The Exalted Plains

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The Exalted Plains of the Dales are characterized by equal measures of beauty and strife. It was here, centuries ago, that the elven nation met its bitter end. On these fields, the holdouts of the elven army faced the forces of the human Chantry and died, defending their promised land to the last breath. This legacy of conflict has endured, and battle once again rages in the Dales.

The Exalted Plains are now a contested battleground in the Orlesian civil war, and soldiers fight and die here in vast numbers. As the boundaries of reality weaken across Thedas, the memory of injustices past and present draws the attention of restless spirits who rise to possess the dead and stalk the living across the blood-steeped earth.

How You Took Your Place in the Inquisition

It’s been a week since our little “Take Your Place in the Inquisition” contest closed, and we’re still sorting through the mountain of entries received.

There have been loud ones, quiet ones, husky ones, gruff ones, soft ones, squeaky ones, intense ones, and pretty sure that’s helium ones. We’ve also seen skits, cartoons, the occasional housecat, and plenty of damn fine voice acting.

In the end, we received more than 2,000 entries. You put a lot of work into them, and we wanted to take the time to show our appreciation.

Thank you all for making this such a great success and for bringing our scripts to life.

Vivienne: Writing an Imperial Enchanter

A word about Vivienne from writer Mary Kirby:

“Vivienne was fun to write because she let me play around with different ways for a character to be powerful. Any mage can destroy their enemies with fire and ice, but Vivienne can rip her opponents apart verbally, politically, socially—and make ice seem like the gentlest option. She takes great pride in her work, and her interactions with a certain unnamed Inquisition mage can be a little… explosive. In a good way. Mostly.”

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My dear Ambassador,

I don’t believe we’ve met, so allow me to introduce myself. I am First Enchanter Vivienne, Enchanter to the Imperial Court of Orlais, personal advisor to the Empress.

A rumor has reached my ears that you plan on attending the salon held at the duke’s summer estate three weeks hence. I’m certain this rumor must be a scandalous falsehood, Ambassador, as neither you nor anyone else from the Nevarran embassy has been issued an invitation. As host of the party, I trust you did not intend to crash it like some unwashed workman drunk on three tankards of ale and a dare.

I know you are only seventy-third in line for the Nevarran throne, but that is hardly so lowly a position as to relegate you to trailing after Comtesse Montbelliard in the hope that she might give your suit a moment’s thought. She won’t, my dear. She only likes men with self-respect. Perhaps you might sober up and acquire some?

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, Ambassador, that the world has become a dangerous place. Wars rage across the continent, the sky is torn open, and many say the end of the world is upon us. During such chaotic times, it behooves those of us in power to aid in the restoration of peace and the establishment of order. Lives have already been lost; should we not save those we can? In that spirit, I give you this friendly warning: I am not to be trifled with. I would not be in a rush to hasten my own demise if I were you, darling. If the demons have their way, it will come soon enough.

Most sincerely,

Madame de Fer

Creating an Imperial Enchanter

To bring a Dragon Age: Inquisition character to life requires hard work and iteration from a team of experts. After several initial stages of visualization, the character is refined through a collaborative process until the details are just right.

With our continued spotlight on Vivienne this month, we checked in with the team behind her creation.

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“Vivienne was a truly great character to build,” says senior artist Rion Swanson. “I was hooked from the very beginning when I saw the first concept.”

Swanson credits the work of BioWare’s concept artists as a key component to locking down Vivienne’s final design. In particular, he recalls a lot of back-and-forth to ensure that her character met the high-quality standards of the studio.

“In the end, I think we achieved quite a dramatic look for this strong new character,” Swanson says. “The combination of sleek and powerful shapes with the ornate gold and fine fabrics gives Vivienne a pretty unique appearance.”

With Vivienne’s work complete, what does Swanson think about setting her loose on the world of Thedas?

“Watching her move through the world with flowing fabric and using her awesome mage abilities is a real nice counterbalance to some of the other heavily armored characters in your party. Enjoy!”

Learn more about Vivienne here.

Dragon Age: Inquisition releases this fall on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.