Dragon Age: Inquisition saw the Inquisitor vanquish the ancient, blighted Tevinter mage Corypheus and finally close the Fade Rifts that were threatening to consume Thedas. The game’s Trespasser DLC expanded on the base game’s ending, offering genuine closure while presenting countless questions about the nature of the world in the process. As is the case with most Dragon Age games, the next game in the series is liable to answer at least some of those big questions -- and offer major payoff on that big reveal from the end of Trespasser. That game will be Dragon Age 4, which will very likely have you tracking down one of your former allies, the traitor Solas.
BioWare has yet to announce Dragon Age 4, but for most fans the game’s development is one of the worst kept secrets in the industry. A recent interview with Sunless Sea developer Alexis Kennedy all but confirmed the company is working on another Dragon Age title. Whether that’s Dragon Age 4 or not remains to be seen, but the gears in the rumor mill have already started turning again, any many have returned to Dragon Age: Inquisition and the series’ tie-in comics to theorize about what the fourth title in the Dragon Age series might hold. In this moment, nothing is official and everything is speculation (of the rampant variety), so let’s listen to the sweet song of that red lyrium and dive into all the rumors swirling around Dragon Age 4.
20 You’re Heading To The Heart Of The Empire
The setting of Dragon Age 4 is likely the most solid information fans have about the upcoming game. The setting was teased in Dragon Age: Inquisition through the Atlus mage Dorian Pavus’ storyline, in which it is revealed that Dorian’s father recently passed away (likely by means of assassination) and that he must now take up his father’s position in the Magisterium. You get some juicy details about the Imperium and its status. If that’s not enough, the ending cutscene in the Inquisition DLC Trespasser literally stabs a dagger into the Tevinter Imperium on a world map. Much in the same way that the Legacy DLC for Dragon Age II set up Corypheus as the big bad for Inquisition, it’s widely believed that Trespasser serves a similar purpose for Dragon Age 4 – to hint at the conflict and setting that will define the next game.
19 There’s Some Bad Blood (Magic) In Tevinter
So many Dragon Age 4 rumors are based off the likelihood that the Tevinter Imperium will play a major role in the game, and there’s good reason for that. Inquisition, its Trespasser DLC and the tie-in comic Dragon Age: Knight Errant all point to the ancient empire being pivotal in the yet-announced game’s story. If that’s that case, Tevinter culture will likely be at the forefront of Dragon Age 4. From the outside, begrudging acceptance of blood magic is one of Tevinter’s most defining traits. Forbidden in much of Thedas by edict of the Chantry, blood magic has major historical ties to the history of the empire and was practiced by its many national heroes. As a result, blood magic enjoys moderate use in Tevinter, and is sure to make a major comeback in Dragon Age 4. Who knows, maybe a playable Blood Mage class will return.
18 A Cold War Will Flare Up Hot In The North
If Trespasser nailed down the Tevinter Imperium as Dragon Age 4’s next big setting, then the conflict the DLC hinted at was the war between the empire and the Qunari. After all, the DLC saw the Inquisitor stab a dagger into the Tevinter Empire on a world map, and much of the conflict in Trespasser came from Qunari agents following Viddasala, a Ben-Hassrath leader tasked with hunting down and extinguishing magic. Meanwhile, Tevinter has been at war with the Qunari for centuries–the two are like oil and water. There’s a good chance Dragon Age 4 will prompt the player take sides with either the Quanri, the philosophically-oriented culture that abhors magic, or the Tevinter, with their secretive blood magic and colonialist aspirations, much like the Inquisition was forced to choose between Templars or Mages.
17 You Can’t Hide Behind The Veil Forever
The Dragon Age series has never been one for maintaining the status quo. Since the series’ inception, BioWare has made a point of letting players be as good or evil as they desire. The world of Thedas is defined by those actions, but with Solas on the loose and the Inquisition very likely heading to Tevinter, the winds of change have picked up precipitously. Solas wants to tear down the Veil holding the Fade at bay and usher in a new golden age for the elves. While much of Inquisition’s action was centered around closing Fade Rifts, it’s entirely possible that Solas will succeed in Dragon Age 4 and unleash a completely new era of life for the denizens of Thedas. With parts of the Fade corrupted, like the Black City, that could have the side effect of dooming all life everywhere, though.
