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Nightmare Fuel / Dragon Age: Inquisition

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  • 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.
    • Emprise Du Lion has 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 had 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.
    • After claiming the keep in Emprise du Lion, two NPCs who are studying the Red Lyrium in the courtyard talk about how even the moles and earthworms can be changed. So the ecosystem is in grave danger.
    • The keep in Emprise du Lion also has Red Lyrium giants.
    • Here's another doozy, courtesy of the DLC The Descent. Lyrium is the essentially the blood of an absolutely MASSIVE creature called a Titan. In short, Red Lyrium is in turn the corrupted essence of a subterranean creature that can cause earthquakes by singing through the Stone itself.
    • Which brings a very important question. What exactly would happen if the darkspawn ever manage to corrupt a Titan?
      • Remember the Primeval Thaig from Dragon Age II? They already have.
  • 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 barbecued remains still frozen either in mid-scream, running, or cowering from the devastation. And the Inquisitor is the Sole Survivor of this event.
    • Adds an extra layer of fuel if you're playing as a warrior or rogue Trevelyan. They attended the Conclave with a number of their relatives - all of whom are now dead. Even if Trevelyan is a mage, those relatives were still there, just on the opposite side. Some of those charred corpses are probably kin to your Inquisitor. Not to mention they're stated to have several more relatives who are members of the Chantry, including Templars...
    • For another helping of horror, there are hints that the Inquisitor is like the Warden; all of the individuals who might have become the Inquisitor existed, and the player chooses which one survived. Which means that some of those corpses could be the potential Inquisitors that the player did not choose.
  • 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 have obviously been infected by Red Lyrium, and are 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.
    • Redcliffe Castle itself could charitably be compared to the Dreadfort, if said fort was sacked right on The End of the World as We Know It. You have the expected dead, skeletons, skulls, blood and torture devices everywhere, but possibly the worst of the decrepit pit is the red lyrium that is everywhere. Read just above on how it got there.
  • The Oculara 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 turned 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 out-powered and outnumbered we are in this war; and our likely antagonist, the Elder One (whoever or whatever it may be), is the one who really controls the battle, not us.
  • 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, which has 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.
    Cole: It knows we're here.
    • For anyone who didn't quite piece together the truth: the nobles who owned the Chateau had a little girl who turned out to be a mage. Rather than send her to the Circle, they essentially hid her in the house, not letting her attend any functions or be seen by anyone outside the family and trusted servants - much to her growing agitation. To help control her powers, they acquired a magical artifact from a Circle mage which was supposed to "make her better," in her own words. Instead, the artifact enabled her to unlock her power, and attract the attention of a demon who "befriended" her. Using her frustration to gain the child's trust, the demon helped her have a "party" of her own... one at which all the guests danced themselves to death, including the child's parents. The demon then told the child they could play a new game, which turned out to be possession. The little girl became the Arcane Horror which must be defeated at the conclusion of the house exploration.
    • For non-arcane horror, some of the letters and books you can find around the place indicate what the people who owned the place did to keep the truth about their daughter a secret. A journal entry reveals they paid a corrupt templar to either make tranquil or murder a mage who they had been working with before, and a book of fake cures includes insane ideas like holding a child underwater until they nearly drown. It isn't confirmed that they did the latter, but given the embrium present which is another fake cure, the implication from the lord's journal that they were only concerned for the family name, and the way he refers to his own daughter as just "the child," it is definitely a strong possibility.
    • While exploring the bedrooms of the Chateau, the party can find a letter to Lady d'Onterre from a guest who fled the house in the middle of the night. The guest, embarrassed, explains that her husband was seized with such a bloodcurdling bout of night terrors that he refused to stay in the house even long enough to say goodbye to their hosts. Presumably, this letter was written - and the late-night exodus performed - prior to the spoilered event above; imagine the letter-writer's horror later upon realizing just what kind of living nightmare she managed to avoid.
