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Comparing and Contrasting the Worlds of Thedas and 21st Century Earth

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“Something that I have always been interested in, that I would love to hear your thoughts on: The Fade. More specifically, how it would affect character inserts.” - DreamersEclipse

“I would like to second the motion for thoughts on the Fade and how they affect the OC-inserts.” - comavampure


Allu would like to preface this with a giant neon sign that she’s still not a mage . If she spontaneously gains the ability to light things on fire with her mind, you will hear about it on the six o’clock news because I will turn myself right the hell in.


But anyway, here’s some Fade stuff.

Nobody Knows.

You want to know how the Fade works in canon? That’s awesome. I would too. Nobody knows. Not even Solas McFadeNapTime knows how it works. It just is . A giant pile of mystery wrapped in a side of enigma and sprinkled liberally with plot device syndrome. That’s it. It’s both a physical place you can go to and a place you can only enter in your dreams, right next to the fact that it’s real enough to have a kitty-corner neighbor.


There is shit that lives in there that no one in their right mind wants to fuck with. We’ve got Nightmare, the bloated son of a slime mold and a spider on steroids. We have the whole Harrowing realm where Sloth and its buddies hang out mind-fucking new little mages. So on and so forth, ad nauseum.


There is literally nothing in canon that points to a clear definition of the Fade past: this is where you dream.


The only concrete rules that we have about the Fade is that dwarva don’t go there, because dwarva don’t dream, spirits and mages can literally manipulate it at a thought, and that elves are apparently more comfortable there and see more things. That’s literally it. Anything beyond that is speculation.


You are asking me to engage in metaphysics on an esoterical concept that has almost zero information available on it. This is literally a chapter of abject speculation with almost no grounding in fact .

Conscious Collective

Allu has a pet theory that she handwaves through on what the Fade is. It’s her primary method of explanation because this is a level of magic that science cannot explain .


The Fade is a physical manifestation of the collective sapient unconsciousness . It can be accessed primarily through dreaming, and for some reason dwarves lack the part of the brain that has evolved enough to tap into it.


That’s it. That’s literally all the Fade is in Allu’s mind. That’s as far as there is proof. Kindly read the wikipedia articles linked.


Also read:

Separate Plane of Existence

It is entirely within the realm of possibility that the Fade is a separate dimension that mages have managed to tap into with the hand-wave power of magic and dreams. Somniari appear to be much better at tapping into it, and those Elvhen who have entered uthenera are permanently in the Fade until such time as they wake up. This theory presents its own difficulties and connotations that, quite frankly, make Allu cry inside.


This theory implies a few specific things:

  • The Fade has an atmosphere. This atmosphere is green, brown, or yellow depending on which aspect of the Fade canon you use. Thus, it has a chlorine based atmosphere as opposed to Thedas and Earth’s oxygen base.
  • The Fade has separate sapient creatures that dwell in it known as ‘spirits’.
  • Sub-connotation- these spirits can be directly infected by extended contact with the psyche of Thedosians.
  • The Black City was once the Golden City and can be seen from everywhere in the Fade.
  • Sub-connotation- The actions of the Magisters Sidereal directly or indirectly caused a widespread contamination within the Golden City that thus led to the Blight.
  • Sub-sub-connotation- The Blight is a disease caused by contact (extended or otherwise) between a spirit and a human. Basically, the Blight is an allergic reaction from the physical realm contacting the realm of the Fade.
  • Elves and elf-blooded persons see the Fade more clearly and feel genuinely better in it. They are more in-tune with this realm than other Thedosians.
  • Dwarva do not dream. They do not access the Fade. Those that do are looked upon as insane.


Be Creative

Look, neither Allu or Phanto are going to tell you to follow either of these theories. For all we know neither of these theories are correct or even both of them are. We could be wrong, we could be right. The Fade is a giant pile of metaphysical esoteric science that has very little available information, and what information we do have is made exponentially ridiculous by the sheer fact that the Fade is constantly changing . Canonically, there have been various attempts by Tevinter magisters to explore and map the Fade. These attempts were met with failure because the Fade would up and change on them at the drop of a hat.


There is no way to describe the Fade that makes sense in an easily understood and entertaining way. I literally cannot find enough consistent resources in canon or science to make the Fade sensible. It isn’t a sensible place or thing. That’s the point .


The Fade is a giant plot device. How and why you use it is literally up to you. If you have a pet theory, go with that. Expound on it. Research to your heart’s content. Whatever you do, make it as consistent as possible. Or, treat it like the pile of clusterfuck it is . Ask questions of mages, get random unsensible answers back. Have zero consistency, have all the consistency, I literally cannot help you.


Why in the name of flying fucks did we ask me to do this? Allu cannot help you.