16 Dwarves Are Magic-Resistant, So Thank Dwarves
It’s looking like the Fade will play a massive role in Dragon Age 4. Solas is the Dread Wolf who wants to tear down the Veil separating the natural world from the magical world of the Fade, and who better to deal with all that hocus pocus than a naturally magically resistant Dwarf? Dwarves have never really been given their due in the Dragon Age series, despite one of the most popular characters in the franchise, Varric, being a dwarf. Much like elves, dwarves have had a hard time of things in Thedas. The Blight nearly wiped them out, forcing them to seal many Deep Roads and thaigs. With rumors surfacing that the mountainous Titans are waking and the Veil may be coming down, it’s entirely possible that the dwarves are exactly what the world needs right now.
15 The Bad Wolf Will Treat You So Good
Like any great antagonist, it’s not hard to sympathize with Solas–he’s a guy who made a mistake for which he is now trying to atone. That’s what makes him such an effective antagonist. His intentions are good, but the way he is going about it is all wrong. In short, Solas, or Fen'Harel, is an elven god who trapped away the rest of the Evanuris, the elves’ godly pantheon, after they threatened to destroy the world. In doing so, he created the Veil, the magical barrier between the natural and the magical worlds called the Fade. This effectively doomed the elves to an existence defined by slavery and mortality. Now, Solas wants to tear down the Veil, and he’ll use an army of very reasonably bitter elves to do it. Kind of makes you want to play as Solas the revolutionary, huh?
14 Do You Remember All Your Choices Along The Way?
This is perhaps the least surprising rumor. BioWare has made a point of making player choice matter ever since Mass Effect 2 allowed your save from the original Mass Effect to impact your game. The tradition has continued through much of the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises, and, unless Dragon Age 4 is a total reboot like Mass Effect Andromeda (highly unlikely), there’s no reason why your decisions from Inquisition wouldn’t carry over. Here’s a quick reminder about some of choices you might have made in the first three games: Leliana could be dead, your evil baby with an Archdemon’s soul could be running around courtesy of Morrigan, you either fell in line with the Templars or stood beside the Mages, Alistair might be a drunkard instead of king. It’s exciting to ponder how BioWare will cram all those evil, evil choices into Dragon Age 4.
13 It Might Be Time To Table The Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition understandably focused on the good works of the organization called the Inquisition run by the player character. For that reason, Dragon Age 4 is unlikely to focus too heavily on the Inquisition. Why? Well, look no further than the post-credits scene in the Trespasser DLC, in which Leliana lays out the challenges facing the Inquisition in hunting down Solas. Since Solas has spent the entire game around the Inquisitor and his or her allies, he knows everything about the organization’s inner workings, and the DLC establishes that the Dread Wolf has already seeded the Inquisition with spies. Instead, the Inquisitor says that the organization will have to look outside its own ranks for allies. Whether this means we’ll be starting off as a civilian in Tevinter or joining up with a branch of the Inquisition remains to be seen.
12 Dear Scout Harding, I Hope This Letter Finds You Well…
If the Inquisition ends up playing a major role in Dragon Age 4, there’s a good chance that Scout Harding will make a return. While the Inquisition’s lead scout only had a minor role in the third game’s main campaign, she had the curious honor of being present in the final post-credits cutscene at the end of the Trespasser DLC alongside the Inquisitor, Leliana and Cassandra. With Cullen very likely missing in action for the foreseeable future, it’s possible that the dwarf scout will step in to fill his role as the organization’s military leader. Harding was, after all, integral in planning the assault on the Hakkonite fortress towards the end of the game. If anything, her appearance in Dragon Age 4 would be a boon for Scout Harding fans. The character couldn’t be romanced in Inquisition and nothing ever came of her dancing lessons advertised at Herald’s Rest.
