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- “Templars have always been used. How many were left to rot, like I was, after the Chantry burned away their minds?”
Raleigh Samson is a former Templar, turned beggar.
Samson was, at one point, a good templar. According to Samson, the preceding Knight-Commander, Guylian, personally gave him his sun shield. He claims that he left the Templar Order due to "philosophical differences" in order to help apostate mages escape. In truth he was dismissed because Meredith caught him delivering messages between a mage named Maddox and his sweetheart.
Samson is addicted to lyrium dust, and is clearly suffering from withdrawal. Many templars are known to be addicted, as all templars have to ingest it by the orders of the Chantry; the fear of losing the supply of "dwarf dust" (as Samson calls it) is something that prevents them from leaving the Order.
Dragon Age II Edit
Whilst searching for Feynriel, both Vincento and Thrask will tell Hawke about Samson: a retired templar who aids mages. Samson can be found in Lowtown during night. However, Samson discloses that he sent the boy to Captain Reiner, who may be holding him captive. He mentions Hawke might find him at a warehouse in the Docks at night.
Samson and Hawke meet again several years later in 9:37 Dragon. Samson is part of Thrask's conspiracy to oust Meredith from her post. Hawke encounters Samson in passing while looking for the group that has kidnapped one of their allies. Samson admits to having joined the conspiracy to unseat Meredith but is slowly growing more sympathetic to the Knight-Commander's beliefs. Samson flees and leaves Hawke to confront the conspirators. Meanwhile Samson brings Knight-Captain Cullen to break up the renegades. Depending on Hawke's recommendation, Cullen will permit Samson to become a templar once more if Hawke requests that he give him another chance. Alternatively if Hawke suggests Cullen execute the mages, Cullen will state that Samson will likely be killed as well. If Samson rejoins the Templar order, he will remark that he's happy to have, "all the lyrium that [he] can quaff".If re-instated Samson will fight alongside Hawke against Meredith.
Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit
- See also: Short Story: Paper & Steel
In the aftermath of the incident at the Gallows and the collapse of the Kirkwall Circle of Magi, Samson rescued his friend Maddox- the very mage who got Samson discharged from the Templars for passing messages on behalf of him and his lover and had become a Tranquil. With the Mage-Templar War wreaking havoc across Thedas, Samson was able to rally some of the floundering Templar Order and was made their general. Samson had begun serving Corypheus and introduced his Red Templar Order to the Red Lyrium he supplied. Samson inspired his fellow Red Templars to master the red lyrium with the sole purpose of overthrowing the Chantry and take their revenge for controlling them by lyrium addiction and using them for their dirty work.
Samson was one of the first of the high-ranking Templars who were infected with the substance but was acutely aware of and complicit in Corypheus's actions. Samson willingly infected his subordinates, knowing that he was rotting their minds and warping their bodies. He himself, however, was found to be largely immune to the red lyrium's debilitating effects, sparing his mind while still gaining its benefits. During this time, Corypheus began outfitting Samson with equipment befitting his second-in-command. He reforged the red lyrium blade of the late Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard, which was dubbed Certainty, for Samson to wield. With the aid of Maddox, Corypheus also fashioned a unique suit of red lyrium armor which drastically increased Samson's physical abilities and allowed him to manipulate red lyrium physically.
If the inquisition recruits the Mages...
With the Templars who withdrew to Therinfal Redoubt now fully corrupted and turned into Red templars, Samson leads them along with a small vanguard of Venatori to attack the Inquisition at the village of Haven. Samson personally takes the field alongside Corypheus and his imitation Archdemon. However, Cullen recognizes Samson from across the battlefield and identifies him. Samson leads the Red Templars to a decisive victory over the Inquisition; however, the Herald of Andraste escapes.
In the aftermath of the battles at Haven, Samson continues to advance Corypheus' agenda and pays particular attention to ensuring the supply of red lyrium is maintained, keeping careful tabs on the Red Templar officers in charge. He also is careful to issue as much medicine as is needed for Templars suffering from the myriad of painful side effects of the red lyrium, to ensure they do not suffer. Samson eventually chooses the Shrine of Dumat as his personal base and sets up Maddox and a contingent of Red Templars there to research ways to manipulate red lyrium further and improve his armor.
