October 13, 2009
978 0 7653 2409 2
Dragon Age: The Calling is the second novel to be set in the Dragon Age universe. It is set approximately fourteen years after King Maric Theirin and his companions ventured into the Deep Roads as described in Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne and eleven years after the Orlesian occupation of Ferelden was brought to an end at the close of the Blessed Age.
In Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, Maric sets out on a mission of vengeance, against the faithless lords who were responsible for his mother's death. Now, having reclaimed the throne, King Maric finally allows the legendary Grey Wardens to return to Ferelden after two hundred years of exile. When they come, however, they bring dire news: one of their own has escaped into the Deep Roads and aligned himself with their ancient enemy, the monstrous darkspawn. The Grey Wardens need Maric's help to find him. He reluctantly agrees to lead them into the passages he traveled through years before, chasing after a deadly secret that will threaten to destroy not only the Grey Wardens, but also the Kingdom above.
|“Antiva is a terrible place. All full of assassins and... Antivans.” — Duncan|
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age: The Calling. Click here to reveal them.
Maric is approached by Genevieve, Commander of the Grey Wardens in Orlais. Genevieve's brother, Bregan, has been captured by the darkspawn and, she believes, is being held near Ortan Thaig. Since Bregan knows where the Old Gods are buried, Genevieve fears that if the darkspawn gain this knowledge, they will use it to trigger a Blight in Ferelden. Maric and Loghain are the only two living people to have ventured that way and Maric, tired of the responsibilities of rule, despondent after the death of his wife Rowan, fleeing from what he sees as his failure as a father to his son, Cailan, and remembering a warning given to him by a mysterious witch of a Blight coming to Ferelden, Maric volunteers to guide the Grey Wardens into the Deep Roads. Thus he comes to travel with a band of Wardens including a young Duncan and an Orlesian elven mage named Fiona, and, subsequently, to confront the Architect, an unusually intelligent darkspawn emissary with a very disturbing plan.
Bregan had ventured into the Deep Roads after hearing his Calling. However, he knows the location of the Old Gods, whom the Architect claims to want to destroy in order to free the darkspawn from their siren call, and consequently ending the threat of future Blights. This, the Architect claims, would facilitate peace between humans and the darkspawn but concluding such a peace would demand a huge price. The darkspawn taint turns creatures into ghouls, all except the Grey Wardens who are made, at least temporarily, immune to the taint by their Joining. Humans and darkspawn could only exist in harmony if the darkspawn taint is introduced to all humans across Thedas. With his mind disturbed by the encroaching darkspawn taint, his immunity to which has been exhausted, Bregan falls in with The Architect's plans. It later transpires that The Architect also has other allies, among them First Enchanter Remille of the Fereldan Circle of Magi.
The Grey Wardens and Maric venture into the Deep Roads and find Bregan and the Architect, but not before stumbling upon the horrors of the Deep Roads, with the group suffering many injuries and losing Nicolas and Julien. (Julien is slain by a High Dragon, while Nicolas decides to stay behind in the Fade after they are trapped there by a demon in the dwarven fortress of Kul-Baras.) However, some trinkets given to the Wardens by First Enchanter Remille allegedly to prevent the darkspawn from sensing the Wardens have instead served to rapidly accelerate the progress of the taint in them. Only Duncan, protected by a dagger he stole from Remille, remains immune. The group are ambushed by the darkspawn and nearly killed, though the Architect manages to save and take them prisoner. Suffering, it is to be supposed, from the mental effects of the taint, Genevieve and the Silent Sister Utha agree to join Bregan and the Architect to destroy the Old Gods, though the full extent of the Architect's plans is not revealed to them.
The rest of the surviving Grey Wardens and Maric attempt to escape. Only Duncan, Fiona and Maric make it out of the Deep Roads (Kell and Hafter sacrifice themselves to buy the others time), only to find themselves tricked and captured by First Enchanter Remille and taken to the Circle Tower. There, they re-encounter the Architect, Bregan, Genevieve and Utha. It is revealed that the Architect has made a deal with Remille, offering him knowledge of darkspawn magic to protect the people of Orlais from the taint, and Maric as a captive for the Orlesian Emperor in exchange for the Circle's help in spreading the taint. However, the Architect's plans are thwarted when Loghain, having learned what is going on, arrives with an army to rescue Maric, and Bregan and Genevieve renounce The Architect's plans. Bregan, Genevieve and Remille are killed in the final showdown, but the Architect and Utha escape.Fiona and Duncan leave to visit the Warden headquarters in Weisshaupt Fortress. Free of Remille's poisonous trinket, Fiona recovers from the artifically accelerated taint, and the Warden mages think she may actually be the first Warden to be free of it forever and thus avoid the Calling. Duncan and Fiona return to Ferelden: Duncan to be second-in-command of the Wardens in Ferelden (whom Maric has agreed may return to the kingdom after 200 years of exile, despite the protests of Loghain and others), and Fiona to see Maric. She and Maric had become lovers, at least briefly, whilst in the Deep Roads. Fiona became pregnant and bore Maric an illegitimate son who, as do all children of elves and humans, appears wholly human. She gives the child to Maric, to be raised in ignorance of the elven heritage that brought her little but pain. She returns to Weisshaupt, permanently recalled to lead the search for the Architect. Duncan, who has been appointed second-in-command of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden, offers to watch over the child in secret and ensure he is kept safe.
Some key characters in the book are as follows:
- The Architect - an unusually intelligent darkspawn emissary with a disturbing plan
- Bregan - Genevieve's brother and former commander of the Grey Wardens in Orlais
- Duncan - A young Grey Warden
- Fiona - An Orlesian elven mage and Grey Warden
- Genevieve - Commander of the Grey Wardens in Orlais
- Hafter - Kell's wardog, named after the legendary Dane's son
- Julien - A Grey Warden warrior.
- Kell - A Grey Warden and Genevieve's second in command
- Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir - Maric's friend and advisor
- Nicolas - A Grey Warden warrior and close friends with Julien.
- Remille - Orlesian mage, First Enchanter of the Circle of Magi in Ferelden
- King Maric Theirin - The King of Ferelden
- Utha - A dwarven Grey Warden and Silent Sister
Continuity error Edit
Due to a mistake in the editing process Cailan's age in the novel is inconsistent with the established timeline. According to the author "Cailan is supposed to be five years old in "The Calling". Rowan died two years before. He is twelve in the epilogue for "the Stolen Throne"."
- The Architect and the Silent Sister, Utha, appear in the Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening expansion. Utha is no longer a mere dwarf but shows advanced side effects of the darkspawn taint in her body.
- In the Deep Roads, Maric and the Wardens are trapped in the Fade by a Sloth Demon. The Warden of Dragon Age: Origins has to overcome a similar challenge in the quest The Fade: Lost in Dreams.
- ↑ Codex entry: Longbow of the Avvars
- ↑ Gaider, David "Discrepancy between 'The Calling' versions", BioWare Forums