    • Even the estate's name can start ringing alarm bells long before its nightmarish history is uncovered, if one knows French. Onterre could possibly be a phonetic spelling of the French enterre. Translation for Chateau d'Enterre? The Castle of Burials.
  • Dorian's father tried to alter his son's sexuality through a blood magic mind control ritual. The possibility of turning his son into a drooling vegetable instead was deemed an acceptable risk.
  • As noted above, 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 thousand years In-Universe is worrisome. The DLC The Descent sheds a little more light on the matter, but makes it no less disturbing.
  • Cole is almost always serene and gentle, 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 O.O.C. Is Serious Business at some point, but Cole being so obviously on the edge of an Unstoppable Rage is likely the most frightening.
    • The reason as to why Cole was left to die in the first place is terrifying too, as it turns out that they didn't just forget he was there (which is what he had assumed had happened): it was an administrative error that listed him as being more dangerous than he was, leading him to be kept in a cell further away from where the guards were stationed. This is why they forgot about him - he was literally too far away for them to hear his cries for help. A fairly simple error caused a young boy to starve to death, and the Templar order was so corrupt that this was covered up.
    • Considering what Solas has said regarding how spirits can be twisted into demons when turned from their original purpose, this situation seems even more dire. Cole is a spirit of Compassion, not revenge or rage. There's a reason Cole is adamant that he be killed if he falls back into old habits.
    • Even worse, there's cut party banter between Cole and Blackwall that implies that a possible outcome of this quest was allowing Cole to get his revenge and kill the Templar. It's incredibly disturbing to hear how Cole's voice has changed - while talking about this murder, he still sounds calm, but also happy about it. Whatever he becomes after that questline, it wouldn't be like Cole as we know him.
  • 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 be 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 and Varric would end up mindless laborers after mouthing off too much - horrifying thoughts for anyone who's come to like and care for their companions.
    • His comments to a Qunari Inquisitor imply that they would be rendered mindless by the use of qamek.
    Iron Bull: Strong minds like yours ... they'd have given you a poison called qamek. You'd have been a polite, happy labourer for the rest of your life. And you'd have a handler to help you eat and make sure you didn't crap your pants.
    • Remember what Sten said to the Warden in Origins if you complete his personal quest? "I will not look for you on the battlefield." Completing this quest puts Sten on the path that will lead him the position of Arishok: the Qunari triumvir in charge of their military is convinced that the invasion of Thedas is unavoidable and will happen during his lifetime, even if he admits that it will break his heart. Bull's speculation may not remain conjectural for very long.
  • 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 permanently becomes Flemeth's slave. Either you or Morrigan has to do it - there is no option to just walk away.
  • 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, and 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, who invoked the Right of Conscription to make him a Grey Warden. He abandoned his men. When the true Blackwall was slain before Rainier could be put 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 the work of a well-meaning would-be herbalist who mistakenly believed that deathroot could be used to treat fevers.
    • As part of working your way through that region, you come across a codex entry which says that when one family, the Gardners, fell ill, their neighbors' response was to seal them inside their home so they would die out and not infect anyone else. Later, you come across what is most likely their old house, as it still has heavy items barricading the door.
    • There's another couple of codex entries related to a small family trying to hide in one particular part of the region. One note to a young girl says that after he and her uncle finish preparing the space, her male cousin will come back for her and her mother; the note concludes with an injunction for her to please be careful, because "You're the only cousin I have left." Another note makes it clear that the uncle was mauled to death by a bear, while the male cousin may have been killed by hostile Avvar; it's unknown what became of the girl or her mother, but all things considered, it probably wasn't good.
  • In Crestwood, once you seal the Fade rift in the lake, you discover that the Mayor ordered Old Crestwood 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.