If the Inquisitor investigates Samson: At Cullen's suggestion, the Inquisitor tracks down Samson's base at the Shrine of Dumat and personally leads a raiding party along with Cullen to attempt to capture Samson. However, the Inquisition forces are spotted as they approach the Shrine and Samson flees. Meanwhile, Maddox and a group of Red Templars remain behind to delay the Inquisitor and attempt to destroy any information which could potentially be used against Samson and the Red Templars. Maddox then takes his own life to prevent himself from being used against Samson. However, the Inquisition recovers the tools Maddox used to forge Samson's armor and from them Dagna can reverse-engineer a rune that can disable the armor.
After the failures at Adamant Fortress and the Winter Palace in Halamshiral, Corypheus decides his only option is to seize the magical knowledge of the Well of Sorrows at the Temple of Mythal in the Arbor Wilds. Corypheus deploys the bulk of his remaining forces to the Wilds. Led by Samson, they engage in a pitched battle throughout the Wilds against the Inquisition, the former Circle mages and the Imperial Army of Orlais and the Elven sentinels guarding the temple. Samson, however, orders his troops to disregard the opposition as much as possible and that their priority it to reach the Well of Sorrows in the Temple at all costs. Samson encounters the Inquisitor in person at the Temple entrance as he storms the gates with a platoon of Red Templars, gleefully sneering as they blast open the Temple's inner sanctum.
Samson and the Red Templars with him fight their way through the Temple in bloody close combat with the elven guardians. Samson eventually comes face to face with the Inquisitor beside the Well of Sorrows. Samson reveals that he has been chosen by Corypheus to drink from the Well, becoming "The Vessel" of its knowledge for Corypheus since his armour has made him "a fortress both in mind and body." If informed of Maddox's death, Samson momentarily loses his composure, remarking mournfully that his friend "died as one of us, one of the faithful..."
Samson attempts to kill the Inquisitor once and for all. If the particular rune was acquired, Samson's armour could be disabled; otherwise, the Inquisitor and their companions face him at full strength. Despite a grueling battle, Samson is defeated and taken prisoner by Inquisition troops.
The Inquisitor can later elect to Bring Samson to Skyhold for Judgment.
At his trial, Samson defends his actions as merely feeding his troops the same lies that the Chantry fed both him and them. "Hope instead of Despair" and "pain for purpose." Samson believed that Templars have always been used and that he was providing the Templar Order a mercy by having them go out in a blaze of glory instead of letting them be thrown away by the Chantry as soon as the lyrium destroyed their minds. Samson remains wanted for criminal charges in both Kirkwall and Orlais also.
The Inquisitor has the options of:
- Handing him over to Kirkwall for judgment
- Exiling to the Wilderness.
- Having Dagna study him.
- Conscript him for the Inquisition with Cullen as his handler (Requires the completion of Before the Dawn).
- Life Imprisonment. - If imprisoned Samson can be spoken to in his cell in the Skyhold dungeon and the Inquisitor may ask him several questions about serving Corypheus
If the inquisition recruits the Templars...
Samson's fate is unknown; however, a letter to Calpernia states Corypheus no longer has Samson to lead the Templars. Corypheus' memoirs also mention that Samson "has failed" although they do not elaborate on his exact fate.
- See also: Skyhold prisoner dialogue
Paper & Steel
- "Tranquil with a lyrium brand. Maddox would no longer dream of the horizon, or fix something for the joy of it, or make his little paper birds. They retained his skills without having to treat him as a person, which seemed like the natural end point of every bloody thing the Chantry did."
- " The Chantry lyrium? You never realized it was taking more than just the fear, slowly, painlessly, until one day you woke up and you couldn’t do without the stuff."
- Cullen shared quarters with Samson when he was transferred to Kirkwall. He thought Samson was a "decent man" at the time.
- Samson is probably in his late forties in Inquisition.
- Samson's pupils in Dragon Age II are big, larger compared to others' eyes. This is typical for some drug addicts, so it may apply to those addicted to lyrium.
- Samson's favorite dish is Starkhaven fish and egg pie.
- Samson's armour in Inquisition bears the sigil of Kirkwall on the back torso.
If Samson is reinstated as a templar, he will still show up at night begging in Lowtown, but when spoken to he will speak as Keran.