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Of course not. Yes they are a danger if they get possessed by demons, but you can't strip them from the right of choice, of feeling becouse of the freaking "maybe"; It would be the same thing killing people while they're infants so that they can't kill people while adults. it is a fact that many mages dwell on blood magic because of fear of templars catching them, I not saying it's right, but to stop with the hunting and killing thing could reduce the number of blood mages.
To me, mages should be regulated, letting them be free to go anywhere and make the Circle of Magi a school for young mages, they could not take ruling positions, they would be identified by the templars and only tracked and aprehended if they commit a crime. Well to me the idea of the Rite of Tranquility is absurd and injustified, for the end don't justify the means.Te Shukalaryc Mand'alor20px 18:01, September 28, 2011 (UTC)
No, Tranquility is both flawed and counterproductive, You want mages to stop becoming blood mages? Rehalibate them! Teach them the wrongs of blood magic (and other magic that is considered evil) and about how Demons will always turn on you. Mages need to be taught that their gifts can make Thedas better rather than worse if they use them effectively and properly. Hunting them down justifies the hatred toward the chantry! Give them fair and reasonable rights, in return that they provide for the community.
In my opinion, no. I think some mages like Owain see tranquility as a mercy, though they can't really change their minds after the deed's been done can they? We can see from Karl that tranquility is a living hell, as well as open to abuse in the case of Ser Alrik. I'm no pro-mage revolutionary, but if a mage has committed heinous crimes, they should be punished as any other citizen. Regarding tranquility being an option for those who refuse to go through the Harrowing, I believe it would be better to simply keep them as closely guarded apprentices or assign them to work with the Formari than force such a fate upon them. 19:10, September 28, 2011 (UTC)
If a mage requests being made tranquil instead of going through the Harrowing, then sure. A case like Jowan, suspected of possibly dabbling in blood magic, where tranquility is seen as a preemptive prevention? No. I'm torn as to tranquility as a punishment for criminal mages. A traditional jail won't hold a mage. I also don't see someone like Quentin being taken alive for trial. Gruedragon (talk) 20:23, September 28, 2011 (UTC)
This requires an elaboration: should they be made Tranquil because they are mages, or should they be made Tranquil because they are 'incurably criminal' - that is to say, Voldemort/Tarohne-ish power-hungry mage-supremacist arses.
The first option is a definite no, as DA2 has demonstrated. Squeeze the mages tighter, and they will fight back, and eventually beautiful pieces of Tevinter cultural heritage will be lost (darn you Anders!). Tranquilising them at the first sign of magic is just plain cruel, too.
The second option is a definite yes. Those will not rest, nor will they be content with less. There're always enough of them. Tarohne, Huon, Grace, others; the list is rather long just in the known small bit of the world. They're monstrosities; it's Tranquility or death for them, else they will keep killing.
Now, Tranquility in itself is by far not good. As one of the Codex entries described, a Tranquil mage is little better than an inanimate object, say, a table. They're not truly living, they're continuing their existence. A fate worse than death, possibly.
However, it sounds like the right punishment for a mass murderer who is completely convinced in the rightness of his/her supremacist ways (in other words, mad). For the rest, other punishments should exist.
Tranquilising mages for refusing the Harrowing is too extreme to me. The ritual is kept shrouded in mystery and terror, and so many already ticked-off apprentices that refuse it can be understood. Why not just keep them as apprentices longer? Or let them know what they will be facing, maybe sometime before the test itself. Considering the comparative abundance of non-Circle mages, it's safe to say that the danger of spontaneous demonic posession is relatively low, and that demons posess Circle mages and apostates alike with equal ease when they really try.
Meanwhile, it's curious that other mage punishments fell out of the picture. Remember the Magi origin in DAO? The Aeonar, the DA Azkaban with roughly the same function of being a delayed death sentence but worse? It was mentioned exactly once, then fell out of the picture. Now, why don't other similar places exist? If Fereldans bother, why don't others? It should be relatively simple to find Veil tears with all the battles that have been fought and plop a prison down there, then cram mages in and wait for them to be posessed. It's no less cruel than Tranquility, but hey, variety.
I agree that mage criminals should be punised like any other criminal, excepting the (nut)case I described above. But in that one case, Tranquility is probably the best solution.The Ranged Man (talk) 20:28, September 28, 2011 (UTC)
- Frontal lobotomy. Back in the day people used to lobotomize the mentally impaired, or use shock therapy that left them little more than vaguely pleasant, or at least quiet, vegetables. That was more common than it is now, and it's no longer the standard of care for certain kinds of mental illness. So - what the circle needs to do is more research to find a way to help an at risk mage without making them the functional equivalent of a coat rack.
