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Nightmare Fuel / Dragon Age

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BioWare marketed Dragon Age as "Dark Fantasy." They weren't kidding.


Franchise-spanning nightmare fuel:

  • Flemeth. She may be friendly and affable, but thinking about her for more than a few minutes is truly nightmarish, partly because of how ambiguous her character is kept. First there's her backstory, and whether it's true or not doesn't make it any less horrific. Then there's how she has managed to live for so long by stealing her daughters' bodies. But as said above, the ambiguous nature of her character is a big part of what makes her so terrifying. Morrigan states that she is not a blood mage, abomination or even human. Fenris states the same thing. Anders says that even Justice doesn't truly know what she is. Her cryptic warnings don't help either.
    • As of Inquisition, we finally do know what she is. It doesn't help. If anything, it makes her even more terrifying. She was once a mortal woman, who then became the host of all that remains of the Elvhen goddess Mythal... and she has plans for Thedas.
      • The Trespasser DLC makes her outburst in Inquisition even scarier when you realize that the only Only Sane Woman of the Elven Pantheon might have gone insane and is manipulating the world into a dangerous position up to her death all to get revenge on the other "gods," who betrayed her for continually stopping their insane plans to gain more power which could have either destroyed the world or killed thousands of people.
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    • Her backstory is of course one. There are two versions, one legend commonly known to most humans, and other account she gave to Morrigan. It is your choice which one you prefer.
      • The first version, the famous legend, states that Flemeth was the wife of Highever's Bann Conobar Elstan, but fell in love with his bard Osen and together they eloped to the Korcari Wilds. After some time, they got a message that Conobar was on his deathbed, and that his last wish was to see Flemeth once more. But when they came, it turned to be trap - Osen was murdered, and Flemeth was imprisoned in the highest tower of the castle. Enraged, she worked a spell to avenge Osen, but it backfired and she was possessed by a demon. The abomination slaughtered everybody in the castle and fled back into the Korcari Wilds. There she terrorized the Chasind, plotted for hundreds of years, ate children, stole the beauty of young women and abducted men to father her monstrous daughters, till it amassed an army of witches and Chasind tribes, and marched them against rest of the land. This army was defeated by the hero Cormac, and all of witches burned. All save Flemeth.
      • According to Flemeth herself, she was Osen's wife, and Conobar was a lord who lusted after her. As the two of them lived in extreme poverty, Flemeth suggested that she be given to Conobar to be his wife, and in exchange he would give Osen much needed money. However, he lied and murdered Osen. Spirits came to Flemeth, and told her of Osen's fate. She swore vengeance - not out of love, but the refusal to be the wife of a dishonorable man. She begged the spirits for help, and they aided her, slaying Conobar. His allies chased her across the land, and she escaped into the Wilds. There, a... something came to her, and offered to make her strong and powerful. She agreed, willingly becoming a unique abomination, still in control of herself. That something, as we learn later, was Mythal.
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  • What we know about what the Qunari do their mages. And what we don't.
  • The general nature of Grey Wardens, if given serious thought. They acquire their special abilities by drinking a cocktail which includes the blood of the very darkspawn they kill. How did the first Wardens even come up with the idea to try this? By contracting the taint, they develop a psychic connection to the darkspawn horde and, at more senior levels, can even listen to the Archdemon. And then if they don't die while fighting the darkspawn, after about thirty-odd years they say farewell to everybody they've ever loved and trot off to the Deep Roads to take as many of their enemies with them as possible as they die. Being a Grey Warden is an amazing honor, but it's also a glorified death sentence with a lot of really unsettling potential mishaps along the way.
    • One of the first Wardens threw out the idea of drinking darkspawn blood at random. When that happened, the First Blight had been raging for ninety years. Dumat had been slain multiple times, but just kept coming back. It was a bona fide apocalypse. They were just that desperate.
  • Giant Spiders. The series pulls most every spider related trope in the book. Jump Scare, Spiders Are Scary, Scare Chord, Spider Swarm, That One Attack, Demonic Spiders... in fact, the games could well be renamed Spider Age, as they are far more common than the titular dragons.
  • The Blights as a whole. The First Blight in particular is considered the most bloodiest, destructive and nightmarish of all Blights and was raging Thedas during 190 years, taking all Thedas's races to their extintion, if the Grey Wardens don't being founded. One of the things who make you how Nightmare Fuel the First Blight was, is when, after 90 years of Blight; one of the first wardens threw out the idea of drinking darkspawn blood to use the Taint against the Darkspawn, and none of the others objected. And even then it took another hundred years for them to finally finish off Dumat.


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