Forums: Index > Lore Discussion > A question regarding red lyrium, the blight and the grey wardens
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In the Descent DLC we discovered that lyrium is essentially the blood of giant creatures (which I suppose must mean that everyone who partake of lyrium is a minor blood Mage... We also discovered that red lyrium is lyrium with the blight. This has probably all been gone over before (this is my only post so far) but when Replaying Origins I noticed something somewhat unnerving. The Warden ritual includes drinking a mixture of Darkspawn blood (a blight contaminate) and lyrium (which could also be effected) so my realisation was that Grey Wardens, much like the templars in Inquisition have ingested red lyrium. This partially explains how Corypheous had so much control over the Grey Wardens, even when compared to actual darkspawn. As I said this has probably already been theorised and if not debunked probably rejected but forgive my ignorance of your wiki. I apologise if Ihave infringed upon any rule or regulation. (Four tildes is the correct way to do this?)

Draugluin the werewolf (talk) 08:58, March 11, 2017 (UTC)

What exactly are you saying? That Cory controlled the wardens through the taint? That's not a theory, it's a fact. And we don't know that Cory couldn't also control darkspawn. I assume that he could but simply chose not to. Silver Warden (talk) 22:49, March 11, 2017 (UTC)

Corypheous seemed to have more of an affinity to red lyrium (or at least it's effects) if we go with Corypheous being another Darkspawn who don't hear the Archdemon his control would be similarly limited (the architect could only inspire fear from a few darkspawn). I'm merely suggesting that A) Wardens have consumed Red Lyrium and B) this may account for at least some of their behaviour in DAI

Draugluin the werewolf (talk) 08:45, March 12, 2017 (UTC)

Cory was only able to amplify is "Call" with the help of the fear demon. As for wardens consuming red lyrium, that's an interesting take, but the lyrium used in the joining ritual is almost certainly processed liquid lyrium, not the raw ore itself. It's unknown what affect, if any, adding darkspawn blood would have to liquid lyrium. It's also unclear if raw lyrium can be blighted just by being near the taint, or even by coming into direct contact with it. My guess is it can't. The deep roads are infested with darkspawn, so if the taint could spread to lyrium the same way it does to everything else, there'd be way more red lyrium than there is. Red lyrium seems to spread by growing like normal lyrium. It only became abundant after Hawke and Varric discovered the Primordial Thaig. It's implied that all other red lyrium that we see comes from there, either directly or indirectly. New red lyrium is made by taking some lyrium pieces from the thaig and using them to taint normal lyrium. It would have been much easier for Cory and the red templars and venatori to take darkspawn blood and use it to infect normal lyrium to make red lyrium. Instead, they rely on "primordial red lyrium" smuggled from the thaig. Why? It seems that only red lyrium can taint the normal stuff, not just any blighted material.

If this is the case, then the wardens do not consume red lyrium. Besides, if they did they'd probably become corrupted in the way red templars are, instead of being slowly developing ghouls.

Cory probably preferred to use red lyrium because it does not blight everything around it the way normal taint does, so there's much less collateral damage. It's also still lyrium, and thus provides all the magical benefits normal lyrium does. He was mage, after all, and he was used to using lyrium and blood to fuel his magic. Using the taint to fuel magic is something only emissaries (and Avernus) do and despite appearances, Cory was more human than darkspawn. Silver Warden (talk) 22:46, March 12, 2017 (UTC)

Corypheous doesn't seem to care much about collateral damage (what with his possible future being a hellish wasteland of Red Lyrium and Fade Portals) and Red Lyrium Definitely spreads, the mines in Emprise Du lion are infected with red lyrium as are a variety of other locations. It's also never really explained why the primordial thaig was so much shallower in the earth, my guess is that the ancient dwarves separated red lyric from standard in an effort to contain lyric infection or contamination

Draugluin the werewolf (talk) 22:11, March 13, 2017 (UTC)

He cares about collateral damage to an extent. Cory wanted to rule the world, not blight the whole place. However, in the future where he gets what he wants he blights the world anyway, because that's what unlocking the gates to the black city does, apparently. But it was not his goal to destroy things.

The mines in Emprise Du Lion were intentionally used to grow red lyrium. They were mining it! It wasn't an accident. And the red lyrium seen elsewhere? It grew from primordial red lyrium. The red templars and venatori were seeding southern Thedas with it - it didn't exist in those places naturally, nor did it get there by accident. Lyrium is alive, it grows on its own like a plant. Red lyrium is only different in that it apparently can do so faster, although I think the speed of its growth may have been artificially improved by Cory, the red templars & the venatori. There's not really any way to tell, since the only red lyrium we've seen not under Cory's control is the primordial stuff in the thaig.

A lot about the primordial thaig is a mystery but yes, it is separate from the rest of the deep roads so that the red lyrium does not spread. Otherwise, the red lyrium would have spread.

The significant difference between red lyrium and taint blood is that it does not ruin the surrounding ecology. Anything that eats it gets infected, obviously, but plants and animals can live near it without dying or becoming ghouls. Darkspawn taint kills everything, indiscriminately. Red lyrium is more contained, and while it drives sapient creatures crazy (especially dwarves, it seems) other lifeforms do just fine.

If Cory wanted a blighted world, he could have just summoned up millions of darkspawn and used them as a massive horde that would have overwhelmed every army Thedas could throw at them. With no grey wardens to stop them (and instead serving by his side as elite guards) and an army of red templars to lead them, Cory could have achieved absolute victory in weeks. And he'd get to reign over a continent-wide wasteland full of darkspawn and taint and not much else. That's not what he wanted. He wanted a revived Tevinter, under his command, to conquer Thedas and return it to the way things were back before he went to the black city. Which, not-so-incidentally, kind of sounds like the motive of someone else... Silver Warden (talk) 23:34, March 13, 2017 (UTC)