Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Wounded Veil (May 2018 Map and Lore Update)

As you may remember, I wrote back in January about the status of the Veil as of the end of "Trespasser," and about my theory that for Solas's plan to eradicate the Veil to succeed, in actuality, all he really has to do is... wait.

In the latest version here, I have updated my original map to reflect additional key locations in Tevinter, the Anderfels, the Storm Coast, the Hissing Wastes, the Blackmarsh, the Lost Temple of Dirthamen, Seheron, and a few others that I missed the first time, and which some fantastic folks on Twitter were nice enough to point out. I also clearly marked every mage circle location specified across Thedas (note: with the exception of the one in Antiva that's never specified as far as city).

Mending the Veil

Beyond Solas's ancient elven artifacts (which I do believe will genuinely help to strengthen and ward the Veil), I did a bit more research and reading, and there is, however real evidence that it's possible to further heal at least some of the Veil tears we encounter across the story.

For instance, in Dragon Age: Origins, a demonically possessed Sophia Dryden can openly heal a major Veil tear right in front of our Warden at Soldier's Peak, in a bargain with the Warden for her freedom. In the "Awakening" DLC, meanwhile, several spirits and demons are presented as actively keeping or holding Veil tears open. The Warden-Commander can then repair those by killing the demons or spirits responsible.

In the Dragon Age II "Mark of the Assassin" DLC movie spinoff Dragon Age: Redemption (about the further adventures of an elven Ben-Hassrath named Tallis, played by Felicia Day), a Qunari Saarebas is able to tear the Veil by using an artifact of the Dalish known as the Mask of Fen'Harel. By destroying the mask, Tallis is able to close the impending rip in the Veil.

These instances seem to be rare, however. In one of the Codices for Dragon Age: Origins, First Enchanter Wenselus is quoted as saying "Once the Veil is torn, it is extremely difficult to mend, some say impossible."

Damage to the Veil

Still, I continue to believe the Veil is doomed... I even continue to wonder if that's why Solas hasn't acted at the end of Trespasser. As I've noted in my Character analyses on Solas and his romance, I do think he's conflicted, and I don't think he is truly prepared to tear down the Veil and doom the world, flawed as it is, that he's grown to care for (much less the people he loves within it).

And let's face it... if I'm right, he won't have to anyway. The Veil is shredded. And I suspect it's actually in far worse shape across Tevinter than I'm showing here, simply because I feel like we have so little information about it as a location in general. But their use of blood magic is rampant and goes back ages, and it's a triple-whammy in terms of thinning the Veil because of the (1) magic use, (2) blood magic, and (3) death and bloodshed.

One of the other things I want to add in this update is that I realized upon further research that the Mage Circles across both Orlais, Ferelden and Tevinter weren't just locations where the Veil went thin through magic use (and in many cases, bloodshed). They were in fact chosen, in almost every case, because they were places where the Veil was already thin. Which is interesting because that's certainly more dangerous for mages and increases the potential for Abomination.

In other words, it's evident that the need for power supercedes the risk of Abomination, and I suppose I can see that when a Blight comes calling—that it's thought to be worth that risk to increase magic potency and strength even if the danger to the lives of mages went up. But then again, that's the tragedy, isn't it? Historically, nobody really values the lives of mages. They're simply tools, weapons to be kept locked away until it's time to use them.

The important thing is, this means that we started with a thin spot for each and every Circle. For each of the most important cultural Tevinter locations where magic use was involved. For each key ancient elven location.

And then it just proceeded to get thinner. 

In other words, it's not looking good for our friends in Thedas—I'm guessing from what we're looking at here that the Veil has less than a millennia of life left to it. Maybe even just centuries. 

Or maybe it's already poised to go up in flames, a potential bonfire just a single match away from conflagration. 

Will Tevinter light that match? Or the Qunari? I still don't think it will be Solas.

Meanwhile, what do you think? And did I miss anything else here? Are there any other factors I should include here? I'd look forward to your input, as always!

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