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Literature / Tevinter Nights

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The seventh book to be set in the Dragon Age universe, which was published on March 10, 2020. It alludes to the events of the Trespasser DLC from Dragon Age: Inquisition, where the qunari launched a major invasion of the Tevinter Imperium and the elf Solas was revealed to be the Dread Wolf of elven legend.

Unlike the five previous novels, this is an Anthology of stories by different writers at BioWare. Each story stars a different cast of characters taking part in adventures throughout Nevarra, Antiva, the Free Marches, the Anderfels and, of course, the Tevinter Imperium.


Tropes found in the book include:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Viago De Riva from “Eight Little Talons” is trying to achieve an immunity to Adder’s Kiss by taking small doses every day. Subverted in that he only has built up a resistance to the venom of an actual Death Adder - it keeps him alive long enough for Teia to administer the antivenin.
  • Alien Geometries: The lower levels of the Grand Necropolis are rife with this trope. Corridors spring up where they shouldn’t be, and descending stairs can lead you to a place that’s higher than where you started. As Myrna the Mortalitasi puts it, the geography of the Necropolis is a tangle.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: In “Three Trees to Midnight,” Strife and Myrion are briefly cornered by the Qunari pursuing them. Cue the appearance of a ‘forest guardian,’ a type of construct apparently tasked with protecting Arlathan Forest. It attacks the Qunari, allowing Strife and Myrion to escape.
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  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: Hollix from "Luck in the Gardens," a Master of Disguise who takes on personas from both genders and several races/nationalities. An internal monologue suggests they don't particularly identify as either male or female.
  • Animal Assassin: A death adder is placed in Viago's closet that bites him and very nearly kills him. Unlike many examples of this trope, Viago actually adopts the animal as a pet, believing that any creature that came that close to finishing him off is worthy of respect.
  • Artificial Limbs: Neve Gallus from “Streets of Minrathous" has a prosthetic leg that was made by dwarves. It affects her mobility but it is otherwise functional.
  • Ascended Extra: Viago De Riva and Teia (Andarateia Cantori) from "Eight Little Talons" were the unnamed Antivan Crows seen in Dragon Age: Deception. Their appearance in the story and some of their quirks (Teia's predilection for revealing clothing and Viago covering his entire body except his head) are taken from the comic.
  • Bittersweet Ending: This being the Dragon Age universe, there are multiple examples, but perhaps the best one is in "The Horror of Hormak.” Ramesh has successfully destroyed Ghilan’nain’s sanctum, but his former lover Jovis and the other Wardens that were with him are dead, as is Lesha the mage. And what’s more, the bas-reliefs in the laboratory indicated that there may be more of these facilities throughout Thedas.
    • Another example is in “Streets of Minrathous." While the Venatori have been stopped from unleashing the demon that Corypheus sealed underneath Minrathous, Otho Calla — who genuinely didn't want to be part of the Venatori — is still dead, and his uncle Quentin is left to mourn his death.
  • Blood Magic: Features prominently in several stories, though it's a key plot point in "Streets of Minrathous”, as the blood of several Venatori is needed to unleash a demon summoned by Corypheus that is supposedly capable of levelling the city.
  • Chained Heat: "Three Trees to Midnight" is essentially a Whole Plot Reference of The Defiant Ones, starring a Tevinter mage and a city elf chained together while on the run from the Qunari.
  • Cyanide Pill: Two of Solas’ agents kill themselves in this way when about to be captured in “Half Up Front”.
  • Dirty Old Man: "Genitivi Dies in the End" reveals Genitivi himself to be one, as one of his pseudonyms was the Randy Dowager, a smut writer.
  • During the War: Most of the stories are set while the Qunari’s invasion of the Tevinter Imperium is underway. They have already conquered the city of Ventus (formerly known as Qarinus) and are rampaging across the rest of Tevinter.
  • Dumb Muscle: Panzstott from “Herold Had the Plan”. In the hopes of finding his sister, he gets conned into stealing Celebrant, the sword awarded to the winner of the Grand Tourney, in front of hundreds of witnesses. Even if he got away at the end, half the continent would have been hunting him for the rest of his life.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Besides the actual abominations in several stories, this trope is the only fitting way to describe of the Cekorax from "Luck in the Gardens." It is a tentacled horror that collects severed heads, which it uses to speak through. After it is killed, Dorian from Dragon Age: Inquisition speculates that it may have been a creature "from beyond the Veil of this world,” meaning that it comes from beyond Thedas.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In "Three Trees to Midnight", the Qunari known as the Huntmaster kills his superior Bas-Taar because the Qunari's cruelty to prisoners has become notorious and is causing Tevinter forces to resist the Qunari even more ferociously.
  • Eye Scream: A Grey Warden in "The Horror of Hormak" tears out her eyes after learning about the nature of the titular horror.
  • Fantastic Noir: "Streets of Minrathous" has this vibe, starring an Occult Detective hired to first trail a former cultist who is promptly murdered. She then takes it upon herself to discover why.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The fake Claw of Dumat is actually an ancient elven artifact that can absorb magical energy and release it in a potentially-city destroying explosion. The description of said explosion even matches that caused by a low-yield nuclear bomb, as the explosion emits a flash of light followed by a shockwave that shatters windows miles away from the epicenter.
