So i very strongly sided with the mages until i saw what it turned into at the end of da:2 and what happens in da:i, i can fully support wanting more freedoms and to be given a chance at a real life, but what it looks like theyre trying to do is rebuild the tevinter imperium and i cannot support that, but i still dont agree with the templars either, and honestly this whole thing couldve been avoided if the chantry had been a little more lenient with the circle
What it leaded to in DA2? I don’t know what you mean really. Unless you mean Anders’ actions, but he wasn’t acting with any other mages. And at the end of the game he was so fused with Justice I don’t think we can even be sure he would’ve acted the same way if he were just himself. Also, what it lead to? It led to the mages - who did not do anything - all going to be killed because of it, well actually Meredith had already sent for the right of annulment before Anders’ actions so… yeah I can’t really see how I’m meant to blame mages for that?
There are a few instances in da2 when mages do bad things, but they’re always a reaction to the insane amount of abuse in that circle.
And what do you mean in da:i? In what way are they ‘rebuilding the Tevinter Imperium’? Please send in another ask because I don’t get it? I might be missing something?
I do agree that the Chantry could’ve avoided the whole thing, but it would have meant an entire restructuring of the Circle, not just ‘being a little more lenient’. The Circle would have to stop being a prison and become an actual place where mages can be save and learn in safety. And I don’t think the Chantry would ever be willing to do so, considering how much power and money they would lose.
I view the question of ‘templars vs mages’ as simply this: are the horrors of the circle a justified
necessary evil to protect the rest of the population from the possible crimes, or accidental destruction caused by mages?
That’s the only question that matters. That’s where the true grey morality of this issue comes in. Do you think the chantry is right that mages are so inherently dangerous that they need to be held prisoner their entire lives? That the Chantry has the right to decide which of them need to be made tranquil, or punished in other ways, and which entire circles get to be murdered down to the last child?
My answer is always going to be no. That’s why I support the mages. Always. And not just because we’ve already seen more peaceful solutions in game.
Just think about it, in the real world if we determine which groups are most likely to commit violent crimes, would you support pre-emptively locking them up?
(Remember, modern day weapons can be as dangerous as any magic we’ve seen in game.)
And let’s be clear, even a circle where there is no abuse is still a horrific idea in principle:
- Being locked up the rest of your life
- cut of from family
- not allowed to go outside
- not allowed to form romantic attachments
- not allowed to have a family (and having any child you might have taken away from you)
- living with armed men instructed to kill you if you necessary
- being constantly told you’re basically a walkign bomb so dangerous the world needs to be protected from you
- Living with the threat of the right of annulment your whole life
- Living with the threat of being made tranquil (yes yes, until you pass a horrifying test, unless you live in one of the circles that ignore that rule and oh yes the chantry and the circle has a huge monetary incentive to make you tranquil or suggest you allow them to make you tranquil even before the test)
Even if this prison - and it is a prison no matter how cosy the beds - doesn’t suffer from any abuse of power it’s still a horror show. But then I don’t think there will be a circle with no abuse. Just because predatory people are often dawn to positions where they can enact abuse and get away with it and the circle is the perfect place; no one gives a shit about the mages.
Also, the only circles we’ve seen in game have been abusive, I find it odd to presume there must be a perfect circle where there is only the horrors of it being a prison.
And I haven’t even gotten into the whole idea that the Chantry makes money off making people tranquil, which kinda motivates them to make more mages tranquil, if only to keep the money flowing. Or that if the Chantry ever admitted that mages don’t need constant surveillance it means they will either have to admit that the templars are mainly there to be the Chantry’s military arm, or cut down on how many templars there are, and so weaken the Chantry’s power. (That’s what I mean when I say getting rid of the Circles would cost the Chantry too much.)
On the subject of ‘trying to rebuild the Tevinter Imperium’, I have to say the abuses of the Tevinter Imperium are not caused by magic, so assuming a society where Mages are free and able to be in positions of power, is going to be ‘like the Tevinter Imperium’ is just not how it works.
