This article is about the spirits of the Fade. For the branch of magic, see Spirit spells (Origins) and Spirit spells (Dragon Age II).

A spirit is a creature that inhabits the Fade.

Nature of spirits

According to the Chantry, the spirits of the Fade are the first children of the Maker. He turned his back on them because they lacked a soul – they could twist the Fade to their liking, but lacked the ability to imagine and create, and thus emulate their creator. The Maker created a new realm, separated from the Fade by the Veil, and this realm would be one that his new children could not alter at will. These new children had the spark of the divine within them, and the Maker was pleased. Supposedly, ever since the Maker created His new children, the spirits from the Fade have watched humanity with curiosity and, in the case of the more malicious spirits, envy and desire.

The malicious ones among the Maker's first children were jealous. They called out to the mortals, drawing their sleeping minds across the Veil and saw the land that the Maker had created for them in their dreams. They coveted the spark within them, but did not understand it. They shape the Fade to create the land that they see in the minds of men, and seek to draw the spark from them without truly understanding where it might actually come from.

However, whether benevolent or malevolent, most spirits cannot help but mine a Fade visitor's mind for their thoughts and memories. They might then use these to shape the visitor's perceptions and trick them into thinking their dreams are reality.[1]

A spirit cannot comprehend a world that is static and immutable and is not familiar with the concept of time. It cannot comprehend what it means to be within a body of flesh. Some spirits cross the Veil because they desire something they can never have or to fulfill a purpose they embody. Usually spirits or demons can only cross over the Fade by attaching themselves to something in the mortal world. This is known as possession. Some spirits, however, may be drawn to the mortal world and made manifest against their will. They will be driven mad by shock or even be made terrified by the waking world, resulting in them becoming unintentionally violent or turned into demons once they have crossed the Veil. Spirits deliberately crossing the Veil without coercion had to develop the will and personality to do so, allowing them to maintain their form and nature.

Spirits seek out and latch onto specific purposes, since they are formed as a reflection of the real world and its passions. In fact, they embody these purposes. The more powerful spirits will do all in its power to fulfill that purpose. For instance, a hunger demon will attempt to feed on anything it crosses,[2] and a spirit of Justice will stop at nothing to uphold its name. Spirits however don't remember much which keeps them pure. It also keeps them from learning, from growing. So all their acts to uphold their idea are mostly done in the simplest ways.

According to Solas, when a spirit dies its energy returns to the Fade and may regrow into another spirit. If the idea giving the spirit form is strong, or if its memory has shaped other spirits, it may someday rise again. It could also rise again with a different personality with no memory of its past.



Main article: Demon

Demon is one name for the malevolent spirits from the Fade that embody negative emotions like rage or fear.[3] According to Solas, a spirit becomes a demon when denied its original purpose. They can be corrupted by being forced to do something so opposed to its purer nature or if they reflect the darker parts of the mortal psyche while they mine a Fade visitor's mind for their thoughts and memories. Often destructive, they can abuse the minds of dreaming mortals, possess living or dead creatures (generally preferring living mages – see Abomination), or even animate rubble or suits of armor.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Masked Empire.

Imshael, one of the Forbidden Ones, insists on being called a "spirit of choice" and does seem to feed off mortals making difficult choices. While he is by no means benevolent, neither does he fall into an established category of demons.

Benevolent spirits

Spirits embodying virtues may be considered benevolent (or at least not malevolent). Such spirits characteristically do not wish to cross the Veil. They may instead comfort visitors of the Fade by dreams that strengthen the soul, or visions that promote epiphanies.[4]There are five known types of benevolent spirits: Compassion, Valor, Justice, Faith and Hope.[5], which range in power from the relatively weak spirits of compassion to the strongest spirits of faith and hope.[6] Spirit healers maintain close relationships with spirits of compassion.[7] Spirits of Hope rarely appear in the waking world since little there attracts them.[6]

In Dragon Age II, Merrill mentions spirits of honor and joy, though such spirits have not yet been seen, or mentioned otherwise. Spirits of honor are also mentioned in Dragon Age: The Masked Empire.

According to Solas, a more accurate distinction is "aggressive" and "non-aggressive" spirits. The classification of "malevolent" versus "benevolent" oversimplifies or overlooks the role that the mortal has to play in the spirit's demeanor. Depending on whom the spirit encounters, Wisdom and Purpose can be easily twisted into manifestations of Pride and Desire, but if the mortal is free of corrupting influences, the spirits will be very friendly.


Not all spirits represent a distinct virtue or vice. The weakest spirits, wisps, are shimmering orbs of light too simple and impressionable to be good or evil.[4][7][8] In some cases they appear to be benign, aiding mages who summon them in the mortal realm (by distracting foes[7] or boosting spellpower) or in the Fade (as guides).[8] Wisp wraiths, however, are known to attack anything in sight.

Spirits in other cultures

Dalish mages do not use any magic involving spirits, as they believe all spirits are dangerous.[9] In party banter with Anders, Merrill states that the Dalish believe "there's no such thing as a good spirit". Spirits cannot be broken down into clear-cut categories and differ from each other, just as people do.

Notable Benevolent spirits

See also

Ico codex entry Codex entry: The Maker's First Children
Ico codex entry Codex entry: Beyond the Veil: Spirits and Demons
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Spirits and Demons


  • Contrary to popular belief, David Gaider never said that spirits and demons are fundamentally different.[10]


  1. Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1, vol. 1, p. 141
  2. Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1, vol. 1, p. 139
  3. Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1, vol. 1, p. 177
  4. 4.0 4.1 Prima Official Game Guide: Dragon Age II (Collector's Edition), p. 254
  5. Codex entry: Beyond the Veil: Spirits and Demons
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 168
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Dragon Age: Asunder, Chapter 3.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dragon Age: Asunder, Chapter 12.
  9. Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1, vol. 1, p. 104
  10. David Gaider. "David Gaider comments.". Bioware Social Network.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.