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Forums: Index > Lore Discussion > Can Darkspawn be Possessed?
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To clarify, I'm talking about living darkspawn, as we known darkspawn corpses can be possessed. I'm also excluding The Disciples, The Architect, and Corypheus from this question, since they're special cases. Avernus says that the taint is alien to demons. Darkspawn have been around for 1200+ years, and there are apparently millions of them - how is it that demons have no knowledge magic derived from the taint? Perhaps the taint somehow prevents demonic possession (for normal darkspawn), or maybe it has something to do with the Call, or the nature of their "group mind".

Granted, (normal) darkspawn are mindless creatures that do not dream and thus would not contact demons directly. However, demons can possess dwarves (who do normally enter the fade), animals, trees, and even inanimate objects. So why not darkspawn?

Perhaps they can and it simply hasn't been shown. Though, they should know about taint-based magic if they've ever interacted with the mind(s) of (normal) darkspawn. --Silver Warden (talk) 00:34, November 14, 2013 (UTC)

Hmm, that's actually a pretty interesting question. I know you were excluding The Disciples, though it seems that Disciples or Emissaries would be at more risk than most, as they tend to practice magic. Perhaps Demons can't feed on the psyches of soulless, mindless creatures. As those that posses the dead or inanimate thing seem to go mad. I think it is likely this or some immunity in the taint that keeps them away, perhaps both. If it is the former, then we might end up seeing Disciple/Emissary Abominations, as they've retained their minds, that would be blood curdling. SenjiBen (talk) 03:14, November 14, 2013 (UTC)
It should be possible as demons can posses both non-mages as well, however, since the majority of the horde is Genlocks (corrupt dwarves, and I don't think they can be possessed), and Darkspawn attack anything that isn't one of them, I assume they would be killed by the others.--Halisme (talk) 16:16, November 14, 2013 (UTC)
Why don't you think dwarves can be possessed? Tranquil can be possessed, and they're completely separated from the fade. Trees don't even think, let alone dream, there are possessed trees. As for other darkspawn immediately killing possessed ones...yeah, that makes sense. I didn't think of that. --Silver Warden (talk) 03:34, November 15, 2013 (UTC)
Dwarves never had a connection to the fade to begin with, and a Tranquil mage can be reconnected to the fade by a spirt, as shown by Anders and Justice in DA2. Since demons and spirits are basically the same thing, with the former being a twisted version of latter, it makes sense that they would have the same capability. Plus, as shown by the Lady of the Forest, there are spirits that don't belong to either category, but in her case, come from the forest itself, possibly explaining the trees. --Halisme (talk) 18:07, November 15, 2013 (UTC)
Yeah...I don't by that "from the forest itself" bit for a second. The spirit says that, and it may even think that, but that doesn't mean it's true. Spirits are by definition from the fade. Are you saying it's some ethereal creature that somehow originated in the physical world, yet is virtually identical to fade spirits in every other aspect? It seems more likely that it was some kind of as-yet unclassified fade spirit, possissbly connected to the forest by the dreams and memories of of the elves who first grew the forest.
The Grand Oak is a sapient tree possessed by a spirit. The Oak himself states that he used to live in the fade. He also says that the sylvans are the result of spirits from the fade possessing trees. Corpses are also clearly possessed by demons. So why would dwarves get a special immunity? Certainly they are less likely to be possessed, as they don't dream. But Qunari dream, and as far as I know, we have yet to see a possessed Qunari. Yes, I know they mutilate and abuse their mages to make this far less likely, but that doesn't remove the risk of possession entirely. Qunari are absolutely paranoid about possession, which implies that they can and have been possessed, the game just hasn't shown it. Same thing with dwarves - it would just be really ridiculous if they were immune to possession.
As for darkspawn, I question the possibility of their possession because: A) The nature of their group mind could make possession difficult; B) The taint might somehow prevent it (Although it's unlikely that's the only reason, as Grey Wardens can be possessed); C) The Call could make possession difficult, and finally D) Avernus says that taint magic is alien to demons. If darkspawn possession is possible, why wouldn't some demons have gained knowledge of taint magic? Now, I'm not saying darkspawn possession is definitely impossible, I'm just questioning it. It could very well be that other darkspawn just kill possessed darkspawn as you said. Or maybe it's just really rare, and no possessed darkspawn has ever made it to the surface.
But dwarves being immune to possession? Um, no. I don't know for a fact that they aren't but I would be really, really shocked if they are. --Silver Warden (talk) 04:02, November 16, 2013 (UTC)
The main reason you don't see possessed Qunari because we rarely see Qunari in the games themselves and they are VERY strict about posession. Seriously, they make templars seems like mage lovers in comparison. Boltman BOLTMAN FOREVER  Boltman 06:47, November 18, 2013 (UTC)
Which was exactly my point. Qunari possession is possible, we just haven't seen it yet. Same thing with dwarves - although they are far less likely to be possessed, it's possible. Or at least we should assume it is until proven otherwise, as dwarven immunity to possession would make no sense. --Silver Warden (talk) 07:50, November 18, 2013 (UTC)
Maybe not immunity, more like a resistance to it. However, the thought of the taint being alien to demons is peculiar, considering it likely came from the fade when the magisters went through, assuming Corypheus wasn't lying. Plus, we don't know why Darkspawn mages are more intelligent than the others, perhaps they are under some form of minor possession? This a quite interesting topic --Halisme (talk) 14:17, November 16, 2013 (UTC)
Emissaries don't use normal magic, they use "taint magic", which is different from regular magic or blood magic. How else could there be genlock emissaries? And I don't think emissaries are that much more intelligent that most other darkspawn. Slightly more intelligent, yes, but so are the alphas and the generals. I think their slightly enhanced intelligence has more to do with their leadership role than any magical ability.
Disciples, however, are intelligent. Ignorant and possibly insane, but intelligent nonetheless. My guess is that the darkspawn group mind and/or the Call suppresses individual thought somehow, as simply separating these darkspawn from the Call gives them both sapience and free will.
The taint did indeed come from the fade. Corypheus almost certainty wasn't lying, he seemed very confused when he awoke, and would not have had time or a reason to make up a narrative that just happened mirror the Chantry's teachings, which he never had a chance to hear before. And then there's Tamlen's comment about seeing a dark city in the corrupted eluvian. Tamlen was a Dalish elf who may not have ever heard the chant either.
Given this, it's safe to assume that the taint came from the Black City. The Black City is in the Fade, yes, but it's not just anyplace in the Fade. It's the only constant feature of the Fade and it's equidistant from everywhere else in the Fade. Normally, mages can't reach the Black City. Perhaps spirits can't either? Regardless, Avernus says demons don't know about taint magic. And he can't have been lying about that, because using taint magic is how he kept them away from his tower for centuries. --Silver Warden (talk) 04:51, November 17, 2013 (UTC)

