DAI's Trespasser DLC is full of clues for the next game in the series.
So, FYI: Dragon Age Inquisition’s final piece of DLC, Trespasser, is pretty wild. It gives players a chance to wrap things up with their Inquisitor’s friends and lovers, and reflect on adventures gone by…
...but it also reveals exactly where Dragon Age 4 will take place, introduces a new main villain, completely transforms the Inquisition, and uh, chops off someone’s arm. It’s full of clues about the next game. Needless to say, there’s a lot of spoilers ahead!
A New Enemy
Anyone who finished the main game probably has theories about what Solas’s *friggin deal* is. Trespasser answers your questions: yes, Solas is the elven “god” Fen’harel. His final conversation with the player resolves years and years of confusing Dragon Age lore... because he’s the guy responsible for pretty much all of it. Solas created the Veil between the Fade and the physical world, which led directly to the collapse of elven civilization. Though he doomed his entire species to human subservience, the alternative—an entire society of elves enslaved to murderous, power-mad wizards—is, debatably, even worse.
But Solas declares that your world is so awful that he can’t allow it to continue existing, either. He plans on completely wrecking it and bringing back a saner version of his own past! He wants us to know he’s *very sorry* about it, but he still makes it sound like an extinction-level event.
So: Solas is the new Big Bad Guy. Or the new Big Sad Guy, if you sympathize with him. We get to choose whether the Inquisition will be hunting Solas down to fight him, or hunting him down to redeem him and change his mind.
Dragon Age games are usually tragic—there hasn’t been a single one yet that sees the player unambiguously wrap up all problems for the better—so I was frankly shocked that the Inquisition can even try resolving things peacefully. Does this mean that we could see a “talk it out” ending to DA4? Could the Inquisitor work at cross-purposes with the protagonist of the next game – one trying to kill Solas, the other trying to save him? Because, you see, there’s...
A New Protagonist
The Inquisitor, we’re told, will probably *not* be the protagonist of the next Dragon Age game. Their “adventuring days” are over – because the Inquisitor has amputated their Marked arm!
However, the Inquisitor is still in charge of whatever the Inquisition’s become. DAI already showed us how cool it can be to bring back previous games’ heroes and give them a chance to interact with our new characters. Will our new character work for our old Inquisitor? Will the Quiz send old party members to help us and form alliances? There’s a lot of rich material in either of these options.
A New Setting
The final shot of Trespasser is pretty unambiguous: the Inquisitor drives a dagger directly into a map of Tevinter. So, uh, *that’s* happening.
Tevinter contains two kinds of people: power-hungry mages and oppressed slaves. I’m guessing that Bioware’s next game will star an escaped Tevinter slave who comes to work for the Inquisition—underdog and refugee stories have served Dragon Age well in the past. But playing as a powerful Tevinter mage would also be entertaining – they’re incredibly powerful, and they love scheming.
Tevinter is now also in a renewed war against the Qun. The nations of Thedas will have to address the Qun sometime soon. Will the next DA game see Tevinter and the Qun duke it out? Will they have to team up and fight Solas together?
So far, the games have set up both of these countries as equally odious threats—one’s a slave society, while the other is a theocratic totalitarian state. But Dorian and Iron Bull make each of these societies seem redeemable. Will we have to choose between decisions that affect these two party members? It would be really hard – but Bioware loves really hard decisions. I’m guessing that Tevinter and the Qun will come into conflict in the next game, and the player will have to make at least one big choice that favors one country or the other.
A New Inquisition
At the end of Trespasser, we have to choose whether the Inquisition will work openly or secretly. Whatever happens, Leliana, Cassandra, Harding, and the Inquisitor seem to be the Inquisition’s new leaders.
This means that we’ll be seeing plenty of them in the future. Scout Harding, a fan favorite, will probably get a lot more screen time – who better to send to Tevinter than your top scout? Cassandra will probably not go to Tevinter personally if you made her the Divine, but she’s still involved in your plans. Doubtless Leliana will continue being spymaster—and spies seem pretty important in a country full of scheming mages.
Though the protagonist of each Dragon Age game changes, it’s fun to see core NPCs come back again and again and change every time. It will be exciting to see how these characters grow in the next story!
The Far Future...
Just before he leaves, Solas makes it pretty clear that all the elven gods he locked away are still alive. That’s way too big of a threat to simply ignore! At this point, we’d better assume that Bioware plans to wake all of these guys up. We may be wrestling with the fallout from Solas’s decisions for the next few DA installments.
Whatever happens in the next Dragon Age game, it’s likely to involve at least one gigantic war, a lot of exciting globetrotting, one of the most compelling villains in years, and the reappearance of a bunch of our favorite NPCs from Inquisition. The future of the franchise is looking very exciting!