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Dragon Age: The Ferelden Scrolls #5 - Politics

Sympathy for the devil-summoner

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Continuing a Dragon Age: Inquisition diary. Pretty heavy spoilers in this one, probably.

It’s not easy, being a member of a magical class that most of the world is convinced will destroy it. It’s also not easy being a member of a race who like demons and have, in the eyes of some, a culture of religious oppression. This place doesn’t trust mages and it doesn’t trust Qunari, but its only known hope that the evil spirits invading from the sky can be stopped rests on my Qunari mage shoulders. As such, I get asked for my opinion, and my decision, rather a lot.
The politics of Thedas are dense, and steeped in conflicts that span generations. In a nutshell, these are the major issues, and for most of those involved they’re a bigger deal than the fact there’s a massive hole in the sky chucking out murderous ghosts.

The Mages are hunted by the Templars, who used to be the strong arm of The Chantry (the church, basically) but lately they’ve become extremists so there’s another fight on there.

The South (grim, keeps getting invaded by otherworldly horrors) and the North (posh, into slavery) don’t see eye to eye.

Humans are rude to Elves, particularly about their ears.

Everyone distrusts Qunari.

The Qunari distrust non-religious Qunari.

There are mages who are allowed to do their thing wherever, and they don’t like the mages who aren’t allowed to do their thing wherever.

Somehow I’m supposed to fix all of this. Word has it that two guys already fixed it all a couple of times in the past, but clearly it didn’t take. Funny how intrinsic tribalism and prejudice can’t be solved with the click of someone’s fingers, eh?

My hands are tied, to a degree, in that I’m a mage and a Qunari, so while I do have the option of dicking those factions over, my sympathies inevitably lie with them to some degree. Even so, I can’t get my head around anyone thinking getting into bed with the Templars was the right thing to do. Sure, they’re concerned that unfettered Blood Magic will result in human sacrifice demons all over the place, but did they have to be quite so genocidal about it? It seems to me that if you side with the mages, you’re basically running the risk of something terrible happening because of a few rogue elements. If you side with the Templars, you’re basically guaranteeing that something terrible will happen – i.e. anyone in a robe winds up in a mass grave somewhere.

But I’ll never know if the Templars could have been talked into moderation. The final straw was when one of their leaders thumped an old lady from The Chantry in order to demonstrate that the Templars were no longer behold to the church. Listen, man, I am all in favour of church/state separation, but when you’re doing stuff that even Richard Dawkins would blanch at, I’m not joining your club. Instead, when offered a critical choice between recruiting either the mages or the Templars to the ranks of the Inquistion, I went with the mages.

Everything went to hell, basically. Sera was pissed with me. Cassandra was pissed with me. Newbies Vivienne and Dorian were pissed with me, despite both being mages (because they’re the sort of mage who thinks they’re better than other mages). The Iron Bull – bully! – was pissed with me. No-one’s left yet, but I’m going to have to tread very carefully. Moustachioed preener Dorian needs to be flattered. Vivienne wants to hear that there’ll be control. Sera needs to know that I don’t think lulz=trolling. Bully hasn’t got anything new to say to me yet, but at a guess he wants to hear that I’m cool with his having been forcibly raised in a religion that forbids a whole mess of stuff. I can’t be bothered to find out what Cassandra wants, as she’ll only look grumpy whatever I do.

Only Solas, pocket-sized, facially disturbing ghost-whisperer that he is, is on board with choice to not just bring the mages onboard, but let them have the run of Inquisition HQ rather than be our prisoners. Solas Slightly Approves of almost everything I do or say, so long as I at least seem to have thought about it, but for this one, shining, golden moment, Solas Approves. Thanks, shellhead. I really appreciate that. But this doesn’t mean I have to look at your terrifying face, alright?

Oh, I forgot to mention. I had to go time-travelling to the future and witness the apocalypse in order to bring the mages onboard. There was red everywhere, pretty much everyone was dead and Leilana looked all old and was really, really angry. Otherwise, seemed pretty similar. Dungeons and looting and bad men with swords and all that. Anyway, back to normal now. That’s what we heroes do, so stop blooding questioning my every decision. Sera, Bully, Dorian and Vivienne, I’m looking at you. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the intense, fate-deciding political decisions that I brought you along to even though I didn’t have to.

I do have just one regret about siding with the mages. This guy’s now hanging around the Inquisition camp:

Aaaah get it off me get it off me get it off me. Jesus, man, you’re worse than Solas. What is it with Elven mages around here?

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