Dragon Age Inquisition Week Marathon Part 4: It’s a Trap!

I arrive in Redcliffe, close a few rifts, and meet Magister Alexius, the most obvious villain since Snidely Whiplash. His creepy, supercilious voice is a huge red flag that I’m going to have to fight him at some point. This is fine by me, because he seems like real douche. After some smug back and forth, Alexius twirls his imaginary mustache and exits stage left. Enter stage right, an actual mustache in the form of Dorian Pavus, a Tevinter mage. I learn that Alexius has gone off the rails and is now part of a crazy cult of supremacists called the Venatori. Aha! I knew it.

Back in the Haven war room, Cullen once again pushes his Templar agenda. I get it, I get it. You don’t like mages. But too bad for you, because I’m the Herald and I’ve decided to ask the mages for help. Right on cue, Dorian makes a grand entrance and inserts himself into my party. Fantastic.

When Bioware first announced Dorian as a companion and romance option I was less than impressed. Okay, that’s sugar coating. I was a hater. Hot guy-liner aside, I had no interest in a pompous, mustachioed socialite. He seemed superficial, arrogant, and supremely annoying. Having romanced both Anders and Fenris in DA2, I was hoping for a similarly substantial relationship. Yes, Anders went bat-shit crazy towards the end and Fenris had some serious anger issues, but come on, one was possessed and the other was tortured with lyrium. They got passes.

Dragon Age: Inquisition DorianExpecting the worst, I accept Dorian’s help and begin the mission. To my surprise, it only takes a few minutes for me to stop hating him. Halfway through our time travel trip I start to like him. Quite a bit. We slog through the crumbling castle and free our fellow party members from the dungeon. We learn that Alexius has had a busy year creating the timeline from Hell, complete with demon armies and horrible new jobs like red-lyrium-corpse-miner. After a dramatic cut scene involving the sacrificial suicide of Sera, Cassandra, and Leliana (who, after a year of torture, looks like a White Walker), we return to the present and inform Alexius that his plan has failed. I choose to be quippy in this scene and tell Alexius “You’ll have to do better than that”. This is mostly to impress Dorian, who seems to appreciate glib remarks. King Alistair and Queen Anora have a brief cameo, I recruit the mages as allies, and Alexius is taken away. All’s well that ends well and it’s back to Haven.

Surprise, surprise, Cullen is pissed that I recruited the mages. He invites me to the war room to talk about next steps, but I have a more pressing matter to attend to: romancing Dorian. My opinion of him has done a one-eighty so fast I have whiplash. Since delayed gratification is not a familiar concept to me, I tear through the requisite missions with laser focus. Eyes on the prize.

There are countless websites that will tell you exactly how to achieve a romance, so I won’t rehash the details here. Suffice to say, Dorian is an amusing and engaging companion with fascinating insights into Tevinter life. He is intensely enjoyable to flirt with and his personal quest packs a surprising emotional punch. Depending on how you play it, the ensuing sex scene is a perfect blend of alluring self-confidence and unexpected vulnerability. There’s some cringe-worthy dialogue at the end, but it’s easy to overlook given the extended shot of Dorian’s impeccably sculpted bod. I officially admit to being 100% wrong about this Tevinter charmer, though I would gladly take a razor to that handlebar mustache.

Next Up: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Trebuchet

Previous: To The Hinterlands…And Beyond!

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