Spirit healers are mages who focus on restoration spells and use the life energy acquired from the benevolent spirits which reside in the Fade. This mage specialization is available in Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II.
Yet some mages within the Circle of Magi seek the aid of spirits that do not feed on the darker side of the psyche: those of fortitude, compassion, hope and the like. Not all things to come from the Fade are harmful: there is much good to be done alongside the Maker's first children, although they rarely seek to cross the Veil. Sometimes they can be persuaded to protect and restore life, rather than corrupt or destroy it as demons would.
While healing spells do exist, spirit healers are well known for taking healing and restoration far beyond a standard mage’s capabilities. In effect, the spirit healer summons a benevolent spirit through the veil and that spirit uses its abilities on the mage’s behalf. Thus, spirit healers are highly desired in the ranks of the Circle, albeit distrusted by the templars.
The templars frowned on the use of even such benign spirits, although it was not strictly forbidden. The best healers, after all, summoned spirits of compassion to assist them. Such spirits did not linger and immediately returned whence they came, but the Chantry looked upon any who had the talent to contact them with suspicion— such as [Rhys] himself. Still, it had its uses.
―Asunder, chapter 3
Becoming a spirit healer, however, is no simple matter. To gain the services of such benevolent and righteous beings requires that the mage earn their trust. Often this requires a series of trials to prove that the mage's goals are as noble as the spirit demands, though some mages have claimed to command the compliance of such spirits through sheer force of charisma. Some even claim they did not choose their calling; instead, a powerful spirit chose them and led them into lives of service, ordeal, and succor.
It should also be noted that the calling of a spirit healer is a dangerous one. Contacting anything beyond the Veil inevitably draws the notice of demons, sometimes very powerful ones. More than one tale exists of a spirit healer being fooled by a demon masquerading as a benevolent spirit, and inadvertently bringing them across the Veil... or being tricked into letting down their guard, and possessed. As such, once a mage becomes a Spirit Healer they must especially heighten their vigilance for the remainder of their lives. It is a calling that not all will gladly suffer.
Known spirit healers
- Hawke (conditional)
- The Warden (conditional)
- The Warden-Commander (conditional)
- Dragon Age: Origins - PRIMA Official Strategy Guide
- "Spirit Healer" on the BioWare wiki.