    • To make Crestwood even creepier, "In Hushed Whispers" plays quietly in certain parts. And it goes From Bad to Worse: one cave has you loot some items, and then suddenly spiders - which are not one of the creatures in the area - drop in. The couple you find while trying to stop the flood? That's not just idle talk; underneath the keep there is a giant giant spider named Snowball and several poison versions who do the same thing.
    Cole: So many legs...
  • In the 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 led her to believe that 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 to the former owner to ask for recommendations. At that 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 Hero of Ferelden, if they're alive in the given world state, and make them the Inquisitor per Divine Justinia's request. Corypheus can control Wardens. Therefore, if she had found the Warden, they could have fallen under Corypheus's control. Cassandra would have accidentally screwed over the Warden - and the rest of the entire world. Enjoy thinking about how close that came to passing, especially if Leliana knew where the Warden was and had decided to tell her.
    • It also indirectly gives an insight into Justinia's politics, and it's not a pretty one. Depending on the player's choices, the Warden may be a merciless, unrepentant warlord who dabbles in blood magic, consorts with tainted Magisters, and has a "cut heads first, negotiate later" approach to diplomacy. In fact, even if the Warden is an honorable and diplomatic person, by the end of Awakening they prove themselves to be both capable and willing to ruthlessly impose their will on others to reach their goals. Nonetheless, the Divine's first contingency plan, should the Conclave fail, was to take such a person and make them even more powerful and influential than they already were. That way, they could bully into submission both zealot Templars and extremist mages. "Appeaser"? Yeah, right. Justinia was vicious; no wonder Vivienne admired her so much. And if that's not enough proof, look at her second choice: Hawke, the very person who is blamed for starting the whole rebellion in the first place and is a bogeyman to one side of the war.
  • 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.
    • Bear in mind that, prior to forming the Inquisition, Cassandra's job was to investigate abuses in the Circle - and she had no idea how awful things were, there or at Kirkwall.
    • 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.
    • It becomes even worse in hindsight if you used a Mage Warden: The Circle can feel like a prison during the origin segment; but as the game progresses, we learn that Greagoir actually kept his Templars on a short leash, and that for all his antagonistic relationship with Irving, he deferred to the First Enchanter in many affairs. He called for the Rite of Annulment only because he was convinced that all the innocent mages had already been killed, happily cancels this order if Irving is brought back alive to him, and allowed mages to travel freely so long as they first asked for permission through the proper channels. Based on what we know now, the apparently oppressive Kinloch Hold may actually have been the most liberal and mage-friendly Circle in southern Thedas.
      • In fact, a codex entry found in the game confirms that Kinloch Hold was considered excessively liberal and tolerant of its resident mages.
      • It's likely that the Circle in Montsimmard was also quite liberal and not such a terrible place to live. Vivienne's experience of life in a Circle was clearly far more positive and comfortable than many other mages we've encountered in the series.
      • Some of the dialogue options available to a human mage Inquisitor imply that even the quiet Ostwick Circle had some serious problems, though whether the Inquisitor experienced the bad side is up to the player.
      Trevelyan: (to Josephine) Some seemed all right at first. A smile here, a nod there. Yet when a mage was punished harshly, they turned to stone and watched.

      Trevelyan: (to Minaeve) Templars have made me feel a lot of things, but never safe.
    • If the player recruits the mages, they can also overhear a priest in Haven discussing the time she spent in a Circle. Considering what caused Dragon Age II's finale, she probably wasn't in Kirkwall. In addition, the fact that she doesn't recognize a mage Trevelyan implies that she is not talking about the Ostwick Circle, and the lack of an Orlesian accent indicates that she is not referring to the White Spire. So that's a fourth Circle where the Seekers dropped the ball.
      Mother: I did not see good Templars and evil mages in that Circle; I saw prisoners and jailers. The prisoners learned fear, and their jailers cruelty... When I was in the Circle, the Templars kept the mages in line with threats of death and tranquility. They hid the beatings from me, but I saw the bruises... and worse. Andraste said that magic should serve man. She never said that mages must live in fear.
