Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights is an anthology of short stories set in the Dragon Age universe. It was published by Tor Books on March 10, 2020.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Ancient horrors. Marauding invaders. Powerful mages. And a world that refuses to stay fixed.
Welcome to Thedas.
From the stoic Grey Wardens to the otherworldly Mortalitasi necromancers, from the proud Dalish elves to the underhanded Antivan Crow assassins, Dragon Age is filled with monsters, magic, and memorable characters making their way through dangerous world whose only constant is change.
Tevinter Nights brings you fifteen tales of adventure, featuring faces new and old.
- Three Trees to Midnight by Patrick Weekes
After the Qunari take Ventus, male prisoners are put to work chopping wood on the outskirts of Arlathan Forest, under the guard of Bas-taar of the Antaam. Myrion, a human, and Strife, an elf, are shackled together at the ankle as a work pair. While their relationship starts antagonistic, they are quickly forced to work together to escape. Strife is a city elf turned Dalish, trying to retrieve Qunari plans stolen from Ventus by another member of his clan; Myrion is a mage, which puts them both at risk of being lobotomized with qamek.
As they run deeper into the forest, still shackled, they are pursued by Bas-taar, the Huntmaster and a dozen other Qunari. Irelin, a shapeshifter Dalish mage from Strife's clan offers her help, but Strife tells her to warn the clans that the Qunari are moving into Rivain. She promises to return by midnight.
Myrion's use of magic wakes a forest guardian, which kills several Qunari and buys them time, but Strife is wounded by the Huntsmaster and they are eventually caught. Irelin returns just in time to help them fight, and Myrion and Strife work together to kill Bas-taar. After Bas-taar is killed, the Huntsmaster reveals that he's actually Saarbrak of the Ben-Hassrath, sent to investigate reports that that the Antaam hadn't acted in accordance with the Qun in Ventus. He takes command and pulls the remaining Qunari back. After removing their shackles, Strife invites Myrion to go back to the clan with him and Irelin.
- Down Among the Dead Men by Sylvia Feketekuty
After Lord Penrick Karn's funeral procession is interrupted by his corpse's premature possession and escape, Audric Felhausen, a Nevarra City guardsman who was attacked during the funeral, is summoned by the Mortalitasi to help with their investigation. After Audric and Myrna, a Mourn Watcher, find out that Karn died in a mutually fatal duel with Duke Janus Van Markham, they head to the latter's tomb in the Grand Necropolis. Karn, possessed by a pride demon, forces them deeper into the lower reaches of the Necropolis, where the halls and chambers are not always in the same place at the same time.
Down in the Necropolis, Audric learns that he's actually a spirit, the "real" Audric having died of the wounds sustained during the funeral. Myrna brought him to confront Karn, to help him find balance between anger and curiosity. When they find Karn again, Audric challenges him to a duel for killing him. Myrna destroys Karn when he breaks the rules of the duel. Back in the Mortalitasi's study, Myrna offers Audric the choice to work under the auspices of a Watcher. He accepts working under Myrna and is given charge of the library.
In a Nevarran forest, Wardens Ramesh and Lesha are on a rescue mission for Warden Jovis, a close personal friend of Ramesh, and the rest of his mining expedition. After finding a raving survivor, who later chews through her own wrists, her body filled with a grayish fluid that reeks of brine, Ramesh and Lesha eventually discover an entrance to the Deep Roads, the name Hormak in dwarven runes above the entrance. They are attacked by grossly mutated darkspawn, such as an emissary with bat wings. Despite the other Wardens' warning not to follow, Ramesh and Lesha go further into the Deep Roads.
The deeper ruins look exclusively elven. One image, repeated several times, depicts a supplicant, a priestess/queen, and a monster. Another shows elven kings and queens holding court in front of kneeling supplicants. Striations on columns form patterns of the horns of a halla. In one chamber, they find a pool of viscous gray fluid, above which is suspended a massive yellow-green lyrium crystal. An enormous centipede emerges, the body of Warden Jovis as its head.
