Dragon Age 4 will likely see the return of some famous factions from the franchise’s past. Players can expect appearances from the Grey Wardens, the Chantry, the remnants of the Circle of Magi and the Templars, and the Qunari of Par Vollen.
However, there are also some groups which will likely make their debut in Dragon Age 4. With the next game set in Tevinter, as the Dread Wolf plots to bring down the Veil between Thedas and the Fade, here are some of the new factions which will likely appear in the upcoming game.
At the end of Dragon Age: Inquisition it is revealed that companion Solas is in fact the legendary Dread Wolf. According to the Dalish Elves, the Dread Wolf was one of the ancient gods of the Elven empire. However, he betrayed the other gods, and now has a reputation as a trickster and a traitor among most of the Dalish clans.
It is also revealed that this account is not actually true. None of the Elven “gods” were gods at all, but were in fact very powerful mages who began to be worshipped as such. When the Elven gods began taking slaves and killed one of their own, Mythal, Solas led a rebellion against them. This gained him the name “the Dread Wolf,” and the rebellion ended when he trapped the other Elven gods in the Fade by erecting the Veil. By cutting the Elves off from much of their magic, however, he also inadvertently caused the downfall of their empire when the Tevinter Imperium rose to prominence. Solas himself expresses embarrassment about his reputation among the Dalish.
Not all of the Dalish clans think of the Dread Wolf as an adversary, however. The Elves have a legend about a Dalish clan which lives in the Silent Plains, an area in the south of the Tevinter Imperium. This clan’s keeper was said to have been contacted by the Dread Wolf in their dreams, back when Solas found himself wandering the Fade before his return in Inquisition. These Elves could be the core of Solas’ army in Tevinter, giving him the kind of guerilla force he’ll need to pose a substantial threat to the Imperium.
The term “Qunari” doesn’t just refer to the race of horned, silver-skinned giants who live on the island of Par Vollen. A Qunari is anyone who follows the creed of the Qun, which includes humans, Dwarves, and Elves who convert. These Qunari of other races are also known as the Viddathari. During the Qunari Wars, the invaders subjected many people of all races across Thedas to conversion. If they refused, they were given a powerful poison called Qamek, which turned them into mindless slaves fit only for physical labor.
Not all Viddathari were forced converts, however. Tevinter still practices slavery, and many of the Imperium’s slaves willingly converted to the Qun when the Qunari occupied the nation over much of the Steel Age and the Storm Age. Par Vollen itself used to have human inhabitants, as well as a native race known as the Fex. It’s unlikely that the Qunari simply eliminated them — many likely converted.
With Dragon Age 4 taking place in Tevinter, the Viddathari could have a fascinating role to play in the Imperium’s society. Though the Qunari invasion was brutal, for many Viddathari the occupation also represented their only hope at liberation. The Imperium’s slave masters likely fear the Qunari creed spreading throughout the nation’s slave populations. The perspective of the game’s Viddathari characters could be among the most complex seen in Dragon Age so far.
The Tevinter Imperium has one well-known major difference between its government and those found in the other nations of Thedas. While places like Ferelden take Andraste’s commandment, that magic was meant to serve man and not to rule over him, as a blanket ban on mages in government, the Imperial Chantry has the opposite interpretation. In Tevinter, the commandment is taken as a call for responsible governance by mages. These magical ministers are known as Magisters.
In Dragon Age: Inquisition‘s Trespasser DLC Dorian Pavus mentions that he has returned to Tevinter and become a Magister. He also says that he is trying to implement some reforms with the help of some like-minded Magisters, but is facing opposition from the more conservative forces within the Tevinter government. It seems very likely that Dragon Age 4 will see the return of Dorian, and by extension, his reformist Magisters. The possibility of change in Tevinter, such as the abolition of slavery, may make some of the game’s toughest decisions even more difficult.
The Executors are a shadowy faction who represent “those across the sea.” What exactly is meant by this remains unknown. Varric believes the Executors have operated in Thedas throughout history and were responsible for the murder of Antiva’s Queen Madrigal at the end of the Exalted Age. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, they leave markings on almost all Inquisition outposts, and if they are not investigated will cause several Inquisition outposts on the border with Nevarra to be found abandoned. The Executors will then send a letter to the Inquisitor telling them not to be concerned for missing men, and claiming that these Inquisition’s agents left to serve a higher cause.
In Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, an agent of the Executors is present at a meeting of Thedas’ greatest spies. They are hooded, and their voice is said to sound both ageless and without clear gender. They are paralyzed by Solas before anything more can be revealed, but this makes it seem very likely that the Executors will have a role to play in Dragon Age 4. What exactly that role will be, their ultimate goals, and the powers they represent, remain unknown for now.
Dragon Age 4 is in development.