Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
As if the Red Templars weren't already terrifying in the power they wield, the Behemoth bears the remains of a templar's armor. Any templar who ingests Red Lyrium is in danger of becoming one of them. And judging by Meredith's fate, it is doubtful they can survive long even then.
The screenshots of Emprise Du Lion show a tower that has Red Lyrium growing out of it. It's not just in the deepest reaches of the Deep Roads anymore, it's on the surface and it's spreading.
As mentioned below, Red Lyrium is lyrium tainted by the Blight. The Red Templars are essentially ghouls/darkspawn.
The stuff will eventually consume you. One guy opened up the corpse of a Red Templar and saw the crystals absorbing the blood remaining in the corpse, then growing a little further. He immediately has the corpse destroyed. Apparently the Red Templars mine the bodies of their fallen to get more red lyrium - when they don't kidnap random people to feed it.
And how are the Templars getting their lyrium fix when they've cut ties with the Chantry? The Carta is fully willing to provide, especially after they stumble across a massive supply of Red Lyrium in the Hinterlands. The ones calling the shots there aren't in prolonged contact with the lyrium either, so every case that turns out like Bartrand is chalked up as someone trying to make money on the side.
The Breach, the cataclysmic event that tore the Veil asunder occurs during Peace Summit between the various factions in Thedas. As a result, thousands of the people who were at ground-zero were reduced to char-grilled husks, their barbequed remains still frozen either in mid-scream, running or cowering from the devastation. And the Inquisitor is the Sole Survivor of this event.
What has been shown of the new demons indicates that they're pretty creepy, with their weird teeth and mummy-like complexions. The Fear and Terror demons certainly live up to their names.
In the Bad Future showcased when recruiting the mages, Leliana looks like an old woman after only a year. There's a reason for this - in his efforts to fight the darkspawn taint plaguing his son, Alexius had been taking living tissue samples from subjects, particularly those that showed high resistance to it. Leliana was the most promising one.
The fact that the other two companions and have obviously been infected by Red Lyrium, and are already losing their grip on sanity. Poor Fiona has a massive deposit of the stuff growing out of her and into the walls of her cell, pinning her in place.
The Ocularium that you use to search for the shards are made of the skulls of Tranquil mages. They have to be killed by decapitation at the exact moment that a demon is forced to possess them - and the Venatori worked this out through trial and error. There are whole shelves of skulls representing their failures...
'The Enemy of Thedas' trailer is a dark, most sinister twist of the previous trailers. Before, it was continuous glorification of the Inquisition and their cause to save the world, but here it's all turn on its head; The Inquisitor and allies are all struggling and being beaten up by the various enemy factions, especially the demons, showing just how completely outpowered and outnumbered we are in this war, and our likely antagonist, the Elder One, whoever of whatever it may be, is the real one who controls the battle, not us.
Though, to take away some of the sting, this ending is only possible if you are actively trying to Earn Your Bad Ending. Don't do a single side quest, and alienate every single one of your companions. That'll do it.
In Dragon Age Keep any character that dies is represented by a broken skeleton imposed over their silhouette, including family members and love interests of previous Player Characters.
In the Emerald Graves, there's the Chateau d'Onterre, along with a tragic, nightmarish backstory that puts Bartrand's estate to shame. There is no music, just a persistent, hollow background noise. Some areas of the manor are awash with sunlight through the windows, while others are pitch-dark save for the occasional candles and fireplaces lighting themselves as you approach. Walking corpses shamble quietly through the rooms, turning up in parts of the house you thought you'd cleared or creeping up on you if you remain in one place.
Apparently Red Lyrium is infected with the Blight. Yeah, the darkspawn can corrupt the very basis of magic, too. Including that time when they didn't exist in the Primeval Thaig.
Also, because of that spoilered fact, this means that Lyrium is alive, as minerals aren't susceptible to the Blight. That this was discovered after at least a millennia In-Universe is worrisome.
Cole is almost always serene and equanimous, in line with his unearthly origins. But... he is infuriated when he finally tracks down the Templar who condemned the original Cole, a mage at the Val Royeaux Spire, to a maddening agony of a death by leaving the mage in an oubliette-like cell to starve. All of the companions demonstrate OOC Is Serious Business at some point, but Cole's obviously being on the edge of an Unstoppable Rage is likely the most frightening.
The demon of Envy, which serves as the boss at the end of "Champions of the Just." In addition to looking like something that crawled straight out of Silent Hill, it can flawlessly assume the appearance and mannerisms of ANYONE. It does this by invading the minds of its victims and observing their reactions to nightmares that it creates. It then uses these observations as reference material for masquerading as the victim.
