So, do you remember how in episode 3 of my Dragon Age Inquisition series, I said that we killed Livius Erimond? well, as luck would have it, I was wrong! He never actually died. In fact, he’s back in action with some nasty blood magic, and he plans to continue binding demons to Gray Wardens to help Corypheus’ cause. Great; this will be fun. What happens next? Read on!
So, Livius Erimond is up to no good once again. He’s planning a huge ritual to bind more demons to Gray Wardens using blood magic. Blood magic is generally seen as taboo; it’s nasty stuff. It uses human blood in rituals, and often time, people are killed on the spot for that blood.
Clarel is the Warden Commander of the entire region of Orlais. Clarel, like most Wardens, has come to think that the end is very near. The blight of Darkspawn is incoming, she thinks. To Clarel, the only option is blood magic. She has to sacrifice some Wardens in order to save the world from the blight.
Livius uses this to his advantage. She’s not thinking straight, so he takes advantage of her and she soon falls under his command. As he continues to call for more blood magic, she is less and less sure of herself. Is she stopping the blight, or is Livius doing something far more evil with the magic? He continues to assure her that the blood magic is for the best cause: to stop the darkspawn threat.
As my party arrives, we make her realize that Livius is playing her. She throws a bolt of magic at him, and he calls for his men to attack us. Here we go!
A massive battle breaks out as demons are spawning through a rift thanks to the blood magic. These beasts (including huge Pride Demons) fight alongside the misled Wardens and try to take me down along with my comrades. I won’t have any of that! I dispatch them and chase after Clarel. I need to reach her before this whole situation gets worse. Considering there are demons and an archdemon roaming around, however, I’m not so sure things can get any worse.
I chase her to a cobble overpass that connects two towers together in this castle, but that’s when things go from bad to worse. The archdemon swoops down and snatches her, almost ripping her in half with its teeth. It soon spits her out, and she falls back onto the overpass, nearly dead. As she tries to crawl away from it, the archdemon comes closer to attack. In her final action, she blasts it with a bolt of lightning magic and sends it fleeing.
The tower begins to crumble from the insane battle that has unfolded, and as the cobbled stones fall out from beneath my feet, I run to reach safety. Alas, I cannot run fast enough, nor can some of my party members. As we hurtle toward earth with tons of rock surrounding us, I reach my hand out and blast open a rift with the Mark on my hand. We fly through the rift, and everything goes blank.
We soon come to in a strange, new land. It looks like a mild incarnation of hell, and my party soon realizes what’s going on. We need to escape the rift as soon as possible; else, crazy things could happen.
But who do we see standing in front of us? None other than Divine Justinia herself. Justinia was the Chantry’s leader before she died at the Conclave; think of what would happen if the modern day Pope died. Many in the world would feel lost; so is the case with Justinia. When we saw her, some of my party members were in awe. Could it really be her? Did she stay here in the Fade to assist us rather than continuing onto Heaven and the afterlife post-death?
Then we realize that maybe it isn’t really Justinia we are seeing. It could be a spirit or a demon taking her form. We must be wary. Nonetheless, who or whatever this is seems to be helping us, even to the point of helping me restore my memory that was lost at the Conclave. As it turns out, frightening things took place there.
Up to that point, nobody knew how or why the site of Conclave exploded, but with the memories Justinia helped me recover in the Fade, we all finally learned. Corypheus was at the Conclave with a green orb, and Wardens were helping him energize it by sucking power from Justinia. A handful of Wardens can be seen in the memory as they restrict Justinia while Corypheus holds the orb near her. I burst into the room and foil his plans. I obtain the orb and its power courses into me rather than into Corypheus. This is how I received the Mark!
Corypheus was attempting to gain the power necessary to open the Fade and enter it to become a god, but I ruined that when I intercepted some of that power. Since then, his mission has been to rally an army and look for another way to ascend to a godlike status.
This memory is as troublesome as it is informative. Because the Wardens can be seen on Corypheus’ side, it makes us wonder whether they were following Corypheus freely or if they were corrupted and basically mind-controlled. If they followed him freely to kill Justinia, it would mean that the order is not to be trusted in the slightest. Seeing as they are supposed to be the foremost do-gooders in the land, this is not a good sign at all.
From there, Justinia helps us reach the being that keeps us locked in the Fade, and we must kill this nightmare (both literally and figuratively) to escape. Justinia -or whatever is pretending to be her- sacrifices herself to help kill it, and in an intense battle, we manage to end its life.
However, a huge, hulking spider-like beast also prevents our escape. There is no way we can get past it, and there is no way that we would ever be able to kill it. Hawke volunteers to stay behind in the Fade and fight it off. He must do his part to kill Corypheus, and taking out this beast would do just that. Stroud, however, says that he should stay as a sort of atonement for the sins of the Wardens who have sided with Corypheus. It would only be right.
Hawke argues that Stroud needs to be the one to survive so that the Wardens have a shining example to follow, however. I cannot argue with that. If we hope to survive, we need the Wardens on our side, and somebody has to lead them. As one of the prominent Gray Wardens in the land, Stroud is possibly the only one who can fill that role. I spend a moment deliberating on who should stay, and I eventually agree with Hawke: he should stay if he is willing to sacrifice his life for us and for the Wardens to have a leader in Stroud.
Hawke charges the spider-like beast while we make our hasty escape back to the real world where we are able to banish some of the remaining demons in the area and stop the fighting. The Wardens who are left alive look at us and wonder “now what?” Clarel is dead, Livius has been captured, and they now realize that they were under Corypheus’ reign of terror. As they come to their senses, they realize that they failed as Wardens. They swear to cease their current actions and to now side against Corypheus. But what should I do with them?
I could exile them out of the land so that they cannot be corrupted by Corypheus again. I would lose possible allies, but then I guarantee that they never turn on the Inquisition to side with Corypheus again, be it willingly or through means of mind-control. Alternatively, I could invite them to join and help the Inquisition. I would gain immediate allies, but I run the risk of adding more traitors to my order. I decide on the latter. It seems to be the best choice, as we need as many fighting hands as we can get, even if those fighting hands might soon be corrupted. Only time will tell.
This decision is met with varying levels of approval and disapproval from party members, but I am firm in my decision. I tell my warriors that it’s time to head back to our fort at Skyhold to plan the next attack against Corypheus. We must keep him on the defensive with relentless onslaughts if we hope to stop him.
Where do we go from here? How do we fight Corypheus now? Where can we foil his plans next? Be sure to check back soon for episode 5 of this Dragon Age Inquisition story!