounding him. What do you think of Dorian so far? Disappointed/excited he’s gay? Ready for all the dashing wit? Let me know in the comments below!

Vivienne, “Lady of Iron” – The Ambition

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A leader among the mages and official enchanter to the Imperial court, she is renowned as a fearsome woman who achieved her position through guile and deft political maneuvering.

One of the earliest companions announces, Vivienne is new to the mainstream lore of Dragon Age. Based on her character descriptions – ambitious, unwavering – I would imagine  Vivienne will end up in the Inquisition regardless of what the Inquisitor has to say about it.

Like Varric, Vivienne can get just as much (if not then more so) done simply by using her words. She worked for Empress Celene as the official enchanter of the court in Orlais. She was set to become the first enchanter at one of the circle towers of Orlais, but then the sky tore open and monsters started coming out.  She does not believe that mages should be separate from the circle, and this will likely paint many of her reactions with her fellow members of the Inquisition.

She takes great pride in her work, and her interactions with a certain unnamed Inquisition mage can be a little… explosive. In a good way. Mostly.

Between Dorian and Solus, I really hope it’s Dorian. So far, the only Inquisition member we know she does not get along with is Cole. As for a relationship with the Inquisitor, a romance has not been confirmed. Due to the fact that there will be more romance options than in any previous Dragon Age game, I would consider a romance option here likely.

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I’m very interested in exploring Vivienne’s character. She seems like a very powerful woman, and I’m about that life. What do you think of Vivienne so far? Let me know in the comments below!

Dragon Age: Inquisition – Heroes Trailer, Dragons, and Romance

This trailer shows us a lot of what we already know, featuring Blackwall, Iron Bull, Vivienne, and Sera. What is most significant about this trailer, for me at least, is that it is the first trailer to be narrated by the female inquisitor. It also pushes forward this idea that rather than joining a famous faction, as in DA:O, or falling right in the middle of a battle you previously had nothing to do with, as in DA2, your character is starting a faction in order to take control of the chaos. And that sounds pretty neat.

Since this has come out, we’ve gotten a few more hints from the Dragon Age team at E3. The footage they have been showing today (shown with Twitch in the morning and IGN in the afternoon) has given us a bit more about the characters and the kind of combat you will be doing in the game. The footage featured a female mage Qunari inquisitor, and featured an encounter with a dragon as well as a scene with a previously unnamed companion.

Fighting dragons has gotten a significant upgrade as now you can use your party to target and injure specific parts of the dragon. For example, you can take out one of it’s legs and limit it’s movement. The dragon with also move around much more than the dragons of previous games, making a DA encounter with a dragon something that is a bit more similar to something that would happen in Skyrim. There will be various tactical options you can take, such as giving your party orders with the tactical camera, which is a pause-play sort of style of gaming. They are also introducing a new kind of combat mode where you give your party orders and, after they are carried out, the game waits for new orders, effectively turning the combat encounter into a sort of game of chess. Of course, we will always have the option to just play through the fight in real time.

We’ve also learned that Tevinter mages will be playing a significant role in the story of the game. The video they’ve showed today shows us an encounter toward the end of the game against a Tevinter mage. Prominent in this encounter is the previously unnamed companion: Dorian. He appears in the trailer at 1:08, standing behind Varric. He is also in the banner image of the DA:I Characters, standing next to Iron Bull. He is a Tevinter mage who is unhappy with the path that Tevinter is taking. He once studied under one of the game’s antagonists. And, perhaps most importantly, he has a wicked mustache.

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We’ve learned a few new things about the characters in the game. The Dragon Age website added a profile for The Iron Bull today, describe him as a really friendly guy who gets along with most of the characters. This will be a very new kind of Qunari, as Quanari characters encountered (namely, Sten and every single Qunari in DA2) have had the same steely disposition. Not Bull, apparently. We’ve also learned that DA:I will feature more characters than any of the previous games, including nine possible companions (many of whom you will have to go find out in the world) and three advisers who serve as the sort of face of the Inquisition. Two of those advisers, we know, are Leliana and Cullen. On top of that, there will be many cameo appearances and other prominent characters, such as Morrigan and Alistair.