11 It’s Not A Great Time To Have Pointy Ears
Elves in Dragon Age have always had it hard. Once a beautiful, immortal race of magically inclined people, the elves have been in a downward spiral ever since they were sold out by their own gods, precipitating Fen'Harel’s betrayal of the elven pantheon. Now, Fen'Harel (in the form of Solas) is on the move and eager to right his wrongs, and many elves have chosen to ally with him since he has seemingly outlined a path to freedom. The result is that many elves have fled to join his forces, and those who have not are likely under suspicion. Considering that both the Tevinter Imperium and the Qunari keep elven slaves and Solas has all but declared war on those who would do the elves harm, it’s likely that playing an elf in Dragon Age 4 will be… complicated.
10 Man’s Inhumanity To Man Is Very Big Right Now
The Tevinter Imperium, which is liable to be the setting in Dragon Age 4, is known for a great many things in the franchise’s history, like their propensity for dangerous magical rituals and conquering well beyond their means. There’s also the matter of slavery. Tevinter is one of the few society’s that has not outright denounced slavery. The other major player on Thedas’ map that hasn’t abolished slavery yet? The Quanri, enemies of the Tevinter. All signs point to the two cultures playing a major role in Dragon Age 4, and considering that the elves, the race most likely to be enslaved in Dragon Age lore, are leaving in droves to follow Solas, there’s little doubt that slavery will be at the heart of the conflict in the next game, or at least highly visible.
9 Sadly, Cullen Was Likely Culled
It’s not uncommon for fans of the Dragon Age series to become enamored with certain characters. That adoration has led to numerous characters reaching recurring status throughout the series, like Morrigan and Varric Tethras’ chest hair. While Cullen Rutherford’s popularity never really reached the level of the aforementioned, he found his own respectably-sized fandom. Unfortunate for Cullen fans, there’s very little chance of the stalwart Inquisition military man making a comeback. Very, very little. Like most character outcomes in BioWare games, Cullen’s epilogue was informed by player choice. Most of those ending saw Cullen retiring from military service quietly. If you didn’t press him to drop his lyrium habit, though, Cullen becomes an addict and might have even been the victim of a mercy killing at the hands of Scout Harding. Goodnight, sweet prince.
8 The Great Open Road Is Here To Stay
Fans of the Dragon Age franchise were mixed on Inquisition, though no matter was more divisive than that of the game’s semi-open world design. Dragon Age: Origins was a top-down CRPG at its heart, while Dragon Age II went for more of an action vibe. The switch to an open world format (or, more accurately, multiple open world maps) caught some by surprise. Whether you loved or hated the discrete zones, the format is very likely here to stay. While BioWare Executive Aaryn Flynn said in 2015 that Inquisition would not serve as a template for the game that eventually became Mass Effect: Andromeda, time has told another story. Andromeda’s structure bears a striking resemblance to that of Inquisition’s, and Anthem, from what little has been shown, also appears to be an open world affair. It would be quite a surprise if BioWare were to suddenly change course.
7 They’re Putting The Dragon Back In Dragon Age
Being the oldest existing human country in Thedas, the Tevinter Imperium boasts a long and storied history. Deep in its ancient history lies the story about how humankind turned away from their creator, the Maker, in favor of the Old Gods. These gods took on the shape of dragons, and as a result the Tevinter came to revere dragons. It is even thought that at one point the Tevinter held the power to control demons and dragons alike, often siccing them on their enemies. The Tevinter people built shrines to honor dragons, and for good reason. It’s said that magic was first gifted to humanity by an Old God named Dumat. Dragons have always been some of the most challenging enemies in the Dragon Age series, so it would stand to reason that, in heading to the land in which they are so worshipped, the great beasts will enjoy renewed attention.
6 Inquisition, Meet The Blade Of The Faith
This rumor comes from Reddit user eravas. The theory goes like this: One of the Chants of Light that can be found in the series details a prophecy that was supposedly recorded by an emperor named Dakon. The prophecy talks about the return of the Maker, the fall of the Veil, the waking of the Titans and the resulting chaos. Andraste, the major religious figure who delivers this prophecy to Drakon, encourages him to “look upon the Light so you may lead others here through the darkness, Blade of the Faith!" With the Inquisition likely under the command of the Chantry (depending on your choices), it’s possible that the player character in Dragon Age 4 will adopt the role of the Blade of the Faith. Much of the prophecy is already taking shape; Solas is preparing to tear down the Veil and the Titan in the Descent DLC is seemingly conscious.
