Forums: Index > Lore DiscussionRed Lyrium and the Primeval Thaig
Note: This topic has been unedited for 2218 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not continue it unless it really needs a response.


So yeah, don't read this unless you've played through the games or don't care about spoilers. The topic at hand is a major spoiler for all three games plus Legacy and really anything remotely relevant to the main plot of Dragon Age.

We learn form Bianca that red lyrium has the blight and is therefore alive. Way to bury the lead, Bianca. Rember where Varric and Hawke found the red lyrium? The Primeval Thaig, which predates the first blight. Red lyrium and therefore taint has been in Thedas since before Cory & co. entered the Black City. More importantly, the taint itself existed before the first blight, before Cory & freinds' excellent adventure into the fade. Hence, they did not create the taint, which gives far more weight to Cory's account of finding the Black City already tainted. So while Cory & crew were the first darkspawn and directly responsible for the blights, they did not taint the golden city, if there ever was one.

You think Bianca would mention this instead being all like "yeah, lyrium's alive!"

To me this is the biggest revelation in Inquisition, not all that stuff with Flemeth and somebody else. In one of Cory's memory crystals, he insists that they discovered the "darkness" rather than created it. He tells the Inquisitor that the throne of heaven is empty. The guy may be butt-ugly, he may be crazy, but he is probably right. Either the Maker doesn't exist or he has some serious housecleaning to do. Silver Warden (talk) 03:46, February 2, 2015 (UTC)

I disagree, yes the thaig predates the blight but that does not mean the red lyrium does. As we know the red lyrium could have appeared during the first blight and since the darkspawn came a tainted up the place, besides its really deep and it could have been like kal-sharok where they were cut off and did their own thing specially if red lyrium was involved, since it manipulates mindes and all, and they eventually become the profane(died of hunger and what not).
No one else had visited that thaig since it was lost, otherwise its would have already been looted and the profane killed. Or there'd be bodies. Hypothetically the darkspawn could have reached it, but they didn't. How do I know? Because if they did, they'd still have been there. The darkspawn wouldn't just leave a place once they infested it. In fact the only reason that Varric's expedition was able to reach the place was because there were few darkspawn in the area (due to the recent blight). If the darkspawn had claimed the place, there'd have been a few stragglers or a whole nest of darkspawn, but no profane. Notice how there are no more darkspawn once you get past the dragon? And they'd have killed that too. They kill everything that isn't a darkspawn. Silver Warden (talk) 18:11, February 4, 2015 (UTC)

There are still many unanswered questions. Like how did red lyrium begin in the Primeval Thaig? Why had the darkspawn avoided it when red lyrium contains the taint? Why did the inhabitants of the Primeval Thaig makes idols out of red lyrium?

Also, I have a theory about the Blight and the Black City. Lyrium is the essence of magic and some (like Cole) claim it sings. Those with the Blight hear the call of the Old Gods, such a beautiful music. Bartrand Tethras claims that the red lyrium idol sung to him. Perhaps there was once gold lyrium, which was what the Maker's city was composed of, the purest of its kind, to the point of perfection, until something corrupted it.--Unic of the borg (talk) 04:23, February 2, 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for this, I was thinking it was just me that realized the Primeval Thaig was supposed to pre-date the Blight. I did think about the possibility of it confirming the Blight existed before the Magisters breached the Golden City. But I was more inclined to think that there are two kinds of Red Lyrium. First point is it's corruption technique: In DA2 Bartrand and Meredith both held Red Lyrium (Blighted?) close to them for years and never got Blight sickness or never had red crystals start growing from them and their surroundings. Instead it seems to work primarily on a mental level, driving the possessors mad and imbuing magical abilities to them and inanimate objects (i.e. Meredith's flying, moving slave statues also aggressive books and pots in Bartrand's house.) Meredith was also only petrified (Turned to crystal?) after trying to extort so much power out of the RL Blade, it shatters from effort and is inhaled or infused and rapidly consumes her.

Now the Red Templars in DAI with Blighted Red Lyrium begin growing crystals (But not fully petrifying even at Behemoth stage) within presumably weeks/months as opposed to Meredith/Bartrand who had theirs for years, but this could be because the Templars were ingesting it. If so, one would still expect that if the Red Lyrium was the same as the stuff in DA2, it would be driving them all mad and paranoid just from having so much near them all the time before they become monsters or before some even start consuming. Also from the notes in the Primeval Thaig, shouldn't people who consume the RL become more akin to the Profane, rather than messy, fleshy crystal growths? The next point is, as Silver Warden mentioned, why would the Primeval Thaig be so full of it? Blighted or no, it is curious why the Dwarves built with it at all, but if it was carved into the centers of pillars or into the idol, how did those parts get corrupted? Particularly when you encounter no Darkspawn in the Thaig itself, only Shades and Profane, and considering that a dragon had been blocking the entrance to it for some time.

THe final point is more speculation that anything. Probably just being finicky about wording, but in Varric's 'Well Shit..' quest, Bianca says "Red Lyrium has the Blight", not "All Red Lyrium has the Blight" or "Red Lyrium is caused by the Blight/Lyrium corrupted wit the Blight." also Varric says "Great, so two bad things combine to become something truly awful." Now that could well have meant Lyrium (Which is dangerous on it's own) + Blight = really bad, or Red Lyrium (Which he knows more about and that it is worse already than the normal stuff) + Blight = really, really bad. Anyway, sorry about the long winded essay on it, but it's been bubbling in my head since my first playthrough and I had to get it down. Opinions and thoughts welcome! SenjiBen (talk) 09:03, February 2, 2015 (UTC)

The red lyrium Bianca studied came directly from the Primeval Thaig. She was also the one to give that lyrium to Cory, who then made more by putting it inside people, where it would grow like a plant. The idea of there being two kinds of red lyrium appears to be correct - there is the normal stuff and the "primeval" red lyrium, which comes directly from the PT and is used to grow more.