Silly Warden. It's magic! They don't have to explain it!--Lurooke Surana (talk) 02:56, November 14, 2013 (UTC)

That is rather interesting... perhaps it may (as you said) have to do with the call of the old gods. It would be rather hard to whisper in their ear (as it were) demonic promises etc when all they can really hear is "FIND ME! KILL THAT GUY! FIND ME! TRY HARDER!" It could also do with their connection to the black city where they supposedly came from, tho I'm not just sure on "how". Warden Mage: Ferris (talk) 10:55, November 14, 2013 (UTC)

So far the only insight in the matter is given by Avernus, and through I that I think that if the demons can posses darkspawn, they are not mere critters, but powerful demons able to solve the puzzle of the taint. Come to think of it, maybe the re-Joining ritual (when darkspawn awaken) is when a spirit or a demon posseses a darkspawn, giving it sentience and a soul? Kinda like Tranquil can be made mages again through spirits. Henio0 (talk) 10:12, November 17, 2013 (UTC)

The Architect says he uses Grey Warden blood for the awakening ritual. Granted, he could be lying about that, but then why would he kidnap all those Grey Wardens? Also, when the First was sent into the Fade, he retained his mind. If he were possessed wouldn't the spirit/demon take control, like Justice/Vengeance did when Andres entered the Fade in DA2? The Mother says she sent the First into the Fade so that he would hear the Call again. She was nuts, yes, but demons generally want to escape the Fade, not go back into it. --Silver Warden (talk) 18:27, November 17, 2013 (UTC)
In this theory the human (or dwarven or elven, you know what I mean) blood acts like a homing device and allows demons or spirits to locate the darkspawn, fooling them into thinking it is a Grey Warden. But because of the taint the demon or spirit loses itself and when merged with darkspawn, becomes a new being. This would make darkspawn... golems. Henio0 (talk) 18:58, November 17, 2013 (UTC)
Plausible. It seems more likely that the awakening ritual does what the Architect says it does, i.e. simply uses the Grey Warden's taint resistance to free darkspawn from the Call. The Architect could be summoning demons into darkspawn to make his disciples, but original explanation is both simpler and the only in-game explanation for the awakening we've been given, so I'm going to go with that until proven otherwise. --Silver Warden (talk) 00:09, November 18, 2013 (UTC)
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