If prompted for his thoughts on what would happen if the Qunari conquered Thedas, the Iron Bull dispassionately speculates on the fates of most of your companions - while Cassandra and Cullen might do okay if they didn't die fighting (likely), all three of the mages would wind up dead or worse, Cole would be killed for being a demon, and Sera would end up a mindless laborer- horrifying thoughts for anyone who's come to like and care for their companions.
If you choose to take in the power and knowledge of the Vir'Abelasan, you get to hear the whispering echoes, or memories, or something, of all the servants of the mother-goddess of justice, Mythal, who gave themselves unto the Well. It's not comforting.
Mythal is FLEMETH. So, whoever drinks from the well permenantly becomes Flemeth's slave. Either you, or Morrigan, has to do it.
The Reveal in Cassandra's personal quest that Seekers, including Cassandra, are made Tranquil without their knowledge during their training, before having the Rite of Tranquility reversed, is outright horrifying. The means of undoing Tranquility is also rather unnerving: It's done by communing with Spirits of Faith. There's a very fine line between spirits and demons, and while communing isn't the same thing as outright possession, it's still a little too close to it for comfort.
Party banter between Blackwall and Cole has the spirit give a rather creepy rhyme. It completely freaks Blackwall out.
Cole:Mockingbird, mockingbird, quiet and still. What can you see from the top of the hill? Can you see up? Can you see down? Blackwall: Wait. Cole:Can you see the dead things all about town? Blackwall: How do you know that song? Cole: It just came to me. Everyone says everyone knows it. The children knew it.
You have to put the pieces together yourself to get exactly what this means. Cole is repeating a song that children were singing, specifically the children that were in the carriage that Thom Rainier, before he 'became' Blackwall, attacked. That panic in Blackwall's voice, when Cole says that rhyme, is because he realizes that Cole knows everything.
Appropriately enough, the Nightmare demon in the Fade. It takes the form of a giant demonic spider for the Inquisitor and Hawke and is quite terrifying to behold.
Blackwall's personal quest is as much a study in Personal Horror as it is a Tear Jerker. To recount: he was an Orlesian captain, Thom Rainier, who took money to assassinate a powerful nobleman, and ordered his soldiers to carry out the operation, claiming that the target was a legitimate target. But instead of catching the nobleman alone, they attacked him in a carriage with his family: the nobleman, his wife, their four children, as well as their retainers, were all murdered. Rainier's men took the fall for him, but before he was sentenced he was taken by the real Blackwall by the Rite of Conscription. He abandoned his men. When the true Blackwall was slain before Rainier could be go through the Joining, Rainier "couldn't let a good man die", so he assumed the Warden's identity. When you finally confront him about this, Thom "Blackwall" Rainier radiates nothing but despair and self-hatred.
It's strongly implied that the "plague" that wiped out the village in the Fallow Mire was actually a well-meaning would-be herbalist mistakenly believing that deathroot could be used to treat fevers.
In Crestwood, once you seal the Rift in the lake, you discover that the Mayor ordered Old Cresswood flooded because refugees contracted the taint and were spreading it through the town. Companions can acknowledge that they get the cold logic of his actions, but everyone admits it'd be a pretty horrible way to die.
In Emprise du Lion, you meet an elderly woman in a devastated village who admits that your enemies are there because she sold a quarry to them. Why did she sell it? Because the war had resulted in lower demand for stone and she could no longer feed the town and these people thought they could get the quarry back up and running and get the town back on its feet. Turns out, they were less interested in rock than they were in Red Lyrium and they started using the blood of townsfolk to help grow the Red Lyrium faster. And when they ran out of miners, they went to the town to claim more.... and went up to the former owner to ask for recommendations. At which point, she offered up the names of the sick and elderly in exchange for supplies that she passed around to the living.
Here's one in hindsight—Cassandra says she was trying to find the Warden and make them the Inquisitor. Corypheus can control Wardens. Therefore, if she had found the Warden, they would have fallen under Corypheus' control. Cassandra would have accidently screwed over them and the rest of the world. Enjoy thinking about how close that came to passing, especially if Leliana had decided to tell her where the Warden was.
Cassandra talks to Cole about what happened to the original Cole.
Cassandra: What the templars did to you, to the real Cole... I knew the treatment was harsh, but... Human!Cole: There were beatings, worse than beatings. "If you tell anyone, I'll say you used blood magic." Spirit!Cole: Yes. Beatings, worse. "Do you remember telling me no? You can't do that now. The Tranquil don't say no to anything." Cassandra: Maker's breath! Cole: Not all, but enough. The good templars were too afraid to stop the others.
The worst part is that Cole has never been to any circles besides the White Spire. As much as supporters of the Circle System, like Vivienne, try to write Kirkwall off as a particularly extreme case, the things that happened there were not unique to it.