  • The beginning of the Envy Demon's Fade sequence. The Inquisitor walks forward to see Josephine and Cullen standing looking at them, while a demonic Leliana starts talking about how she wants to see what the Inquisitor is like. She slits Cullen's throat. The Inquisitor's response is mocked by the demon, who assumes the form of Josephine and continues. It then takes Cullen's form and starts moving pieces on a war table, probing their thoughts. It's quite creepy.
  • Mixed with a bit of Fridge Horror, the demon Imshael. He at first seems to be Affably Evil, like any skilled Desire Demon (*ahem* Choice Spirit). But after dealing with him one way or another, you encounter a dying Red Templar suffering from all of the Body Horror that comes with Red Lyrium. Imshael offered the Red Templar a deal that would save his life. The Red Templar refused him. What did Imshael want that was so terrible that the Red Templar preferred a slow and painful death?
    • Oh it gets better... worse? Emprise du Lion is already ravaged by the Red Templars. Meanwhile, not far from the Tower of Bone lies Valeska's Watch, an ancient Grey Warden stronghold erected over a Deep Roads entrance; the Inquisition landmark flag reveals a note from Leliana warning that the wards on the place have quite likely eroded. Sure enough, the building is filled with darkspawn. It's quite probable that Imshael wanted to start the Sixth Blight. During your fight to claim Suledin Keep, the music is some kind of low-key hybrid mix of "Champions of the Just" and "In Hushed Whispers." Anyone care to guess if not what Ishmael wanted, then what the consequences would be?
    • And remember, Imshael is one of the Forbidden Ones - ancient spirits who are the reason human mages learned how to do blood magic. If you've played the two previous games and defeated the Forbidden Ones (Gaxkang and Xebenkeck) found in side quests there, you know that there's just one remaining. So where is "the Formless One," and what sort of hell will it try to unleash?
  • You can find a Codex entry in Valammar called "A Different Darkspawn?", which tells the story of a group of Dwarven smugglers trying to find the guy who has the keys to their cache. When they do find him, instead of him being dead, he apparently was found and cared for by a talking darkspawn like Corypheus or The Architect. The guy writing the note remembers a story passed down from his grandfather's grandfather about three talking darkspawn, dressed like kings and arguing with each other about "a city gone black". They ended up fighting each other and one ran while the second ate the third one. Give this a little thought: Not only did three other darkspawn magisters like Corypheus survive, but, assuming they are capable of killing each other, there could be another two running around the Deep Roads somewhere and, assuming the legends that there were seven are true, another three entirely unaccounted for. Even worse, if the In-Universe speculation of an eighth old god is true, there could be a corresponding eighth magister. Last but not least, Word of God confirms that the player has already met one of the other magisters.
  • The Codex entry for the hurlock alpha describes one of the creatures who was taken prisoner by a Tevinter magister. As the hurlock alpha was intelligent enough to speak, the noble attempted to broker peace with it, though not before having the darkspawn beaten bloody by his guards to subdue it. The hurlock alpha tricks its captors into lowering their guard long enough for it to get free and then snaps the noble's neck while mocking his attempts to negotiate, bluntly stating that the darkspawn have no interest whatsoever in negotiating with the races on the surface, only in destroying them. The final line of text states that the creature killed an additional four people before it was put down.
    • Also worth mentioning is that the beating the Alpha received was so brutal the guards were covered in its blood. It casually mentions that as a result, the guards are already transforming into ghouls, and will soon be compelled to obey its orders. But since it was killed, they instead will wander the earth slowly losing their minds.