- Well, that's an exaggeration. Once stilled, a mage is still a productive member of society, can think and work, but just can't connect emotionally, and undergoes a massive personality change. They are like a different person - a shocking change to anyone else who knew them before. By comparison they are more like the living dead. --+|| Legionnaire Scout -- talk ||+ 00:11, September 29, 2011 (UTC)
Definitely no. Of course mages can be extremely dangerous, especially if they fall victim to a demon or get turned into an abomination, but mages deserve freedom at least. I don't think they should be stalked by the Templars. Maybe monitored so the Templars can fix some problems that the mages cant handle on their own, but you know how Templars are. They want to lock away and or kill all mages pretty much, just from the actions of some they punish them all. Personally I like the mages, but the problem I have with it is the Templars will probably get on my case, so I try to avoid conflict wherever possible. I would rather not get involved with it. But when the Right of Annulment comes down, I'm with the mages. I don't want to fight the Tempars, but I don't want mages to be made tranquil more. I mean, how boring would that be? Could you imagine Morrigan without her sassy and powerful attitude? Because I sure can't. Plus mages are powerful allies too, and if their link to the Fade is cut they cant use magic anymore. I like having mages on my side. They own. --Ishimura Elite (talk) 02:21, September 29, 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I'm just going to apologize here for the block of text, it'll take a minute for me to explain myself. To respond to the question posed, "Is it okay for the Chantry to have the Rite of Tranquility?", my answer is: conditionally, yes. The Rite is an effective punishment for criminal mages and an equally effective deterrent with regards to mages considering such actions. They have to stop and think about getting Tranquilized if they commit taboo. That being said, I am not in favor of it being a catch-all punishment for any uppity mage. The Rite should be used in very specific circumstances, or for specific crimes, such as:
- Using Blood Magic. Blood Magic is not harmless. Unless a mage has plot armor (the Warden/Hawke), blood magic has a terrible chance of driving the mage insane (Uldred, Decimus, Quentin, Grace, every blood mage that randomly ambushes you for little to no reason), or just making that mage insanely callous (Zathrian, Danarius, presumably other Tevinter magisters) towards one's fellows. (The Warden can be included here, as to aquire blood magic the Warden must sell the soul of a child to a demon. What the hell!) Merrill is a notable exception to the "crazy/jackass" rule due to being unbelieveably naive. She is still very, very dangerous. Blood mages pose a significant risk to any population. If they don't want to use their own blood, what's to stop them from using someone else's, as Fenris describes to Sebastian? Self-restraint and self-critique do not seem to apply to many blood mages. Merrill, once again, is an example. Her Keeper told her not to use it, her clan exiled her for using it, but does she heed any of that? No, she keeps right on going because she is convinced she is in the right. Blood magic also seems to have an effect of drawing demons even more than regular magic, which is yet another tab against it (see Kirkwall as opposed to the Circle Tower area). And the final strike against blood magic? It literally comes from Demons. Nothing good comes from Demons, that's just common sense.
- The usual "capital" crimes: rape, murder, treason. These should be self-explanatory.
- If the mage in question is mentally or emotionally incapable of controlling themselves due to mental defect or congenital disorder. I believe that this is a very gray area, and should be examined very carefully, but that the Rite should be used if the mage is a danger to themselves and to others. If using the Rite is not fair to the mage, it is also not fair for everyone around them to worry about something setting said mage off should the Rite *not* be used. Again, I recognize this is a gray area, that the first thing tried should be to help the mage recover/improve, and that strict controls should be in place so it is not used spuriously.
I do NOT support the Rite, as I said before, as a catch-all punishment. A mage running away from an oppressive system of governance should not be Tranquilized. Nor should someone who has never heard of the Circle (i.e. a hedge mage). An apprentice not taking the Harrowing is also, in my opinion, not deserving of such a fate.
And here's where I slip from topic to speculation based one something that bugs me. Anders is vehemently against the Rite for any reason, as it is a permanent punishment, like being killed, only in the soul. Yet, he himself has proven the Rite is not necessarily permanent. When he sees his buddy Karl has been Tranquilized, he loses his cool and lets loose a massive pulse of magic in the fight against the templar ambush. This brings Karl back to himself, so to speak, even if only for a few minutes. Let me give you a moment to consider that, then repeat it in bold capital letters for those who missed it. ANDERS. UNDID. THE RITE OF TRANQUILITY. That one moment might have been the biggest break for mages in the history of modern Thedas. Something that has been done by one person can be replicated, even if it is just by that one person due to unique circumstance. And if it isn't due to the Justice/Vengeance twisting, holy Maker's shiny gold cutlery. It is a game-changer at almost every level of the entire debate.