Jovis retains just enough consciousness to tell Ramesh that unlike darkspawn, who only need to touch the liquid, people need to drink it to be changed. He also tells him to destroy the pool chamber, that they can't let "her" have it again. Lesha sacrifices herself to collapse the ruins and give Ramesh the chance to warn the other Wardens, as this place was only one of twelve depicted in the murals.
- Callback by Lukas Kristjanson
Sutherland, Voth, and Shayd are sent to investigate Skyhold, preserved but defanged following the Exalted Council, after its caretakers sent a message about restoring the fresco then went silent. Sutherland suspects that his company has been sent because they are small enough to disappear. Their failure would give officials license to permanently erase the Inquisition's legacy.
They find one of the caretakers gutted, nailed to the stable by his own hand. The rest have been dismembered, their body parts hanging from the rookery's cages. The culprit quickly manifests: a demon of Regret, his body formed out of the plaster of Solas' murals to the Inquisitor. The demon has multiple eyes and looks like a wolf that has absorbed a dragon. It claims to be the regret of a god. It neutralizes Voth and Shayd through their regrets, but Sutherland is unaffected because he has none when it comes to the Inquisition. Backup arrives as planned: Rat, his squire, but also Dagna, Harritt, Morris, Cabot, and Elan Ve'mal, people loyal enough to be quiet, small enough to go missing. With his friends' trust in him, Sutherland lures the demon, saying that he regrets acting alone, using his friends, and the present moment, just like the demon itself. Then the rest of Sutherland's company attack and send it back to the Fade.
With Skyhold safe once again, Divine Victoria writes a proclamation, commending those who have served the Inquisition, but telling them to attempt no travel to Skyhold, and instead let the past guide them to a new direction.
- Luck in the Gardens by Sylvia Feketekuty
After they are caught eavesdropping on a secret magister card game to learn more information on a new mysterious monster, Dorian Pavus hires them to hunt it down. The monster has been dubbed the Cekorax because it beheaded all of its victims. Thanks to Mizzy, a young girl who witnessed one of the attacks, Hollix finds the Cekorax in the sewers. It's a massive tentacled monster speaking in the many voices of its victims, urging Hollix to join them inside. Although this encounter initially prompts Hollix to abandon the hunt, seeing Mizzy again inspires them to kill the monster for her sake.
Hollix, Dorian, Maevaris Tilani and Mizzy lure the Cekorax in the gardens of the city. It peels open at the top to reveal a ring of dozens of eyeless heads, which it calls a "crown of the blind." Together, the group kills the monster, which only leaves behind a sort of skin. Dorian is no closer to understanding what that monster was, though he recalls that a Mortalitasi once told him of things "past the Veil of our world, neither demon nor spirit."
- Hunger by Brianne Battye
While answering Weisshaupt's summons for available Wardens, Evka Ivo and Antoine stumble on the supposedly cursed village of Eichweill in the Anderfels. The town has been suffering from a spate of disappearances. Mina Bauer, the sister of the latest victim, asks the Wardens for help. Antoine, a newly made Warden who believes in the Order's heroism, accepts immediately.
The Wardens' investigation uncovers the truth: Renke, a noble's son who was ran out of town for poisoning a Chantry brother, starved in the woods and attracted a demon of Hunger. He turned into a werewolf and has been infecting villagers like Willem, Mina's brother, as payback. As killing the source of the curse is said to end it, Antoine and Evka hunt Renke down. Antoine is bitten before they kill the werewolf, but with the source of the curse dead, they continue on to Weisshaupt, believing Willem and Antoine cured, the village safe.
The demon has not been destroyed however, only banished, lying in wait for an opening from its victim.
- Murder by Death Mages by Caitlin Sullivan Kelly
Cassandra Pentaghast sends Sidony, agent of the Inquisition, on a mission to end a Mortalitasi plot to assassinate a member of Nevarra's unstable line of succession. On her return to Nevarra City, Sidony discovers that her former mentor, Lord Henrik, and the man who tipped the Inquisition of the plot, has been murdered. She seeks out another Mortalitasi, Antonia, a friend of Henrik's Sidony met as a child. Antonia tells her to head to a party hosted by Nicolas Reinhardt.