  • The Codex entry regarding the Orlesian Emperor Reville, referred to as "The Mad Emperor," is quite horrific. Initially riding high on the plaudits of the successful conquest of Ferelden, Reville went from being hailed as a conquering hero to the butt of jokes at court when Ferelden rose up in revolt and Nevarra easily crushed Orlais's attempts to push into their territory. Convinced by sycophantic members of his court that his younger brother Gratien was stirring up trouble to undermine Reville in a bid to seize power (when in truth Gratien was happy being a second son and in addition to having no ambitions for the throne, was deeply concerned about his elder brother's deteriorating mental health), when his mother, who'd always been a calming influence on Reville, died, Reville went off at the deep end and ordered Gratien's entire family slaughtered - the youngest to die in the massacre was an eight-month-old baby. The savagery of that act caused outrage across Orlais and Reville spent the remaining four years of his life locked in his room, convinced he would be assassinated by his brother's supporters in revenge. He became so paranoid that he refused to see even his own children, wore armour wherever he went, and ate only venison (which ten chevaliers oversaw the preparation of, to prevent it being poisoned), also refusing to let doctors treat him when his poor diet inevitably starting causing Reville health problems; according to another Codex entry, he even hired Rivaini seers to stop his brother's ghost from haunting him. When he finally died and the guards broke down the door to his room, they found Reville had boarded up the windows and surrounded his bed with rows of daggers.
  • As you wander across Orlais and Ferelden, you find dozens of little horror stories that walk the line between nightmare fuel and tearjerker. Most are quests, where the best you can find are the remains of a tragedy. Other look like quests, but they're only there to provide atmosphere — apparently, some people have no one left to wonder what happened to them. Either way, most powerful person in Thedas or not, you are far, far too late to save these poor souls...
    • In the Emerald Graves, you find a young woman's body in a river. Discovering what happened requires a long trek up to a precipice, which still doesn't answer all of the questions. The girl had fled Ferelden with her sister and nephew; she specifically mentions that this was shortly after her mother died. According to her diary, however, something... strange happened in the following months. She claims that her mother is in bed, sick, and, after a creepy game of hide-and-seek with her "mother" that results in her sister screaming desperately for her son (whose name the writer no longer recognises), she is sent out to gather rose hips for the tea... and plunges over the precipice to her death while picking them. Was she insane? Possessed? Enthralled by a demon? It's never explained which was the case, but her fate was pretty grim — and so, presumably, were the fates of her sister and nephew.
      • Adding to the fuel is the location of her journal, which can be found near Chateau d'Onterre. From certain lines in the journal, it can be deduced that Betta, Liesel, and Yves tried to flee the war and stumbled upon Chateau d'Onterre. The demon there posed as Betta's mother and brainwashed her into killing Yves ("young ones need to sleep") and then Liesel in a twisted game of hide-and-seek ("Mother told Liesel to be quiet; she was ruining the game"). Without further things to play with ("Mother says I bore her"), the demon sent her to the ridge, where she fell to her death. A lengthier analysis can be found here.
    • Also in the Emerald Graves is the "Lover's Promise" sidequest. You find a letter from someone warning their lover not to go to the Lion's Pavilion because of the Freemen, and to instead rendezvous at their secret spot. Things get eerie when you reach the spot and find nothing but an abandoned picnic site with some supplies for a trip. Touch the site and an unearthly shriek fills the air as a huge Giant Spider climbs over a nearby fallen tree and attacks. The worst part comes after the battle: examining the spider's corpse reveals a lot of loot... including a wedding ring.
    • And again in the Emerald Graves, you find the notes of a researcher who was observing the behavior of demons spawned by the Fade rifts. He seems to have been smart enough to keep himself from catching their attention for quite some time, but when they finally did notice him... well, as Dorian remarks, a human body probably isn't supposed to bend that way.
    • In the Emprise de Lion, there is a tower sitting on an island in the Elfsblood River. A gory scene awaits you at the top, along with a diary entry explaining that its occupant had brought home a girl he found at a Fade rift, claiming that they loved each other and that he liked it when she "hurt" him. "Hurting" in this case apparently means placing him onto some sort of device and chopping him in half with an axe (which you can loot). And then there's the question of where the second corpse came from...