5 Dragon Age 4 Might Not Be Dragon Age 4
The latest rumor to bubble up in lieu of concrete Dragon Age 4 news posits that the next game in the series might not be a proper, numbered Dragon Age game, but rather a spin-off game of some sort. That rumor comes courtesy of a tweet from Mike Laidlaw, the series’ own senior creative director.
There is a "Dragon Age" project happening. It is not confirmed as the fourth main game in the series. Many sites have run with the rumor. https://t.co/IVt67dFmYJ— Mike Laidlaw (@Mike_Laidlaw) September 7, 2017
It’s uncommon for a developer to release two games from the same franchise in a short span of time... unless that series has been annualized and has numerous studios working simultaneously on different entries (see: Call of Duty and, until recently, Assassin’s Creed). Instead, it’s possible that a smaller Dragon Age game is in the works. Recent trends suggest that game may be a card game or casual mobile app, like how Artifact will exist in the DOTA 2 universe and Fallout Shelter is a massively popular Vault management simulator.
4 Red Lyrium Could Be The Game’s Life Blood
Red lyrium has been at the heart of many conflicts in the Dragon Age series, and that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon. The murderous mineral played a key role in Corypheus’ plans in Inquisition, and the recent Dragon Age: Knight Errant comic puts a note about red lyrium at the forefront. The comic takes place sometime after Trespasser, which means that the protagonist of the comic, a thief named Vaea, is on route to the Inquisition with new information about red lyrium. Combine that with the revelations about lyrium and Titans from the Descent DLC (red lyrium is lyrium corrupted by the Blight, and lyrium is the blood of subterranean, slumbering Titans) and Solas’ quest in Dragon Age 4 becomes a little clearer. If Solas wants to tear down the Veil, red lyrium, with its Veil-thinning properties, might be the fastest way.
3 Time For A History Lesson On The Black City
Any deep dive into Dragon Age lore typically returns one name, again and again: Tevinter. No matter how far you try to get away from it, the ancient machinations of the Tevinter Imperium have reverberations even in the Dragon Age. Such is the case with the Black City, which was once called the Golden City and supposedly the home of the omnipotent Maker. That is, until mages from Tevinter conducted a vast and grisly ritual that allowed them to step foot in the Golden City. This supposedly tainted the city’s purity and rendered it black, ushering in all sorts of horrors like the Blights and their Archdemons. With Dragon Age 4 likely heading to Tevinter and the previous game’s antagonist being one of those trespassing mages, it’s possible even more information about the imposing city will be revealed. Perhaps we’ll even be able to walk in Corypheus’ footsteps.
2 The Evanuris Will Have A Breakout Role
The fate of the Evanuris, the elven godly pantheon, was thoroughly explained by Solas in Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Trespasser DLC. If the Dread Wolf is to be believed, the creatures known as gods were not actually omnipotent beings, but rather mage-generals of immense power who were first considered heroes and later gods. Those supposed gods then went corrupt and enslaved their own people, as evil rulers are wont to do. Fen'Harel created the Veil and sealed the Evanuris away in the Fade. Now, years later, Solas wants to atone for his mistake’s side effects and tear down the Veil. There’s no guarantee that this action will unleash the imprisoned Evanuris, but the likelihood is real. If the elven pantheon is as powerful and crass as Solas claims, there’s very little chance they’ll be excited to see their jailer or his former allies.
1 Varric (And His Chest Hair) Will Get Into Politics
The Dragon Age: Knight Errant comic book recently concluded its five-issue run. The series follows elven thief Vaea as she arrives in the city of Kirkwall just in time to see its new viscount appointed. That viscount’s name? Varric Tethras. While it’s dicey to say that Varric’s role in Dragon Age 4 will be purely political (he and his crossbow are fan favorites after all), that’s certainly the way other character’s stories have gone. Alistair, for example, was a party member from Dragon Age: Origins who canonically went on to become king. That “canonically” is the sticking point, though. Because Dragon Age games are defined by player choice, who knows what Varric will be up to in your game. If your game lines up with the that of the Dark Horse Comics series, though, Varric might just be aiding you via the Kirkwall connection.