Slavery isn’t something exclusive to magic (well using spirits as slaves as well might be), and (blood) magic, is just the tool they use to enact their cruelty. If they had no magic they would find other ways. And to be frank, while I’m sure the other nations we have seen in game would claim moral superiority over Tevinter, I don’t think they can. Look at the way they treat the elves? Look at what the Chantry has done? Profiting off making people tranquil, making Templars addicted to something they control?
Also, remember the elves being sold into slavery in da:o? Do you think that was the only time that happened? It seems pretty unlikely doesn’t it?
So yes Tevinter is horrible, but I think the problem with saying ‘they want to rebuild the Tevinter Imperium’ is that it fails to recognise that the other nations have their own horrors and that depending on who (or what race) you are in Ferelden or Orlais, your life might already be as bad as that of the lowliest person in Tevinter.
It’s easy to judge the mage rebellion for causing too much destruction etc etc, but it’s not like the Chantry would ever have willingly let them go. The mages were pushed in a corner, they didn’t one day decide that they would cause this. I would love it if peaceful revolution was possible but it isn’t. It’s always a question of what are you willing to sacrifice to gain your freedom.
DA:I could have been a great morally muddled story about what is justified in the name of revolution, of freedom. It could’ve shown us a mage rebellion where some are forced to fight, where some mages only take revenge for the abuse they suffered, while others desperately tried to find peaceful ways to change the world. It could have shown us templars being pushed to the edge by the chantry, and those who gleefully hunt and kill mages. It could’ve shown us exactly how much it costs templars to break with the Chantry.
Cullen does to a degree show us and in DA2 we had Samson, but I would’ve liked something like a Knight-Captain who objected morally to the abuses of the Chantry, tried to reason with them to go against amoral orders and ended up with the Chantry cutting off his lyrium supply so he was forced to watch the templars under his command suffer and a few of them die. Actually that would’ve made a great quest that with show us exactly how little control templars really have.
I’m just going to end with some links with more information on the mages and the Circle/ Chantry/ templars. I think all these help to get the whole picture on the situation for mages, necessary to understand why revolution was unavoidable (and before you judge their rebellions as ‘going too far.’)
1. A post discussing why Anders did what he did and why other options weren’t available. I’m not entirely decided on whether I support Anders’ actions myself, but this is an interesting read on why the mages had to rebel to gain any power and why it’s difficult to judge them for it. It also touches on more abuses of the Chantry.
2. A post with a number of reactions to the idea of the Circle being ‘a nice place’ which it can’t be by its very nature. Also mentions some other abuses that will happen in even ‘peaceful circles’ like Anders’ punishment of solitary confinement for a year, which is literal torture and if you want to understand to what extent a quick google search will do on why solitary confinement is torture.
3. A great post about why tranquility is not a mercy and in fact a system that is incredibly vulnerable to abuse (and not just in da2). Also touches on how the Circle provides the Chantry with funds (and so power, which of course makes their ‘magic is evil we will protect’ you bs stink a little more.)
5. A post combining resources about the abuses the mages face in da2, I’d recommend reading it even if you feel you know all of them already because I’ve played da2 many many times and I was surprised by some of these. Also remember that just because this is the worst circle we’ve seen it does not mean the abuses are unique to this circle.
6. A post explaining more about the Chantry and why it needs its military arm, and how it abuses that power. ties in to how they can’t admit that mages don’t need constant surveillance without either admitting the real use of templars.
7. A post about the theory that templars aren’t meant to protect mages but are meant to make sure there aren’t too many mages. (In other words, they are there to kill mages.) I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the post, though it does make sense that the Chantry would limit how many mages there are in any one circle to prevent an uprising. Still the post contains some interesting discussions about the templars tactics and how they don’t make sense if they’re meant to just protect mages. This of course does not mean every day templars are aware of what the real order are and I imagine there are templars who truly believe they are meant to protect mages.
8. A really good post on why Meredith wasn’t ‘just doing what she thought best’ and was pretty horrible before the red lyrium business. Also, while it’s easy to say meredith does not represent the Chantry the fact is the Chantry never stepped in and at the very least it shows how rife this system is for abuse and how little people or the Chantry care what happens to mages.