  • The Codex entry "Trading with Kal-Sharok" is fairly mundane stuff for the most part, right up until the last few sentences that strongly imply that all of the denizens of Kal-Sharok are Tainted.
  • By itself, the Exalted Plains is pretty much a Daylight Horror wonderland, with half the map consisting of ruined battlefields filled with corpses, some lying on the ground and others walking, with the accompanying music being something comparable to long, dreadful chord combined with an eerie, low humming sound... but then you unlock Citadelle du Corbeau. Citadelle du Corbeau is an Orlesian fort built out of the ruins of an old Elven facility, and still contains quite a bit of evidence of the former occupants, including the still functional elven superweapon topping the fort. That creepy humming you heard on the battlefields? In here it becomes the hum of the weapon as it scours the open areas of the fortification, incinerating anyone caught in its beam. Perhaps the worst part comes, however, when you get to the top of the fort and discover piles of dead bodies heaped against the door. Turns out that when the corpses attacked, the soldiers activated the superweapon, unaware of what it did. Not only did it power up the weapon, it put the fort on a lockdown; anyone not lucky enough to get inside before the doors closed on their own were locked outside and killed by the weapon's beam or the corpses, or both. The worst part? Most of the bodies are dressed in non-military clothes. The commander of the fort is deeply traumatized by the deaths, not only because of how many innocents were killed, but because she and the others trapped inside were forced to listen to them die.
  • Near Griffon Wing Keep is a huge canyon in the ground. You peer in to take in the view... and then you see the ominous blackened areas deeper in, and you are reminded that this is where the Second Blight occurred. Behold the Abyssal Rift.
  • What Corypheus planned to do to Calpernia. Getting a sneak peek of what it would be like when you meet with her former master, Erasthenes, in the Shrine of Dumat was disturbing enough, and his binding was just the prototype, whereas Calpernia's would be "the masterpiece." Being bound eternally to Corypheus's will in a constant state of physical torture would be a horrifying fate for anyone, but to former slave Calpernia? Her worst nightmare.
    Calpernia: He made so many promises, and every one, a lie! Vanhedis kaffan vas!
  • Iron Bull's recollection of his time policing the island of Seheron, which from his recollections makes it sound like the epitome of the War Is Hell trope. Bull notes that between the marauding bands of Tal Vashoth just killing whatever they felt like, forces from the Tevinter Imperium trying to claim Seheron for themselves, and indigenous rebel groups fighting both sides, you were lucky to go a day without bloodshed. Bull is particularly vehement towards Tevinter, explaining that while the soldiers they sent were bad enough, it was the spies and saboteurs who did the real damage to the Qunari occupation, citing the example of the city of Alam, left in chaos by the fact no one would take the job of administrating the city because the 'Vints had killed the previous four incumbents inside of a year.
    Bull: Trying to conquer a country is one thing. Making it so no one can live there...that just screws things up for everyone.
    • If asked about it, he gives a specific example of what life in a perpetual war zone is like for Seheron's native population; Bull explains he had a friend amongst the locals, a baker, whose business Bull and his men often frequented. One day while making a stop at the bakery on his rounds, Bull noted the guy was nervous, barely responding to their usual smalltalk. Suddenly, the man's assistants pulled out knives and came at Bull and his men; apparently one of the local rebel groups had forced the baker to help them kill Bull. The food the man had served the Qunari troopers was poisoned, and while Bull had been smart enough not to eat anything when he noticed something was wrong, two of his men weren't so lucky. By the time Bull and his men had killed the would-be assassins, the two soldiers who'd been poisoned were dead and a third had been killed in the ensuing melee. And the baker? Apparently, he got caught in the middle, took a knife to the throat and bled to death before anyone could help him.
