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Fictional Dragon Age dwarf publishes actual real novel

Dwarven novels tend to be short reads

Varric Tethras, co-star of both Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition, was never your usual swords & sorcery dwarf. Clean-shaven, bare-chested, playfully roguish and broadly disinterested in the usual Dwarven concerns of mining and industry.

Beyond his core defining 'sexy dwarf' trait, he also had one other notable quirk: He was an author, and throughout Dragon Age: Inquisition, you could find excerpts from his noir thriller, Hard in Hightown. Originally a running joke, the book is now set to be published for real, 'co-written' by BioWare wordsmith Mary Kirby.

Hard In Hightown isn't due out until the end of July, sadly. Despite the title making it sound like a steamy novel for less morally pure sorts, it's a gritty crime thriller set in Varric's old haunt of Kirkwall (the city that many players got intimately familiar with in Dragon Age 2), telling the story of a hard-boiled town guardsman, his green-as-grass rookie partner, and their mission to get to the bottom of a sinister assassination plot.

Apparently Varric has taken the advice of 'write what you know' to heart, and has given all of his friends from Dragon Age 2 roles in the novel. I'm hedging my bets and guessing that DA2 protagonist Hawke won't be too much of a focus, on account of their variable gender and identity making them too much of a loose canon, even for a pulp adventure novel like this. Still, you can be pretty sure that a bunch of people are getting shivved in the book, at least according to very Welsh Elven lass Merrill who offers a cover blurb quote.


It's great to see that Bioware are still throwing the occasional bone to the Dragon Age fanbase, even as the majority of the studio's attention seems to be on Iron Man Does Destiny (or Anthem, to use its colloquial name). Looking back, it's hard to believe that Dragon Age: Inquisition came out all the way back in late 2014, so having an in-jokey tie-in book published three and a half years later feels like an odd decision, but it's a reassuring one nonetheless.

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Dominic Tarason