Hey, I was wondering if you had any meta thoughts on Malvernis, from the Dragon Age 2 Legacy DLC?
Full disclosure: I’m not currently at home, so I can’t play through Legacy to check anything. I’m writing this using only the wiki, YouTube videos, and my own memory.
This is mostly relevant because it means: 1. I can’t take screenshots, and 2. I have not had the opportunity to scrutinise tiny details for ten minutes solid.
I have to break this text up somehow, though, so here’s a picture of Hawke.
So firstly, thank you for reminding me that Malvernis exists, because I went and poked his codex entries expecting to have very little to say and it turns out that I do in fact have a lot to say about him!
So much to say.
As in, you may have just pointed me at the missing piece of the puzzle.
To sum up: ‘Malvernis’ means ‘the Pestilent One’ (since it’s fake-Latinate, presumably the word is Tevene), and the creature 'ate’, or spread disease to, entire thaigs and before finally threatening the Stone. At that point the Shapers bound it inside the Warm Orb, possibly using blood magic, and took it above ground where it couldn’t hurt the Stone any more. They have theoretically been guarding it ever since, though in practice this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Let’s start with the obvious: for 'the Stone’, we can probably read 'a Titan’ or 'the Titans’, and for 'disease’ we can probably read 'Blight’ (since we are, after all, talking about Legacy here). Which gives us this:
[The Blight] came from its touch, poison and filth and desecration. It threatened [the Titans themselves].
Well, I might have just got my answer.
Let’s assume that the primeval thaig is a Titan; I’m pretty much 100% convinced of that at this point. It is also, presumably, the Titan closest to Corypheus and Malvernis’s prison… so probably the one that Malvernis was threatening. And if Malvernis had done more than just threaten - if it had succeeded in making the Titan sick, even if the dwarves didn’t realise it at the time - then we might finally know how the Titan got the Blight.
Ah, but my old question still holds, doesn’t it? Only we’re back another layer now. How did Malvernis get the Blight?
W e l l.
This post I made about the Forgotten Ones has had rather less traction than some of my others (seriously, where are you guys all coming from), but watching the Malvernis fight again…
The fight has three waves. Wave 1 is spectral archers; wave 2 is Malvernis himself as an arcane horror; wave 3 is when he turns into a dragon. You can watch the entire fight here.
And this, I imagine, is what you actually wanted me to talk about.
So. As mentioned, I couldn’t replay the DLC to check and had to rely on low-res YouTube videos, but it looks to me a little bit like those spectral archers could be elves? This is mostly based on the general outline of their armour, not their ears - I’d really appreciate it if someone could confirm or deny this for me. At the very least, they’re definitely all archers.
Wave 2 - Arcane horror. This pretty much just confirms that the dude’s a mage, or the possessed corpse of one, or something. The wiki has a picture of him; he uses a human model.
Wave 3 - Turns into a great big flipping dragon, sending Hawke into paroxysms of jealousy and reminding everyone more than a little of that other great draconic shapeshifter, Flemythal.
And… oh yes… this.
“His crime is high treason. He took on a form reserved for the gods and their chosen, and dared to fly in the shape of the divine. The sinner belongs to Dirthamen; he claims he took wings at the urging of Ghilan'nain, and begs protection from Mythal. She does not show him favor, and will let Elgar'nan judge him.”
Wow, this is getting long. Have a picture of Flemeth.
Now, where were we?
If Malvernis is capable of assuming draconic form, was possibly responsible for giving the Titan the Blight, and summons hordes of ghostly archers to protect him, I think we have to look seriously at the possibility that he’s a Forgotten One. It’s not a perfect fit - he’s human, with a Tevinter name - but then again, since we already know that humans coexisted with Elvhenan elves, and suspect that the Forgotten Ones were the people who taught the Neromenians blood magic, it’s far from impossible that there were also some humans enslaved by the Evanuris - or, indeed, that Malvernis was working with the Evanuris for other reasons.
So how did Malvernis get the Blight? Well, I ended the Forgotten Ones meta by speculating that Tamlen had fallen into Geldauran’s lab. Now I’m wondering… did I get the right Forgotten One?
(And if Malvernis is a Forgotten One, and did create or unleash the Blight… then what does it say that he’s imprisoned in the same place as Corypheus? Are we back to Old Gods = Forgotten Ones after all?)