Only two prominent Inquisition members remain as of yet unnamed. From left to right, in the image above, we have: Cullen, Vivienne, Varric, Unnamed Companion (possibly Cole), Solus, The inquisitor, Iron Bull, Dorian, Leliana, Sera, Unnamed Adviser, and Blackwall. Of the companions, we see three rogues, three mages, and three warriors. Even with the advisers, there is one warrior, one rogue, and the third may actually be a relatively normal person, probably serving as a political adviser.

Mike Laidlaw teased a bit about romance, saying that there will be more romance options available than in previous games. We already know that, like in DA:O, characters can be gay, straight, bi, or whathaveyou and their sexual preferences will not bend to the will of the inquisitor. Romances are going a bit deeper, as they can have very big reactions to the decisions you make. It is possible to piss off a companion so much they leave the inquisition forever. We’re also getting the free-conversation options back. meaning, you can talk to your companions whenever you want to. It won’t be two conversation, a gift, and suddenly love. I’m looking at you’re ridiculousness, Dragon Age 2.

So far, it’s a lot. And we’re expecting a lot. Another 30+hour epic fantasy game from Bioware.

I mean, that’s what I thought. Until we were informed that the ‘quick’ play through option for this game, the length of the game if you avoid side quests and what not, is around 50 hours. With a hint of more than 90 hours of total content.

If I wasn’t sure that this game was going to ruin my life, I am now. Happy gaming, my friends.

 

Dragon Age: Meet the Heroes, Part III

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Dragon Age has recently began releasing character teases leading up to their Monday reveal at E3. In the past, we had bios from CassandraVivienneMorrigan, and Varric. And while what we’re getting aren’t quite full profiles, they’re definitely intriguing and do a lot to suggest the motivations and general personalities of the characters in the game.

So far, they’ve released teasers for Sera and Iron Bull, and Blackwall. Today, we get to see Vivienne:

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The Ambition. We already know a bit about Vivienne. She appeared in the gameplay video at PAX, in the inquisitor’s party along with Varric and Cassandra.

“Rest assured, dear Seeker. I’m never truly out of my element.”

The website has this to say about her:

Referred to as Madame de Fer, “the Lady of Iron”, Vivienne lives up to her title. A leader among the mages and official enchanter to the Imperial court, she is renowned as a fearsome woman who achieved her position through guile and deft political maneuvering. Vivienne allows nothing to stand in the way of what she desires—not those who claim she is a social climber, not those who seek to restrict her power, not even her fellow mages who would conscript her into a rebellion with which she disagrees. Vivienne fights to restore order in a world gone mad…so long as that leaves her among those left standing, once all is said and done.

She was the personal enchantress and adviser to Empress Celene and was set to become first enchanter in Montsimmard or Val Royeaux – which is the location of the White Spire, the setting of Asunder and appearing as well in Dawn of the Seeker. The Mage-Templar war began before she could fully assume her position. Her goal with the inquisitor seems to end the war and help the mages in any way she can.

Vivienne already seems like a very interesting character. She’s tough, but feminine and views herself as extremely fashion-forward. She might come off as another Orlesian snob, but I think that might turn out to be a fun quirk of her character. She is classy, refined, and intelligent. And she is fully aware of this. I look forward especially to seeing her interaction with the other companions. The gameplay video made it seem like, although she and Cassandra view the war quite similarity, the women had a budding almost-rivalry. Which I can understand. Their personalities clash, but their general dispositions don’t.

From what they’ve shown us so far, Vivienne is already an intriguing character. I can’t wait to see how her story plays out.

I am still unreasonably excited for this game, and i will continue to post information as I get it. Expect some more DA spam after E3.