  • If you pay close attention in Emprise de Lion in particular, there's an low hum that's somewhere between eerie and serene. Sounds just like background music, until you realize a few things: one, that one of the Red Templar battle cries is 'The song will not be denied!' Two, that it gets louder when you get close to the big chunks of red lyrium. You-the-player are hearing what you-the-character is - the lyrium singing. It gets even worse when you remember what makes red lyrium different from blue lyrium. Is this the song of lyrium? Or is it the song of the Old Gods?
  • In the Western Approach, you may explore the Tevinter prison called Coracavus, also known affectionately as "The Dark Pit." The place is in a miserable state when you get there, having been overrun by darkspawn who have decorated the prison with corpses shoved on spikes. But what's saddening and a little unnerving is the fate of the prisoners once held in Coracavus, particularly a woman named Talvas. For "inciting dissidence," she was sent to Coracavus and tortured; one note mentions she will be less charming once her teeth are removed. In the basement of the prison, you can find an "isolated, toothless corpse" clutching a tooth-shaped gem — the only tooth she was allowed to keep.
  • "Champions of the Just" is a eerie, creepy tune that plays during the mission's namesake, and crops up during certain events like fighting Imshael or entering the Fade. The feeling of dread it generates is the stuff of nightmares, suggesting that this is something the Inquisitor, badass extraordinaire, ancestor of Shepard, is not going to survive.
  • Just before fighting the Pride Demon for the first time and closing the rift, you come across the remains of those who were killed in the Chantry. They resemble flayed, blood-colored versions of the ash people from Gears of War. Okay, this is why the game got an MA rating.
  • The special game over scenes count: whether it be the Rift becoming too powerful, Envy's success at a Kill and Replace, the Inquisition falling apart after their leader's disappearance/death, or Corypheus destroying the world out of spite, things go From Bad to Worse.
  • Whenever a persistent burn effect is applied to you or one of your party members (like by, say, a rage demon), they will let out an unnerving scream of pain appropriate for being burned.
  • Mixed with Tear Jerker, you can find a codex entry/note describing the experience of a young mage who once summoned a Spirit. He fell in love with her, and she was kind and loving to him. So he summoned her a second time despite warnings. They shared an intimate kiss. He summoned her a third time... and she came as a Desire Demon, and outright told him it was him who twisted her into being one before (probably?) killing him.
  • If Leliana was killed by the Warden back in Origins, she's mysteriously returned to life - and she has no idea how or why. She mentions that she's spent ten years trying to find out the reasons and methods by which she came back, and hasn't even gotten close to finding answers.


Jaws of Hakkon

  • The Oculara return, with twelve new shards for you to find. Unlike those in the main game, which are optional, finding these is required if you want to complete the DLC's quest. A codex entry mentions that the Avvar made this set of Oculara, and that they learned the technique from the "lowlanders." What the codex does not explain is where the Avvar found the Tranquil needed for the project...
  • A side quest has you follow a trail of carnage left by a scout who has become an abomination in order to avenge his fallen friend. More than a dozen bodies, charred by flame and still standing, are left in his wake.

The Descent

  • Glowing blue eyes in the dark... it's just... unnervingly creepy.
  • The Blighted Codex from the main game is expanded here with stories about the various types of darkspawn.
    • The Codex on the Shriek tells the story of a Sole Survivor from Tevinter whose fellow warriors were slaughtered by a darkspawn. He is completely traumatized by the experience; it takes him days before he can say anything coherent, and all he can say is the word "Shriek" over and over again.
    • The Codex on the ogre details an Egomaniac Hunter, who collects Qunari horns as trophies, attempting to take on a sole ogre despite his sister's warnings. The creature tears him apart with lightning speed. By the time his sister returns with reinforcements, the ogre is long gone, having carried her brother's body off to eat.
    • The Codex on the Emissary tells the story of another Sole Survivor who watches a comrade have her throat torn out by a darkspawn emissary.
    Emissary: Have you ever experienced living flesh ground between your teeth?