At the party, Sidony meets with Cyrros, an elf who's become accepted among the old Nevarran elite by knowing everyone's darkest secrets. Cyrros tells her that the Mortalitasi have already killed four nobles in the past week, the deaths passed off as accidents. Another noble is found dead moments later in the estate.
The next day, Cyrros and Sidony work together to find the assassin. Instead, they find the body of Cyrros' patron, Reinhardt's wife. Nicolas finds them over her body and believes that they killed her. He reveals that he hired the elf to murder his political rivals, then pin the murders on the Mortalitasi to bring them down. Cyrros and Reinhardt are both killed in the ensuing confrontation.
At Henrik's funeral, Sidony encounters Antonia again, and learns that Antonia is the one who killed Henrik and Reinhardt's wife, and used her to expose the corruption of Nevarra's nobility to strengthen the Mortalitasi. Sidony later kills Antonia for murdering Henrik.
- The Streets of Minrathous by Brianne Battye
Private investigator Neve Gallus stumbles into a Venatori plot while completing a job for Otho Calla. His nephew, Quentin, suspected Venatori, is stabbed to death by a masked figure, who escapes using blood magic. When Knight-Templar Savas checks in with her the next day, Neve discovers that another suspected cultist, Lady Varantus, was murdered the same night. Joint investigation with the templars further reveals that another Venatori was killed earlier in the week, and that the murderer, Aelia, is after the enchanted clay disks the victims possessed. Despite their progress, Knight-Captain Jahvis closes the investigation into Lady Varantus' murder at the behest of the family. Aelia attacks Neve shortly after she obtains one of the disks and steals it.
Neve learns that the Venatori plan to free a powerful demon sealed under Minrathous, said to be so powerful that only a god could summon it. After Corypheus was defeated, Aelia took charge of the ritual. The clay disks are the seals to the demon's prison, blood-bound to their bearers. The murder victims were bearers who refused to give theirs. Before heading to the Catacombs to stop the ritual, Neve informs the templars of the Venatori's plot.
Though Neve is alone against Aelia and her Venatori at first, she's eventually joined by the templars she tipped off: Savas, Jahvis, and Brom. Together, they prevent Aelia from completing the ritual and take her into templar custody. The demon is sealed once more, but not defeated. Neve then returns to Otho Calla to complete the job she was first hired to do, tell the truth of Quentin's life and death: that he'd joined the Venatori because he believed they would end slavery, then turned against them when he discovered their true nature. He died trying to prevent the ritual from happening.
- The Wigmaker Job by Courtney Woods
Lucanis Dellamorte and his cousin Illario take an anonymous contract to assassinate Ambrose Forfex, Tevinter's premiere wigmaker and a Venatori blood mage. During one of his periwig shows in Vyrantium, they discover that he feeds his slaves red lyrium to create red-lyrium infused wigs. When Lucanis destroys the elven artifact strengthening the Veil, chaos erupts at the party. The slave models become possessed by demons, as do some of the drunkest and most frightened guests. While Illario gets the other slaves out of the mansion, Lucanis kills Forfex, who's turned into an arachnid-like abomination. As approximately forty of Forfex's guests are killed at the party, Lucanis becomes known as 'The Demon.'
- Genitivi Dies in the End by Lukas Kristjanson
By special commission of the Inquisition's Inner Circle, Philliam, a Bard!, Brother Genitivi, and (Formerly) Sister Laudine are sent on an expedition to the Silent Plains to find the true history of the elven pantheon. They are accompanied by Mateo, a Lord of Fortune.
In his retelling of their adventure, Philliam says that they found an elven library that "fell" into the Deep Roads when Arlathan "fell". The Antaam arrives soon after them, led by Rasaan, in search of the Dread Wolf's true name. As she interrogates the prisoners on their real names, Laudine reveals herself as a mage and attacks. In the confusion, Philliam, Genitivi, Laudine, and Mateo escape to the surface. Rasaan gives chase across the Silent Plains. Laudine succeeds in stopping her by using magic to collapse the Imperial Highway, but the exertion leaves her Tranquil. Philliam and Genitivi are mortally wounded while writing the report to the Inquisition. Mateo, sole survivor of their expedition, eventually sends the report on to Varric Tethras.