The reason that the RL didn't spread beyond the PT is two-fold: A) the thaig was cut off from the others, possibly on purpose and B) it was underground. There were no plants or animals to infect, only dwarves. My guess is that the other ancient dwarves figured out that the stuff was really bad and intentionally trapped the RL worshipers in the thaig to prevent it from infecting anything else. How that lyrium came to be tainted in the first place is of course a mystery.

The song that people hear from the RL is almost certainty the Call. There's no reason to think it's anything else. It is worth noting that RL itself doesn't spread the blight, but that is probably because RL is still lyrium, which is all special and different from other lifeforms. Like the lyrium-ness of it keeps it from spreading in the same way that normal blight does, unless ingested.

Meredith's special abilities are a bit of a mystery but remember that she never ingested the stuff, she was only the near it so she wouldn't have turned into a behemoth. The reason that she turned into a statue is because the sword shattered and exploded. Notice how there are a bunch of Meredith-like statues of people near the breach in the beginning of the game? My guess is that when RL explodes, it creates dust and other residue which turns people into statues. The temple had a bunch of lyrium beneath/within it, but the explosion that caused the breach first tainted it and then likely destoryed some or most of it, sending RL residue all over the place, which petrified everyone nearby.

The reason that the profane became rock wraiths and not behemoth-like creatures is either because they had been exposed to it for so long that their bodies disentigrated or because they were dwarves (none of the templars are dwarves, as far as I know) or some combination of the two. I admit that primeval RL seems a bit different from the normal stuff, but given the fact that it is still infectious to a degree, it can be used to grow the normal RL, and (most importantly), it still causes people to hear the Call, I'd say it is blighted as well. Primeval RL is probably just more powerful for some reason. Silver Warden (talk) 19:46, February 2, 2015 (UTC)

I'm probably being nit picky again, but we only know Bianca was studying Red Lyrium in the Primeval Thaig and wasn't getting far, so she reached out and found Larius/Janeka/Cory and showed him the location of the Thaig. So we don't know if she discovered it's connection to the Blight until after that. My theory is that there is Red Lyrium, then after Corypheus studied it he found a way to infect it with the blight, which would allow it to grow formations and develop in people easier. I think that it's part of the reason for the differences in the effects. Non-tainted RL in DA2 enhanced magical and mental aspects, driving people mad and exacerbating their own traits, like Bartrand's greed born from desire to elevate his family and Meredith's paranoia from desire to protect people from mages. It also caused the magical abilities in objects that we don't see in DAI. Blighted RL corrupts physically and spreads like ordinary taint and enhances the physical aspects and causes mutations.

I can understand why the RL didn't spread from the Thaig, but I'm still curious on how the Blight could have got in before Corypheus. The whole place is sealed and has a dragon scaring off Darkspawn from the entrance. Then when Hawke was there, there was no other presence of Blight or Darkspawn, only Shades and Profane. So how did RL that was carved into the inside of walls, pillars and the idol become corrupted with Blight in a Thaig that pre-dates the Darkspawn. I'm not too sure the Red Lyrium whispers are the same as Taint calling. Justice in Awakening mentions that ordinary Lyrium sings to Spirits, so the RL song is likely an extension to that, that men or only dwarves can hear. But I'll concede that the very fact it's Lyrium would mean it doesn't spread the Blight by touch, otherwise the Inquisitor would have caught it from all the samples you can collect. Also the fact that dwarves are dwarves and magic resistant could be why they became Profane/Rock Wraiths instead of Horrors/Behemoths, but then the RL did actually affect them so they weren't totally resistant, also they become rock like creatures instead of deformed, overgrown crystal horrors, even if their skin died and desintegrated they should have been all crystal underneath not rock.

I didn't actually see any RL Meredith like statues around the Breach. I saw RL crystal formations and corpses that looked like they were burned by fire during the explosion. And I think Corypheus may be behind the Lyrium beneath the Sacred Ashes Temple being corrupted. So I'm still thinking that there is normal Primeval Thaig Red Lyrium that affects things mentally and imbues magical abilities to people and things, also driving them mad and it's related to normal Lyrium being alive and having a connection to Spirits (Justice hearing it sing) and Demons (The Shades working with Profane in PT). Then there's Blighted Red Lyrium which was normal, but has been corrupted intentionally by Corypheus to make it easier to grow and corrupt people with, basically a weaponized form. But anyway, guess I'll have to wait for a DLC or next game to find out. SenjiBen (talk) 05:29, February 3, 2015 (UTC)

It's possible. The main problem that I have with that theory is that it makes things more complicated than they need to be. From a storytelling perspective, having all RL be blighted normal RL makes more sense than there being blighted and non-blighted RL. But Bioware could be ignoring common sense and doing something like this.

The PT is a big mystery even if PRL isn't blighted, and having all RL be blighted normal lyrium answers more questions than it raises. Either way things are inconsistent, so by the use of Occam's razor having all blighted lyrium be red lyrium is easier to swallow than blighted and non-blighted RL, if only because 2<3. Silver Warden (talk) 15:23, February 3, 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately I think you're right, and most likely BioWare will go with all Red Lyrium is tainted. It does make sense to go with the simpler idea. But some of these things have been nagging me a while. I would be hoping for a denser plot even if it's more complicated just to have some of my questions answered. But oh well, I'll have my theory and wait to see if BioWare surprises me ;) SenjiBen (talk) 23:14, February 3, 2015 (UTC)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.