    • Finally, the Codex on the Genlock has a rare case of the horror coming from humans, as it details the dissection of a genlock by a Mad Doctor who takes far too much joy in the experience.
  • Renn's recollection of the death of a fellow Legionary, Vond, is quite grisly; Vond was a former Carta knifeman, extremely skilled with daggers, apparently able to carve up darkspawn before they realised they were under attack. Unfortunately, in one fight, Vond inadvertantly swallowed darkspawn blood (which of course is highly toxic) when some of it from one of his kills hit him in the face. According to Renn, it took Vond three days to die.


  • The Deep Roads section of the DLC has a few minor chilling bits.
    • The deepstalkers now have blue glowing eyes, perhaps due to their proximity to raw lyrium. It is oddly unsettling.
    • During certain poorly-lit sections, the Qunari assassins will beckon you forward with raspy voices, then taunt you about your inability to see in the dark. It can be very unnerving, as their voices sound almost demonic.
    Ben-Hassrath: You are blind, Inquisitor.
  • The Dragon's Breath plot involved setting gaatlok bombs at palaces around southern Thedas, including Denerim and Starkhaven. King Alistair? Prince Sebastian? The Inquisitor and all their comrades at the Winter Palace? They would probably be dead if the plot hadn't been uncovered.
  • At the end of the DLC, Solas states that the Anchor will kill you before leaving through the Eluvian. Even his magic can only halt its progression so long before it kills the Inquisitor. The next scene, we see the Inquisitor before the Exalted Council, missing their left hand. Solas's final gift to the Inquisitor is to remove the Anchor rather than allow it to slowly kill them.
  • Solas's plan in general. He wanted to banish several god-like magi from the world as revenge for Mythal's murder. So, he created the Veil - which brought about a cataclysm that destroyed the ancient Elvhen empire. Now? He wants to bring about a second cataclysmic event by shattering the Veil to restore things as they were, causing an unimaginable death toll.
  • When the Anchor starts burning during one of the final arguments, none of the advisers present seem to be surprised by it. Unlike the companions, who have been mostly away during the past two years, Cullen, Josephine and Leliana do not drop a single comment, suggesting these outbursts have happened in the past. They immediately drop their argument, and the meek, sheepish tones of their voices speak volumes. Just imagine yourself in their place instead: watching your close friend slowly getting consumed by pain over two years, unable to help in any way or at least make it easier for them. They know the Inquisitor is running out of time and they're powerless to do anything about it. Counts as a Tear Jerker too, especially if the Inquisitor romanced Josephine or Cullen.
    • Not to mention the Inquisitor's outburst if you pick the "angry" dialogue option during that same scene, stunning Leliana, Cullen and Josephine into silence, especially if your Inquisitor is normally calm and diplomatic. Like with the Cole example in the main game, having someone so nice suddenly snap like that is jarring at the very least.
    • When talking to Spirit Cole in the Winter Palace, he may talk about how the mark is hurting the Inquisitor. He says that the mark pulses like a heartbeat and 'thrums like the the last verse of the song' and then apologizes. Cole knows the Inquisitor is dying and he, the spirit of compassion, whose core element is to help people's hurt, but he can't heal the Inquisitor's hurt. He can only say sorry.
    • As for the companions, a decent chunk of their party banter has them worrying over the Anchor. Especially once it reaches the point where the Inquisitor periodically cries out in pain.
  • If you urged the Iron Bull to sacrifice the Chargers back in the main game, or just never paid enough attention to him to do his quest and left him loyal to the Qun, he betrays you without a second thought or a beat of hesitation. As he does, instead of "boss", he calls you "bas" - that is, "thing" - which provides a horrible implication that it's what he really meant all along. Even if he's been having cute banter with Dorian, even if he's your lover, that wasn't important to him. Suddenly the contempt Solas has for this version of Bull in party banter is horrifyingly justified, and it's a disturbing example of what religious zealotry can produce.


Example of: