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“I was shown vast oceans, containing not water, but memories, drawn from the minds of dreamers. I drifted through frozen moments, like paintings, perfect in each detail.” ―Magister Callistus[1]

The Fade, also known as the Beyond, by the Dalish and some humans,[2] is a metaphysical realm that is tied to Thedas and separated by the Veil.

Chantry teachings[]

According to the Chantry, the Fade is a realm of primeval matter from which the Maker formed the physical world and all living beings.[3] It is sometimes compared to a well of souls[4], with lyrium being its "emerald waters."[5] It was the first realm created by the Maker, populated with spirits, the first of the Maker's "children." Growing unsatisfied with them (as what they created was "fleeting, ever-changing"), he then created Thedas, separated from the Fade by the Veil and populated by mortal creatures. Many spirits grew jealous of these new children, and became what mortals call demons, craving and/or emulating their basest desires and sins.

The Chant of Light states that the Black City was originally the Golden City, seat of the Maker. An attempt by Tevinter magisters to physically enter the city blackened it with their prideful ambition, and their punishment was to be cast down as the first of the darkspawn, commencing the First Blight. When the Chant of Light spreads to all corners of the world, the Maker will forgive mankind and return, restoring the Golden City.

Other beliefs[]

The Dalish refer to the Fade as the Beyond and believe that it is a holy place that was once the home of the gods. They also tell that following Fen'Harel's deception before the fall of Arlathan, the gods now lie imprisoned in the Eternal City at the heart of the Fade while the Dread Wolf roams, gleefully feasting on the souls of the dead.[6]

This section contains spoilers for:

Ancient elves also called the act of creating the Veil "holding back the sky".[7] Thus they called the Fade "the sky".

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Silent Grove.

Yavana mentions the time "before the Veil, before the mysteries were forgotten", when dragons ruled the skies.

Ancient Tevinters believed that the Fade was the realm of their Old Gods, and the Golden City was the center of the deities' power.[8]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Until We Sleep.

Aurelian Titus offers to imagine mages sculpting dreams and dreams sculpting reality. He claims that the Fade is magic and reality itself. Aurelian tells that the dreamers of old commanded the Fade and that the blood of the great dragons grants power over it—the power of gods.

Landscape and denizens[]

“There is no geography in the Fade. Place and time are far less important than concepts and symbols.” ―Fiona[9]

Raw Fade and the Black City

Raw Fade and the Black City

The substance of the Fade is sometimes referred to as the "ether".[10][11][12]

In its raw form, the Fade is a twisted, frightening world of dark rock and raw lyrium veins where it is always night[13] and gravity affects nothing equally.[14] Gaps between dreams are such void places.[15]

An island[16] with the Black City, a shadowy metropolis with twisted spires[10] seems to be the only constant feature of the Fade, always on the horizon. No one has managed to reach it since over-ambitious mages physically invaded the Fade in -395 Ancient. Even the most powerful demons keep their distance.[8]

World of thedas 3

Dreamers and spirits of the Fade meet

The Fade may appear as something else entirely when shaped by dreams. Much of the Fade is split up into fiefs or demesnes belonging to the spirits or demons that live there, and they change the landscape of the Fade to emulate what they see in the minds of mortal dreamers. They copy locations, objects, people and concepts of the real world, often in a cruel or confusing way. These copies are nowhere near consistent, and fluctuate according to the movement of the dreamers. Spirits whose realms are flocked with visitors rise to rule great portions of the Fade, while memories and concepts forgotten in the real world slowly drift away back into the ether, the spirits who ruled them losing all potency.[10]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

According to Solas, spirits and demons are more alike than most people realize. They are, in fact, often the mirror image of the same being, with spirits unwillingly brought across the Veil by mages having their purposes perverted and becoming demons.

Entering and leaving[]

Mage in fade

Mages in the Fade can find and communicate with other visitors.[17]

People of Thedas visit the Fade mentally when they dream, even though they do not remember the time spent there. The notable exception are the dwarves, who do not dream. The Qunari also claim that they do not dream as humans and elves do. Entering the Fade is forbidden according to the Qun, and the Qunari are rarely encountered there[6], but evidence suggests that at least some of them do dream.[18]

Mages tap into the Fade when they cast spells and are able to remain conscious while traveling there. Members of the Circle frequently visit the Fade with the aid of lyrium—in particular during the rite of Harrowing, in which an apprentice is pitted against a demon and ultimately either put to death as an abomination or promoted to full mage status. Dreamers are capable of entering the Fade at will. Mages are also able to bring other individuals into the Fade, including dwarves[19] and golems.[20]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

DAI Crossroads

The mysterious "Crossroads"

Travel physically in the Fade is more possible than had previously been suspected, though dangerous. If a rift can be opened, it may allow physical access into the Fade; under normal circumstances the passage is fatal, however.[21] Elven Eluvians also make such travel possible, as well as allowing individuals to enter a Fade-like place known as "the Crossroads."[22]

'Killing' a mortal's dreaming form while in the Fade (thus ending that individual's dream and waking them up) is a shock to the living body, but not normally lethal. However, Dreamer mages have been known to be able to kill others in their dreams, and if an individual is 'awake' in the Fade death there can potentially lead to physical death. Keeper Marethari tells Hawke that "a death in the fade will make [him] Tranquil", speaking of Feynriel during the quest Night Terrors, however this does not seem to be applicable to all mages who are killed in the Fade, so her meaning (or how she has come to this conclusion) is unclear.

In the Fade[]

“Demons do not create everything in the Fade. They set the stage, as it were, and we fill it with our own dreams and nightmares.” ―Wynne[23]

Surrealism of the Fade

The surrealism of the Fade

Belief and willpower are paramount in the Fade. Everything that exists there exists by expression of thought[24] and reflects expectations of the dreamer[25]. People dream of their loved ones in the Fade because the spirits there recognize the bond between souls, and that bond has power in dreams.[26] An individual expecting to see a demon rather than a spirit will see one if they allow preconceptions to cloud their view of the dream world.[25] A doorway in the Fade is simply a transition—it could be used to reach almost anywhere one desired.[27]

Magic use is possible in the Fade, though spells work unpredictably there as magic does not follow natural rules.[28] Even though a mage cannot change every aspect of the Fade (Dreamer mages have greater capabilities in this respect), they can draw unprecedented power from it while sleeping. Similarly, even non-mages may instinctively shape the Fade in small ways: armoring and arming themselves with weapons able to cut even in dreams. Though magic cannot see the future, mages can interpret special dreams; visions of the Fade, to make guesses as to what may come.[29] All dreamers, however, whether mage or non-mage, may receive unique visions from the Fade.

Fade visitors often speak of its shifting "paths" that can not be charted or secured[30][31] but can be traversed with a guide, be it a wisp[32], spirits[31], a ghost[33], two legendary ravens called Fear and Deceit[34] or even the "master-scryer" Falon'Din of the Elven pantheon.[35] Familiarity with shape allows the Forbidden Ones to travel paths unaided.[36]

Fade and the dead[]

The Light shall lead her safely
Through the paths of this world, and into the next.

Every living being in Thedas enters the Fade when their spirit leaves their body after death[37]. Fade spirits such as Justice claim that the souls of the dead pass to the Fade, but are uncertain of their subsequent fate.

The Dalish elves believe that in the time of Arlathan their ancestors did not die, but rather entered a dream-like stated called uthenera, in which their souls wandered the Fade,[38] accompanied by Falon'Din and Dirthamen. They would learn the secrets of dreams, and some would return to the People with newfound knowledge.[39]

The Chantry holds that when a person dies, their soul passes through the Fade to the afterlife and the Maker's side. Those who have turned away from the Maker enter the Fade and are lost, returning to the ether from which they were formed[10] ("to the Void"). They are stuck in the Fade and doomed to wander endlessly.[3] Some verses of the Chant of Light hint at reincarnation—or even of life after death, as the Cult of Spirits suggests.[4]

Qunari consider the Fade the "Land of the Dead".[6]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Silent Grove.

Yavana claims that, just after he has been killed, the spirit of Prince Claudio Valisti lingers in the Fade. She summons him and demands that he give her answers, or she will pin his spirit to his rotting body and make maggots eat his "essence" as they eat his flesh.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Until We Sleep.

When Alistair asks his father Maric Theirin to leave the Fade, Maric initially objects, stating that Cailan Theirin, Rowan and Loghain Mac Tir all reside within the Fade since their deaths.

Game mechanics[]

  • Enemies killed in the Fade do not yield loot, with two known exceptions:
  • Characters usually manifest their inventory while in the Fade; in so far as this occurs, disposing of anything (drinking potions, throwing items away) will deplete equipment just as it does in the physical realm.
  • Learning to assume various forms during The Fade: Lost in Dreams only pertains to the Sloth demon's realm; it does not carry over into the physical realm—even for a mage who has specialized as a shapeshifter—nor into any later Fade scenario.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, Rangers cannot summon animals while in the Fade. This does not seem to apply during Awakening.
  • Neither Animate Dead nor Devour will function properly in the Fade.
  • Attribute gains will remain after one exits the Fade, as will codex entries.


Dragon Age: The Calling[]

Chapters 12-13

Dragon Age: Origins[]

The Harrowing The Harrowing (if the Warden is a mage)
The Arl of Redcliffe The Arl of Redcliffe (conditional)
Lost in Dreams Lost in Dreams (during the quest Broken Circle)
In Search of Amgarrak In Search of Amgarrak (The Golems of Amgarrak DLC)

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening[]

Shadows of the Blackmarsh Shadows of the Blackmarsh

Dragon Age (IDW comic)[]

Issues 2, 5, and 6

Dragon Age II[]

Night Terrors Night Terrors

Dragon Age: Redemption[]

Saarebas (episode)

Dragon Age: Asunder[]

Chapters 11-12

Dragon Age: Until We Sleep[]

Chapters 2-3

Dragon Age: Inquisition[]

Here Lies the Abyss Here Lies the Abyss
The Final Piece The Final Piece (conditional)[note 1]

Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights[]

The Dread Wolf Take You

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: The Fade Codex entry: The Fade
Codex entry: The Black City Codex entry: The Black City
Codex entry: Beyond the Veil: Spirits and Demons Codex entry: Beyond the Veil: Spirits and Demons
Codex entry: Tears in the Veil Codex entry: Tears in the Veil
Codex entry: The Laws of Nature in the Fade Codex entry: The Laws of Nature in the Fade
Codex entry: Walking the Fade: A Harrowing Codex entry: Walking the Fade: A Harrowing
Codex entry: Walking the Fade: Frozen Moments Codex entry: Walking the Fade: Frozen Moments


  1. The Final Piece can take place in the Raw Fade solely depending on the player's choices made within the Dragon Age Keep.

See also[]

Fade Pedestal



  1. Codex entry: Walking the Fade: Frozen Moments
  2. According to Bregan.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 142
  4. 4.0 4.1 Codex entry: Here Lies the Abyss
  5. Codex entry: Lyrium (Origins)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 143
  7. According to the Archivist in the Sundered Hall of the Shattered Library, Trespasser DLC
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 141
  9. Dragon Age: The Calling, p. 91
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Dragon Age: Origins Collector's Edition: Prima Official Game Guide
  11. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 141
  12. Codex entry: The Maker's First Children
  13. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 132
  14. The Art of Dragon Age: Inquisition, p. 171
  15. According to Aurelian Titus in Dragon Age: Until We Sleep, chapter 3.
  16. Dragon Age: Asunder, p. 223
  17. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 139
  18. Codex entry: Saarath
  19. Known dwarves who visited the Fade mentally: Oghren during Broken Circle, Oghren and Sigrun during Shadows of the Blackmarsh, Varric Tethras during Night Terrors, dwarven Inquisitor, who has a conversation with Solas in a dream.
  20. Shale is accidentally drawn into the Fade as a result of the ritual performed by Wynne, Adrian and Rhys in Dragon Age: Asunder.
  21. The Inquisitor's Anchor mark is able to open a rift and allow safe travel into the Fade.
  22. Morrigan refers to the world within the Eluvians by this name.
  23. Dragon Age: Asunder, chapter 12
  24. Dragon Age: Asunder, p. 224
  25. 25.0 25.1 According to Solas.
  26. Dragon Age: The Calling, p. 91
  27. Dragon Age: Asunder, Chapter 12, p. 236.
  28. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 133
  29. Dragon Age: The Calling, p. 328
  30. Codex entry: The Fade
  31. 31.0 31.1 Codex entry: Walking the Fade: Frozen Moments
  32. Summoned by Wynne in Dragon Age: Asunder, Chapter 12
  33. See Katriel and Justinia V
  34. Codex entry: Dirthamen: Keeper of Secrets
  35. Codex entry: Song to Falon'Din
  36. Codex entry: Vir Dirthara: Exile of the Forbidden Ones
  37. Conversation with Wynne at Ostagar in Dragon Age: Origins
  38. Codex entry: Arlathan: Part One
  39. Codex entry: Falon'Din: Friend of the Dead, the Guide