It also raises a whole new branch of investigation. Can the effect be made permanent? Can other mages (probably Spirit Healers due to the focus on repairing something that's been damaged) perform it? And if so, can you go "halfsies" on the process? Strip away the ability to use magic, but leave the person intact? Or create a temporary version of the Rite so the Circle doesn't lose the services of the Formari? Imagine, a failed apprentice is given a choice: They can leave the Circle if they wish, but they must leave the magic behind. Alternately, they forgo further magical studies, and join the Formari. The brand is applied at the beginning of the workday, and undone when the whistle blows/shift ends/however you want to say it, and they are returned to normal. At that point, it's little more than a way to ensure concentration while working with lyrium enchantment, which is the Formari's primary function and the main source of the Circle's income. It'd be the mental equivalent of a hardhat in a construction zone. As for leaving the Circle, the mage would have to have the (new) Rite. I agree with the Templars on this point. It would be criminally negligent to allow someone with the destructive equivalent of a battery of field artillery behind their fingertips walk around, unsupervised, doing whatever they want. You want to leave? That's okay. You can't take the magic with you. You want freedom, there's a price to be paid. And you should be sure this is what you want, 'cause we haven't gotten around to making a "cure" that gives you back the magic. I wouldn't wait for it, either, the templars don't like the idea and we still have to put up with 'em. But if this is what you want, step this way. This is Ser Barry, and this is Spirit Healer Chuck. Barry will be applying the Rite to cut you off from the magic, but - hey, now, don't panic! Chuck is here to undo the part that takes your emotions. It'll be uncomfortable for about thirty seconds after Barry's done, 'cause it takes Chuck a sec to gather the power necessary. He can't just have it ready 'cause it interferes with Barry's work. But it works. As a final parting gift from the Circle, here's five hundred silver and a pack of food. It'll be by the door when they're done. So, you sure you want to leave?
This would present a whole new era for the Circle. Mages would stay because they want to, and the Circles would benefit as centers of magical knowledge. The Templars would be able to relax a bit, as instead of worrying about every mage, they just have to chase the ones that leave without taking the modified Rite. And Seamus Everyfarmer on the outside wouldn't have to worry about mages sneaking out of the Circle and setting fire to his crops in a fit of pique or trying to set up a mini-Imperium in his backyard, which is the main reason the templars watch the mages in the first place.
But, no. Anders shanks Karl, thus eliminating the proof-of-concept and never mentions it again. Then he blows up the Chantry, ensuring nothing like it will ever happen. Dammit, Anders. --DavetheExile (talk) 22:20, September 29, 2011 (UTC)
- Dave, I have indeed pondered the phenomenon you just described. Anders undid the Rite. A tranquil mage snapped back after Vengeance took control of Anders in a moment when the Grey Warden's cheese done slid off his cracker. I conclude from this event one thing only: Anders is immune to the rite of Tranquility. I suspect, and this is just me on a wild tangent again, that if Anders is caught and stilled, he would walk away with his spankin' new tattoo, talking like a Stepford Mage, and the first time they weren't looking he'd be over the wall again. Or even worse, he'd work within the Circle to undermine it, completely un-suspected. That's if they let an abomination live and didn't make him the guest of honor at an Andrastian BBQ.
- So, lovely. We have proof of concept. Like I said above, more research needs to be done - because I don't think everyone wants to take in a spirit of the Fade in order to avoid being made Tranquil.--+|| Legionnaire Scout -- talk ||+ 00:13, September 30, 2011 (UTC)
- Yep, that would probably be something most mages are leery of, and rightfully so ;). Yet Anders already has one, and he's shown the "un-doing" for someone else can be done, vis a vis Karl. Is the ability to restore other mages unique to him due to his blending with Justice/Vengeance? Or is it something another mage could learn without timesharing their body with a spirit? Questions, questions, as the Mad Hermit would say.--DavetheExile (talk) 01:33, September 30, 2011 (UTC)
Tranquility is one of the most perverse things the Chantry allows. Even if you ignore all the ethical concerns (come on, they make people into organic robots, how is that different from the Tevinter slaves or the thralls of blood mages??), their whole reasoning is crap. Mages have too much power and since power corrupts, let's take it away from them! Only they conveniently ignore that while they really take the power away from the mages, they give it to the templars. Instead of blood mages, we now have charming creeps like Ser Alrik, who make mages tranquil to use them as willing little sex toys. But that's ok, since he isn't a mage and therefore he can only commit "normal" crimes.--Morgan21590 (talk) 22:51, September 29, 2011 (UTC)
- The Rite of Tranquility, as far as I am aware, is the last option taken in most Circles. Kirkwall is the exception, not the rule. Where Ser Alrik is concerned, it's telling that Elthina and Meredith turn down his "Tranquil Solution". He would have been scum as anything. Templar, city guard, mage. Total tool in any and all categories. As far as their reasoning goes, the templars take power from people who've shown that either they can't control it, as in the case of failed apprentices, or that they will use it to harm others. Again, Kirkwall is the exception, not the rule. Anders escaped from the Ferelden Circle seven times, if I recall correctly, and he was not made Tranquil, probably because he didn't slaughter his way through the countryside (at least until he joined up with the Warden). The templars just brought him back. Seven times. This tells me, DA2 Anders' histrionics and Meredith's encroaching insanity aside, most templars don't trot the Rite out for every little thing.