  • Gothic Horror: The story "Hunger" is practically a love letter to this genre, featuring a gloomy village with a vaguely Germanic-sounding name that is under siege by a pack of werewolves.
  • Heist Episode: "Herold Had the Plan", which centers on a heist at the Grand Tourney that goes terribly wrong.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Viago’s vial of antivenin is labelled “Up and Adder.”
  • In Medias Res: "Genitivi Dies in the End" starts this way, though the comments in the framing device argue about its use.
  • Large Ham: Penrick Karn, as befitting the host for a pride demon.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Elim, a member of the Lords of Fortune, is able to alter her voice and convincingly mimic a variety of accents. Hollix is also skilled at changing their voice, though they lack Elim’s talent with accents.
  • Mercy Kill: In "Three Trees to Midnight", after finding a tent full of Tevinter mages who have hade their minds obliterated with qamek by their Qunari captors, Myrion uses his magic to set the tent ablaze to put them out of their misery.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The pool of grey liquid in “The Horror of Hormak” can mutate creatures who enter it, creating things like darkspawn with wings and bats with scorpion tails. Intelligent creatures apparently have to drink the liquid for it to work, however.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Antivan Crows, an infamous guild of assassins, figure prominently in several stories, including "The Wigmaker Job", "Eight Little Talons" and "An Old Crow's Old Tricks."
  • Never Mess with Granny: Lessef of “An Old Crow’s Old Tricks” is an extremely competent Professional Killer able to take down soldiers and mages alike.
    • Caterina Dellamorte is the First Talon of the Antivan Crows, making her one of the most dangerous people in all of Thedas. Despite being in her seventies, she is feared by the other assassins, who note they have seen her beat people to death with her cane. Sure enough, Caterina also takes the fight out of Emil Cortez in “Eight Little Talons” by whacking him with her cane.
  • No Name Given: "Hollix" is never referred to by their real name. Dorian calls them "Hollix" during an improvised lie - it’s the name of an old pet that belonged to his mother - and is told to continue using the name.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Myrion and Strife in "Three Trees to Midnight"; after constantly denigrating each other for being a magister and a Dalish outlaw, during a brief lull in running from their Qunari pursuers, they start talking and discover they're both from lower class backgrounds that had to claw their way up (Strife was born in an alienage in Starkhaven and is on the run for beating a guard abusing elves, while Myrion was born into slavery and only escaped because his family's owner adopted him when he developed magic).
  • Revenant Zombie: While the term "revenant" has always referred to a corpse possessed by a pride or desire demon in the Dragon Age universe, Lord Penrick Karn is a more traditional take on this trope, as he seeks revenge on the corpse of the man who knifed him in an alley. Audric also unconsciously desires revenge on Karn for killing him.
  • Spotting the Thread: In "The Dread Wolf Take You", Charter successfully deduces that the Orlesian Bard is actually Solas from several clues, one of which is that he never drank the tea he ordered.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: “Eight Little Talons” is about the eight leaders of the Antivan Crows gathering together for a summit to discuss the Qunari threat and then being bumped off one by one. The Mole is the Fourth Talon, who agreed to murder the rest on the promise that the Qunari’s invasion of Antiva would be a peaceful takeover, allowing the people to continue living their lives as normal. Upon learning his motives, the rest point out how foolish it is to trust the Qunari.
  • The End ... Or Is It?: At the end of “Hunger,” the Wardens Antoine and Evka successfully slay the werewolf Renke and end the curse afflicting the boy Willem. However, the ending narration indicates the demon possessing Renke is still alive and will wait for a new victim to take over.
    • At the end of "Horror of Hormak", Ramesh has escaped and destroyed the thaig, as well as Jovis. However, he recalls the mountain where Hormak was found was only one of 12 depicted in the murals.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Audric Felhausen was a hapless guard assigned to the funeral of a Nevarran lord who becomes possessed and turns into a revenant. Afterward, Audric accompanies the Mortalitasi trying to stop the undead Nevarran lord, Penrick Karn, as he rampages through the Grand Necropolis. Upon receiving a wound that no human could survive, Audric learns that Karn killed him shortly after he rose from the dead — his body has been controlled by a spirit of curiosity this entire time, though his lingering anger at Karn threatens to turn it into a rage demon.
  • Treasure Hunter: The Lords of Fortune from Rivain, who are featured in several stories. They seem to be a combination of thieves, mercenaries and tomb raiders.
  • Undead Abomination: The skeletal ‘thing’ that Myrna and Audric encounter deep within the Necropolis, a snakelike creature made of fused-together bones. It quickly retreats when confronted by Myrna’s magic. When asked what it was, Myrna can only say it is “uncatalogued.”
  • Unreliable Narrator: Philliam, a Bard! takes on this role in "Genitivi Dies at the End," the events of which are mostly total fabrication.
    • "The Dread Wolf Take You" has elements of this, with every story being told about their encounters with Solas containing strange inconsistencies and one of the storytellers being Solas himself.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Sidony is this to both Cyrros and Antonia in “Murder by Death Mages,” being used to further their respective schemes.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: An elven mage named Irelin turns into a bird, a halla and a bear during the course of “Three Trees to Midnight.”