Philliam, Genitivi, and Laudine are in fact not dead or Tranquil, but hiding from Rasaan with Mateo in Rivain. Genitivi notes that Philliam took many liberties in his manuscript. They decide to keep writing their warnings, but under different names. Genitivi reveals that he's already written under a pseudonym, as the Randy Dowager.
- Herold Had the Plan by Ryan Cormier
Bharv and Elim, Lords of Fortune, are pursued by Starkhaven guards and knights after their job to recover an amulet from a lockbox at the Grand Tourney went wrong. One of their accomplices, Herold, has already been killed during the botched escape, but they manage to meet-up with Panzstott, their hired help.
After the tourney's knights catch up with them and tell them that they only want "the sword," Bharv and Elim realize that Panzstott caused this entire misadventure by stealing the Celebrant. As he stole the sword as payment for Lady Lucie, who promised to find his missing sister in exchange, Panzstott refuses to give it back and runs away from Bharv and Elim. They give chase, knowing that knights will never stop chasing them if the Celebrant isn't returned. They find Panzstott and Lucie together, just before Starkhaven guards do. Their captain recognizes Lucie as the widow of Jacques Gallais, champion of the last Grand Tourney. She says that her husband was murdered, which makes him undefeated, and the sword still rightfully hers. A melee ensues, during which Panzstott is killed, and Bharv and Elim mortally wounded. The Starkhaven guards depart with the sword and Lucie Gallais in custody, leaving the others to die. Bharv survives, as the amulet he stole heals his wounds, but he's too late to save Elim's life.
Alone, he heads to the pre-arranged meeting spot to complete the job. He gives the amulet to Vaea, who confirms Bharv's suspicions about the job, namely that it's a charity job, with no money coming his way. Herold contacted Vaea to bring the amulet north to Tevinter, to help ease the chaos brought about by the war. They make a toast to Herold before parting ways.
- An Old Crow's Old Tricks by Arone Le Bray
Lessef of the Antivan Crows accepts a contract from Dalish clan Oranavra to eliminate four members of a Tevinter centuri who murdered a group of elven children from their clan. When the rest of the centuri gives chase, she successfully evades them by having her servant, the elf-blooded Tainsley, kin to clan Oranavra, pretend to be Qunari.
- Eight Little Talons by Courtney Woods
Caterina Dellamorte, First Talon of the Antivan Crows, calls for an extraordinary meeting of all Eight Talons to discuss ways to defend against the potential Qunari invasion. At their retreat, several Talons are murdered in quick succession: Lera Valisti, Giuli Arainai, and Dante Balazar. After Andarateia Cantori foils an assassination attempt on Viago De Riva, they expose Emil Kortez as the murderer. He reveals that the Qunari approached him to eliminate the other Talons as a prelude to peaceful invasion, believing them when they said Antiva wouldn't be forced to submit to the Qun. The four remaining Talons, Caterina, Viago, Teia, and Bolivar Nero, kill Kortez for his betrayal. They are determined to make the Qunari regret their actions.
- Half Up Front by John Epler
Vadis, disowned by her magister father for her relationship with the elf Irian Cestes, is hired by a mysterious elven woman to steal Dumat's Folly, said to be a piece of the Black City. When they infiltrate the palace, they find that the artifact has already been stolen by the Qunari. In the escape route that the previous thieves used, Vadis finds a replica of Dumat's Folly, and a note that allows them to track the thieves to Kont-aar.
Vadis and Irian board the Qunari dreadnought on which Dumat's Folly is stored, a mobile Darvaarad used to isolate and study magical objects. When Vadis finds the artifact, her patron reappears and paralyzes her with magic. She reveals that she acts for the Dread Wolf, and that the replica Vadis found was the real one, while what the Qunari brought on board is actually an ancient artifact that draws magic into itself then explodes. By hiring Vadis for the theft, she intended to implicate a Tevinter Altus mage in the destruction of a peaceful Qunari settlement, which would remove any chance of peace between Tevinter and the Qunari. When Irian neutralizes her, the elf ingests poison to avoid capture.
Using wind magic, Vadis and Irian take the ship out to sea, more than four miles outside of Kont-aar. Just as they return to shore on a magically assisted lifeboat, the dreadnought explodes, creating a cataclysmic blast that sends a wall of water towards Kont-aar. While the wave reaches hundreds of feet inland, it seems to cause only minimal damage to the settlement.
