An arcane horror is created when a pride demon takes control of a mage corpse. Although they appear to be little more than bones, these are fierce creatures, possessing not only all the spellcasting abilities of a living mage, but also the capacity to heal and even command other animated corpses.
- 1 Background
- 2 Dragon Age: Origins
- 3 Dragon Age II
- 4 Dragon Age: Inquisition
- 5 Codex entries
- 6 Notes
- 7 Gallery
- 8 References
"Upon ascending to the second floor of the tower, we were greeted by a gruesome sight: a ragged collection of bones wearing the robes of one of the senior enchanters. I had known her for years, watched her raise countless apprentices, and now she was a mere puppet for some demon."
Demons, of course, have no form in our world. When they enter, either where the Veil is particularly thin or through blood magic summoning, they must take possession of a body. When a pride demon takes control of the corpse of a mage, an arcane horror is born. Although they appear to be little more than bones, these are fierce creatures, possessing not only all the spellcasting abilities of a living mage, but also the capacity to heal and even command other animated corpses.
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Awakening
Dragon Age: The Golems of Amgarrak
- Amgarrak Thaig - four Twisted Sentinels are encountered in the blue Fade demension during the main quest Harvest of Amgarrak
Abilities & Skills
Arcane horrors have three types and one unique boss, and like party members have conditions for Combat Tactics:
Balance Nuker Support
Arcane horrors are easily killed, but have very high damage output. When they are immediately attacked, they are easily dispatched, but left alone they will devastate a party. It is a good idea to ignore other enemies and attack the arcane horror first.
In a party with ranged attacks, it's possible to kill the demon without it even damaging the party. In a party with a mage, using spells that drain mana like Mana Cleanse, Mana Clash, or Mana Drain can severely inhibit the arcane horror, especially when used in the improved drain Spell Combo.
When fighting the arcane horror in the Werewolf Lair, it is easy to kill it swiftly if you can get all party members a ranged weapon (either a bow or a staff), and keep them on the stairs above the arcane horror. Make sure to have hold position on however.
- All four party members must stay near the door.
- Send one of them, an animated dead, or a summoned wolf near arcane horror and immediately run with it to the party. The arcane horror will attack that party member with spells like paralyze, weakness, or etc., and a horde of undead will follow.
- After killing the undead, the arcane horror changes his position and you can target him from the stairs.
- Kill off the minions around the horror.
- Select the whole party and then move them toward the stairs; sometimes the Arcane Horror will follow you there.
- Once it is out of position, the arcane horror is unable to teleport, making it an easy target.
- Arcane Horrors have an area-of-effect ability called Drain which drains health from nearby foes. This ability is supposed to have a cooldown of 30 seconds, but this cooldown is never set. This is because this ability has a projectile assigned to it, but it is also a self-targeting ability. Abilities with projectiles have their cooldown set when the projectiles are released, but a self-targeting ability never releases the projectile. Due to this, Arcane Horrors in the game can cast Drain repeatedly in quick succession.
Dragon Age II
- Fenris's Mansion - (Danarius's Manor, Hightown), Bait and Switch Act 1
- Sundermount - guarding the altar, Long Way Home Act 1; spawns on the way down the mountain from the summit in Act 2
- Ruined Passage - Magistrate's Orders Act 1
- Harimann Estate - Underground Passage, Repentance Act 2
- Abandoned Thaig / Hidden Dungeon - Forbidden Knowledge Act 2
- Varterral Hunting Ground/Mountain Cave - Frost horror variation, Mirror Image Act 2
- Hunting Grounds - West - Sky horror variation, the Cult of the Sky in Mark of the Assassin DLC.
Abilities & Skills
- Spirit Shield
- Spirit Bolt
- Cold: Very weak
- Electricity: Very weak
- Fire: Normal
- Nature: Very weak
- Spirit: Normal, or immune on Nightmare mode
In Dragon Age II, the arcane horror is every bit as dangerous, if not more.
On the attack, it has three spells with short cooldowns. Against characters who are clustered together, it will use an area of effect spell that damages and stuns everyone. On Hard and Nightmare it deals enough damage to kill even tanks at over 95% magic resistance in a single cast, making killing the arcane horror a priority. Since you are stunned you don't get the chance to move out of the area, so it is advised to keep your party spread out so that it can not kill more than person at once.
If melee attackers are sent against it, the arcane horror will launch a spell that emits a very bright blue light and does massive spirit damage that can easily take down a tank in mere seconds. Unless your characters have heavy spirit resistance such as that afforded by a Rune of Spirit Warding, they should use this opportunity to flee. One positive side effect of this is that while this counter-melee spell is active, the arcane horror is immobilized so ranged characters can get some free shots at it. This spell can be cancelled by casting Dispel Magic on the arcane horror.
Lastly, it will sometimes use a knockback spell that sends a member of your team (typically a mage) flying, but does very little damage. Fortunately, all three spells require two or three seconds to activate: this is represented visually by the arcane horror spinning its arms. This gives the player a very short but crucial window to interrupt its spellcasting using certain abilities and spells, e.g. Winter Grasp or Pinning Shot.
If you play as a mage, one simple tactic is to have a party of Varric, Merrill and Fenris. Lock the party's position at the bend below the clearing where the arcane horror waits. Select Fenris and run up the path to lure the arcane horror to the upper bend and then run back down. Your party will automatically attack. The arcane horror will then teleport back to its original position. Lure it again and auto attack. When the shades appear, lure them and attack them as they move down the path.
Lure the arcane horror as many times as needed, though 3-4 times should be enough before it dies. If done right, no party member will die, or even need healing.
- Frost Horror
- Sky Horror
Dragon Age: Inquisition
- Abandoned Chateau (The Crossroads)
- Bastion of the Pure (Deep Roads)
- Chateau d'Onterre (Emerald Graves)
- Exalted Plains (Eastern Ramparts, Western Ramparts, Citadelle du Corbeau, The Dead Hand)
- Lost Temple of Dirthamen
- Solasan (Forbidden Oasis)
Abilities & Skills
- Cold resistance
- Fire vulnerability
- Spirit vulnerability
- Immunity: Fear, Asleep
- Immunity: Paralyzed
- Immunity: Physical Effects
- Immunity: Poisoned
The Arcane Horror's most dangerous ability is its barrage of spiraling, green spirit energy. A full volley of this can easily kill a non-tank party member; Spirit Resistance Potions will help protect the character. Evading it is often difficult, but possible. The horror will also teleport itself frequently.
- In Dragon Age: The Masked Empire a form of arcane horror is encountered called an era'harel, an elven demon-mage.
A Dragon Age II Arcane Horror
A Dragon Age II Arcane Horror casting a spell
An Arcane Horror in Heroes of Dragon Age
An Arcane Horror in Dragon Age: Inquisition