An ocularum (Plural: oculara) is a magical object that appears as a skull with a crystal placed in the right eye socket through the back of the skull.
Oculara found across Ferelden and Orlais tend to be found on surfaces overlooking large ares. The ocularum are mounted on tree stumps, relative to the size of the Inquisitor. Their sole purpose seem to be the revelation and location of magical shards. Up until the events surrounding the Breach, shards had remained hidden in plain sight. However, the Breach's opening somehow managed to disrupted the magic that allowed for the shards to remain undisturbed.
Viewing through the skull's crystal will reveal an unnatural greenish hue emanating from a shard, pinpointing its exact location. To find a shard, scroll across the view until a white circle surrounds the shard and a tone is heard. Complete this for however many shards are linked to the ocularum in question; which typically will be between three and eight. Each ocularum provides an approximate 180 degree view of the region forward from the position of the ocularum. Typically shards are evenly distributed in the field of view; so if there are four shards to be found, one can expect to find them at every 45 degrees or so of yaw, though at varying pitches. Shards are never found in trees or at the 0 or 180 degrees of yaw.
Finding the first shard, regardless of which ocularum is used, will trigger the war table operation Investigate the Shards. Enchanter Renaud reveals that a recent scroll that was found makes mention of the shards. After doing some additional research Renaud discovers that the shards may be able to unlock an elven temple hidden away in the Forbidden Oasis. Collecting multiple shards enables the completion of several side quests (see Shards for more details) associated with the Solasan Temple. Once every shard has been collected the final door at the very heart of the temple can be opened.
The origins of the oculara are discovered when a large number of skulls are found in the locked house near the docks while exploring Redcliffe Village. Vivienne concludes that the oculara are made by the Venatori from the skulls of tranquil in order to look for something. Additionally Cassandra mentions that she had noticed the disappearance of the tranquil.
- A skull set upon a staff, these macabre artifacts cause magical shards in the area to glow with magical radiance when a viewer looks through the eyes of the skull.
Alexius was quite clear in his orders. We must scour the countryside to find more of the shards. Without them, the Venatori cannot claim the treasure our master seeks. For that, we need the oculara. Without them, the shards are nearly impossible to find, even if they are no longer cloaked by whatever magic hid them for all these centuries.
There must be more Tranquil in the area—the rebels abandoned most of them when they fled their Circles. Remember, the skull will only attune properly if the Tranquil is in close proximity to one of the shards when the demon is forced to possess him. Even then, the blow must be delivered immediately. The oculara produced from Tranquil killed even minutes later failed to illuminate the shards when used.
I trust you to continue your efforts in this matter. Our master expects success.—A letter found in an abandoned house in Redcliffe Village
—From Codex entry: Oculara
- This book appears to be a diary, with strange charts and illustrations drawn beside thin, cramped columns of text:
At first I thought the rocks that glow fell from the sky, but the spirits whisper that these shards have been here for ages "as you reckon them." Did the tear in the Veil reveal these stones? Is that why the strangely-dressed mages want them? Yesterday they were erecting skulls, of all things, on top of pillars! The spirits warned me to hide, and it was a good thing I listened. I saw one of the mages cut a man open with a dagger, and milk the power of his blood, and I am afraid of a man who could do that to another as if it's nothing.I thought templars were supposed to stop blood mages, but the ones that came are strange, and red, and are working with the mages. The spirits agree - it's very alarming. They've been urging me to run further into the wastes, but my supplies are low. I'll go in a few days if hunting goes well.
—From Codex entry: A Worn Diary
In the old times, the first Jaws of Hakkon spoke with the great spirit himself. He opened their eyes that they might see the elfstones hidden across the world, and they entered the old cave and learned the mysteries of winter. Their working of cold let them slip through the ice-wall that wards the lowlander fortress, and we must now do the same if we are to take it as our own.
Hakkon has been silent all our lives. He cannot speak to us in dreams or open our eyes, and we remain blind to the elfstones. The lowlanders, though, have found a new way to see them. The skull of a dream-slain, set with the right magicks, can bring the elfstones to our sight.We will regain the mystery of winter.
—From Codex entry: Leather-Bound Hakkonite Journal
Oculara are scattered across multiple regions at the following locations:
- Emerald Graves
- Emprise du Lion
- Exalted Plains
- Forbidden Oasis
- Frostback Basin
- Hissing Wastes
- Storm Coast
- Western Approach
- Codex entry: Ocularum
- Codex entry: Oculara
- Codex entry: A Worn Diary
- Codex entry: Leather-Bound Hakkonite Journal
- If an ocularum is viewed while party banter occurs, the voices of the party take on an echo effect.