Vadis and Irian are brought in front of a Ben-Hassrath agent, Gatt. After hearing their explanation, he reveals that the Ben-Hassrath were similarly tricked into stealing Dumat's Folly by an agent of Fen'Harel within their ranks. He thanks them for foiling the plot, and saving the lives of his men on board the dreadnought. He warns them that they are now known to the Dread Wolf, and directs them to a dwarf in Kirkwall who will want to hear their story and give them a chance to strike back.
- The Dread Wolf Take You by Patrick Weekes
Charter, a spy of the Inquisition, calls for a meeting of Thedas' best spies to share information about Solas and his plans to restore the empire of the ancient elves. A Carta assassin, a Mortalitasi, an Executor from across the sea, and an Orlesian bard meet with Charter in Hunter Fell, at a tavern called The Teahouse.
The Carta assassin says that Solas wants the lyrium idol, retrieved from Meredith's statue thanks to a potion, and that several people were killed in their sleep, as if during a bad dream, including dwarves. The Mortalitasi says that she was attacked by the Dread Wolf in the Fade while using the lyrium idol as part of a ritual with a Tevinter mage. She describes the Dread Wolf as a six-eyed lupine beast the size of a High dragon. He accused her of threatening all of creation with her careless use of his idol, and that her life would be forfeit if she bound any more spirits. An army of spirits attacked her in the real world through a rift after the ritual collapsed. The Orlesian bard claims that he saw Solas retrieve the idol from an auction house in Llomerryn.
Their stories indicate that Solas has already started the ritual he intends to use to restore the elven empire, that it involves and has already started to affect the Fade, and that it rerquires the lyrium idol.As they all start accusing each other of lying, Charter realizes that Solas is in fact posing as the Bard (wearing a dragon mask and long blonde curls), and that he's turned the Executor to stone with a touch to prevent him from speaking. She asks for her life, and he grants it to her, but kills the Carta assassin and the Mortalitasi. He claims that he has no choice but to go through with his plan, that it will save the world, and that the elves who still remain, like Charter, might even find it a better place. He also says that revealing his plan to the Inquisitor was a moment of weakness and that he is no god, only prideful, hotheaded and foolish. He asks her to apologize to the Inquisitor when she reports to them, then leaves.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Myrion of Ventus
- Audric Felhausen
- Myrna – Mourn Watcher
- Ramesh – a Senior Warden
- Lesha – a Junior Warden
- Donal Sutherland
- "Hollix" – a member of the Lords of Fortune
- Antoine – a Junior Warden
- Evka Ivo – a Grey Warden
- Sidony – Mortalitasi-trained agent of the Inquisition
- Neve Gallus – a private investigator
- Lucanis Dellamorte – Master Assassin of the Antivan Crows
- Illario Dellamorte – Master Assassin of the Antivan Crows
- Ferdinand Genitivi – a Chantry scholar and writer
- Bharv – a member of the Lords of Fortune
- Lessef – a member of the Antivan Crows
- Andarateia Cantori – Seventh Talon of the Antivan Crows
- Viago De Riva – Fifth Talon of the Antivan Crows
- Vadis – disowned daughter of Magister Vadis
- Irian Cestes – former servant of House Vadis
- Charter – agent of the Inquisition
Locations[edit | edit source]
- Verdant Isle
- Free Marches
- Tevinter Imperium
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The stories are not in chronological order. Murder by Death Mages is set during the events of Dragon Age: Inquisition, while the events in Three Trees to Midnight, referenced in several other stories, are set around 9:44-9:45. Most of the stories are set post-Trespasser.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Francesca Baerald. https://twitter.com/FBaerald/status/1265714441263382528 . Twitter.
- Unofficial BSN. http://bsn.boards.net/post/1170071/thread Based on the fact that Three Trees to Midnight starts a week after the events of Dragon Age: Deception, where Vaea, born in 9:23, is 21 years old.
- Nunzio De Filippis. https://twitter.com/ndefilippis/status/1209570705580400640 . Twitter.