The Fade is the spirit world in Dragon Age, the place people go to when they dream. Mages draw power from the Fade in order to use magic, attracting the attention of demons. Trespasser reveals that the Dread Wolf created the Veil, and plans to destroy it. This would merge the Fade and Thedas, bringing back the ancient world at the cost of the modern one.
The Fade has been a complex and confusing realm since the days of Dragon Age: Origins, with much of the lore and world building centered on it. Though the Fade itself is shifting and always in motion, the facts about it have remained consistent, with much of the lore across Thedas enriching the landscape of the Fade. Some of those facts are the very reason the Dread Wolf wishes to remove the Veil completely.
10 Connection To The Ancient Elves
The Ancient Elven city of Arlathan was a wonder beyond description. Its inhabitants lived forever, and spirits existed peacefully alongside the elves. Trespasser shows a fragment of this world through the Vir Dirthara, a collection of information gathered by the elves.
Unfortunately, much of Arlathan relied on the presence of magic. Vir Dirthara and much of Arlathan shattered when the Veil appeared and separated the magical from the mundane. The removal of the Veil and the return of the Fade would restore much of what was lost, though some would argue that the price is too high.
9 The Nature of the Fade
The Veil brings forth images of the Fade being like a curtain, but writings found across Dragon Age disprove this idea. Rather, the Veil is like a magical vibration that keeps the Fade separate from the material world.
The Fade is primarily occupied by spirits which embody traits mortals express; traits that the spirits admire. As a dream world, the spirits also shape the Fade to appear as they wish. This makes travel in the Fade particularly dangerous.
8 What Cole’s Character Means For The Lore
Cole is unique as a character and spirit in Dragon Age. He manifests as a young man, but is actually a spirit of compassion who took the form of a human mage he could not save.
Cole’s journey as a spirit who can possibly become a human has staggering implications for Dragon Age‘s lore. His transformation could explain the origins of the Evanuris and the Dread Wolf. Regardless, Cole’s journey shows the realm of possibilities spirits offer Thedas. Cole’s journey may have been more common before the Veil existed, and gives proof that it is possible to form relationships and bonds with spirits.
7 The Mysteries Of The Black City
The Black City lies at the heart of the Fade, and is always visible. The Chant of Light claims it was once the Golden City, turned black by the entry of the mortal magisters, which began the Blight. Corypheus, however, claims the City was already black when the magisters entered.
That the City was already corrupted when the magisters arrived implies the Blight originated first from the City. What lies inside the City is currently unknown, but its menacing silhouette remains a constant feature and sometimes goal of the denizens of Thedas and the Fade.
6 Origin Of The Blight
At a first glance, the Blight doesn’t have any obvious connections to the Fade. This is mentioned as early as Ostagar in Origins, where Wynne speaks of the connection between the Fade and the darkspawn. A further connection is the possibility of the Blight being held in the Black City, and was unleashed from the Fade when the magisters invaded.
The Blight may have originated even earlier. Codex entries concerning Andruil speak of her hunting in the Void, and cloaking herself in armor made from the Void. Her lands became diseased and her people sickened. Only when Mythal intervened did Andruil’s spread of the Void cease. It is possible that Solas isolated and quarantined the Blight when he created the Veil.
5 The Old Gods and the Evanuris
The Old Gods are dragons locked in underground prisons. They were worshipped by Ancient Tevinter. It was because of their whisperings, particularly those of Dumat, the god of Silence, that the magisters entered the Fade physically to enter the Golden City. This unleashed the Blight upon Thedas.
Fans can’t ignore the Old Gods’ connection to the Evanuris. The number of Old Gods originally imprisoned matches the number of Evanuris imprisoned. Solas also has a very strong reaction to the Grey Wardens’ plan to kill the Old Gods, rejecting it outright and showing greater distress about the plan than the army of demons. He suggests that killing the Old Gods may make things worse. More information is needed for any theories, but the Old Gods and their connection to the ancient elves and the Fade cannot be ignored.
4 Demons and Spirits
Demons and spirits are the primary occupants of the Fade. Solas reveals mortals can corrupt these spirits, which turns them into demons. The Veil creates a divide between spirits and Thedas. This creates the unintended result that many in Thedas who encounter spirits inadvertently turn them into demons, encounters which breed fear and superstition about spirits.
Solas describes a situation where spirits are a natural part of the world. The Inquisitor can ask if there is a way to bridge way to understanding between spirits and mortals, and Solas gives an answer that is most telling in hindsight: “Not in the world we know today. The Veil creates a barrier that makes true understanding most unlikely.”
3 The Veil’s Connection To Death
The Dalish have legends of their immortality before the arrival of humans caused their lives to shorten. Solas disputes this, and claims responsibility for causing the loss of the elves’ immortality. Once he had created the Veil and separated the Fade from Thedas, the sudden loss of magic and spirits shortened the lives of the surviving elves.
The removal of the Veil would presumably bring back that immortality, albeit at the possibly cost of everyone else in Thedas. Solas’s guilt lies in essentially creating the concept of death: if he does nothing, countless people will continue to die as a direct result of his actions, forever; where future generations would live if the Veil were destroyed.
2 The Evanuris’ True Nature
The Evanuris are the elven pantheon that ruled over Thedas before the creation of the Veil. While the Dalish remember them as benevolent deities, their true nature is revealed through Solas. Even if Solas’s word isn’t believed, many writings found in ancient elven ruins describe the Evanuris as sinister overlords. One ruin in particular chronicles the horrors of Ghilan’nain, the Mother of Halla, in a mosaic, showing her pushing disease into elves to create monsters.
Solas created the Veil to seal away the Evanuris, in response to their crimes. Destroying the Veil would free the Evanuris, a consequence which Solas claims he has “plans” for.
1 Mages and Magic
The biggest problem in Thedas remains the treatment of mages. Mages are undeniably dangerous. A single abomination can wipe out entire villages. The pendulum swung too far, however, and the various institutions of Thedas enforce various restrictions on mages which often infringe on their rights as people. Examples include abuse by Templars and the Qunari sewing the mouths of their mages shut.
This problem only exists because of the Veil, which creates the fear of spirits, and the desire of demons to enter Thedas. Solas removing the Veil would forever put an end to this misunderstanding, while magic would become a part of the natural world, rather than be something to be feared.