- Should the templars simply kill mages that are dangers to themselves and others? Because that's the alternative. Thedas magic is dangerous in the extreme for all involved (except for the PC, due to the wonders of plot armor), and other than killing the mage, there's not much the templars can do other than the Rite that doesn't involve risking the lives of dozens, if not hundreds, of innocent bystanders. One lore entry you get details an account of an abomination that killed seventy people before the templars brought it down. That's...something to be avoided.--DavetheExile (talk) 01:33, September 30, 2011 (UTC)
- However, I don't think Anders is imagining things. There's substantial reports from others that Kirkwall mages are being stilled outside of the rules for which the Rite is normally applied. Meredith may have rejected the idea of making everyone tranquil, but she sees blood mages under her bed and has a big bowl of Paranoid O's before she does morning inspection and starts charging Templars with offenses too. She's all about slaughtering them all out of hand three years later, mages, templars and champions alike.
- In Ferelden, probably these conditions will never exist. I neither see Irving or Gregoir going down this road, and depending on your Warden's (or Anora's/Alistair's) decision at the end of DA:O, the circle may have more autonomy down south. They are unlikely to go buck wild with a mage-moderate ex-Templar sitting on the throne. Also, nobody built Ferelden on top of a hellmouth the way Kirkwall was.
- Should mages be free-range? No. Every mage needs training to avoid becoming a danger to themselves or others. That training should come from an organized group, and that's the Circle. But where it falls apart is where mages become little more than slaves and subject to the whim of templars who trip on the power. There is no recourse for mages - the Chantry teaches their flock to fear and shun them, teaches the Templars to fear and oppress them. So few really do seem to view their role as protective. They are jailors. And when a mage kills themself or is stilled, nobody cares but the family, if they had one that fought to maintain contact after their loved one joined the Circle, willing or not. --+|| Legionnaire Scout -- talk ||+ 12:59, September 30, 2011 (UTC)
- Magic is dangerous not just in Thedas, but in every fantasy world that has access to magic. And yet, in most of them mages fit in just fine by a few surprisingly simple rules - by not being dicks who want to magically murder everyone just because they can, and by being clever enough to realize they're minority and they're, despite all their powers, mortal, and if they piss the muggle majority serious enough, said mortality will catch up with them pretty pronto. There's no reason to believe Theodosian mages are that different. Of course, there always be criminals. But newsflash - non-magical criminals, too, exist! That's why there are law enforcement, and to deal with magical criminals, magical law enforcement makes sense. I'm certain a lot of mages would want to join the mage police out of simple sense of responsibility. Responsibility is the thing that keeps the fantasy settings' mages not being a menace to everything - they feel they are a part of society, and why would they want to actively harm it if they're not sociopaths? But the Circle system, it completely removes responsibility from the mages, among other things, and in no way this can be good. If a group of powerful individuals that were raised with "We are not like them" mentality riots, there will be blood.
- Of course, there is Tevinter and is magisters who are painted as all around depraved assholes. But so are Orlesian nobles and Antivan politicians, and they're not magical. So it's not magic of Thedas that's really dangerous; it's mentality of some people. Dorquemada (talk) 15:50, September 30, 2011 (UTC)
- Hmm, fascinating concept, mage police. Would it be something along the lines of "MPs police the mages, templars watch/back up the MPs but don't interfere without cause"? Because if you don't install raving lunatics as Knight-Commanders, that could work rather well in my opinion. The notion hadn't occurred to me, it's an interesting idea. --DavetheExile (talk) 13:21, October 1, 2011 (UTC)
Wanna know how to get an ideal result and shut this stupid discussion up? Stop being frightened little sheep who tyrannize their own and find a way to make the Fade creatures afraid of the mortal world, possess them back! Problem solved, difficult potentially horrible choice averted. BFEL (talk) 17:54, September 30, 2011 (UTC)