- “You think that pain will make you stronger? What fool filled your mind with such drivel? The only one who grows stronger from your fear is me.”
The Nightmare is a fear demon of unparalleled size and power.
—From Codex entry: Nightmare (Inquisition)
After Corypheus fails to acquire the anchor to pass through the Fade and reach the Black City, Nightmare reaches out to the Herald of Andraste's mind in the fade and magically seals their memories of the events at the conclave to prevent them from revealing what they discovered.
At Corypheus' behest, Nightmare helps deceive the Grey Wardens of Orlais into thinking they are all hearing the Calling simultaneously. With the Grey Wardens convinced they are about to be wiped out and Thedas left defenseless against the inevitable Sixth Blight, they turn to magister Livius Erimond who convinces them they can storm the Deep Roads with an army of bound demons and kill the remaining Old gods before they become Archdemons, thus preventing any future Blights. In truth however, the ritual will also make the summoning mages thralls of Corypheus. The Inquisition assaults Adamant Fortress just as Warden Commander Clarel is about to bring Nightmare through the Veil. The Grey Wardens and the Inquisition turn on Erimond when the truth is revealed. However Corypheus' red lyrium dragon destroys the walkway the Inquisitor, Hawke and their companions are standing on just as Clarel drives off the dragon and to save themselves the Inquisitor opens a Fade rift to escape the fall into the chasm below.The Inquisitor and their allies find themselves trapped in Nightmare's section of the Fade. As Nightmare notices their presence, it begins to taunt the party of intruders one by one, playing on their respective fears and speaking with the voice of Corypheus. Nightmare also inadvertently reveals that it is the key to Corypheus' demon army and without Nightmare, the bound demons will fail. The Inquisitor and their allies finally confront Nightmare in person as they reach the rift back into Thedas. A spirit or perhaps, the soul of the late Divine Justinia V, attacks Nightmare to allow the party to escape, scattering Nightmare's corporeal form. However though Nightmare itself is weakened, a separate Fear Demon which is part of Nightmare's self, the Aspect of Nightmare, escapes unharmed and prevents the party's escape. The Aspect is finally slain, but only half of the party are able to escape before Nightmare re-forms and blocks the passage once more, leaving the Inquisitor, Hawke and their Grey Warden ally trapped in the fade. Either Hawke or the Warden ally sacrifice themselves to distract Nightmare long enough for the Inquisitor and the other companion to escape back through the rift, closing it behind them and leaving Nightmare sealed in the fade.
- According to Cole and The Spirit of Faith this demon originally started off with the desire to help: taking fear away so people could move on. However over time its desire to consume fear and power twisted it into what it became.
- It appears that the demon has a large knowledge of Ancient Elves as shown when it speaks to Solas in Elvish.
- The demon has unique dialogue for each companion regarding their deepest fear or secret.