- “Templars have always been used. How many were left to rot, like I was, after the Chantry burned away their minds?”
Samson is a former Templar, turned beggar.
Samson was, at one point, a good templar. According to Samson, the preceding Knight-Commander, Guylian, personally gave him his sun shield. He claims that he left the Templar Order due to "philosophical differences" in order to help apostate mages escape. In truth he was dismissed because Meredith caught him delivering messages between a mage named Maddox and his sweetheart.
Samson is addicted to lyrium dust, and is clearly suffering from withdrawal. Many templars are known to be addicted, as all templars have to ingest it by the orders of the Chantry; the fear of losing the supply of "dwarf dust" (as Samson calls it) is something that prevents them from leaving the Order.
Dragon Age II
Whilst searching for Feynriel, both Vincento and Thrask will tell Hawke about Samson: a retired templar who aids mages. Samson can be found in Lowtown during night. However, Samson discloses that he sent the boy to Captain Reiner, who may be holding him captive. He mentions Hawke might find him at a warehouse in the Docks at night.
Samson and Hawke meet again several years later in 9:37 Dragon. Samson is part of Thrask's conspiracy to oust Meredith from her post. Hawke encounters Samson in passing while looking for the group that has kidnapped one of their allies. Samson admits to having joined the conspiracy to unseat Meredith but is slowly growing more sympathetic to the Knight-Commander's beliefs. Samson flees and leaves Hawke to confront the conspirators. Meanwhile Samson brings Knight-Captain Cullen to break up the renegades. Depending on Hawke's reccomendation, Cullen will permit Samson to become a templar once more if Hawke requests that he give him another chance. Alternatively if Hawke suggests Cullen execute the mages, Cullen will state that Samson will likely be killed as well. If Samson rejoins the Templar order, he will remark that he's happy to have, "all the lyrium that [he] can quaff".If re-instated Samson will fight alongside Hawke against Meredith.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Samson returns in Dragon Age: Inquisition as a general of the Red Templars. He was one of the first of the high-ranked Templars who were infected with Red Lyrium, and is fully aware of and complicit in Corypheus's actions, willingly infecting his lower ranked subordinates with Red Lyrium knowing that he was rotting their minds and warping their bodies.
If the inquisition recruits the Mages...
He is overseeing the assault on Haven with Corypheus standing beside him. Samson is captured after the Inquisition assault on the Well of Sorrows in the Arbor Wilds.
If the Inquisitor follows Cullen's advice to investigate Samson, they eventually discover that he had created a red lyrium armor that feels like drowning in fire when he first donned it, and by enduring it he had become fit to be "The Vessel". Should the Inquisitor devote Inquisition resources to finding a weakness in Samson's armor, the investigation leads to the Red Templars base at the Shrine of Dumat. The Tranquil Maddox, who was the very mage who got Samson exiled from the Templars for passing messages on behalf of him and his lover, commits suicide rather than let the secrets of Samson's armour be discovered. However, the Inquisitor finds his tools and other materials and with Dagna's help, crafts a special rune to destroy Samson's armour.
Samson accompanies Corypheus to the Arbor Wilds in search of the Well of Sorrows. After fighting through the ancient elven guardians, Samson comes to close to the Well when he is confronted by the Inquisitor. Samson reveals that he will drink from the Well, becoming "The Vessel" of its knowledge for Corypheus. If the Inquisitor uses the special rune, Samson's armour is disabled, weakening him for the fight, otherwise he'll be harder to beat. When beaten, the Inquisitor can later set up an operation to take him back to Skyhold for judgement.
When brought for judgement he defends his actions as merely feeding his men the same lies that the Chantry fed both him and them during their time with the Templar Order: "Hope instead of Despair" and "pain for purpose". Samson believed that templars have always been used and that he was providing the Templar Order a mercy by having them go out in a blaze of glory instead of letting them be thrown away by the Chantry as soon as the lyrium destroyed their minds. He's wanted for his actions in Kirkwall and Orlais. The Inquisitor has the options of:
- Handing him over to Kirkwall.
- Exiling to the Wilderness.
- Having Dagna study him.
- Conscript him under Cullen (Requires the completion of Before the Dawn).
- Or simply locking him in a hole.
If the inquisition recruits the Templars...
Samson is referenced in a few notes, but does not appear in the game, instead he is replaced by Venatori leader Calpernia.
- Cullen shared quarters with Samson when he was transferred to Kirkwall. He thought Samson was a "decent man" at the time.
If Samson is reinstated as a templar, he will still show up at night begging in Lowtown, but when spoken to he will speak as Keran.