Dragon Age: The Black Vials


(If you REALLY want one, check my Etsy shop.)

The Black Vials can be found in six locations across Ferelden and can be tackled in any order. Each is a small glass vial which contains dark shapes which swirl around a slip of paper.  When The Warden takes a vial, it fractures and releases the Revenant trapped in stasis. Each Black Vials Revenant drops a scrap of vellum that, when burned, is added to the Codex entry: The Black Vials.  [Taken from Dragon Age Wiki.]

My friend Steph and I were kicking around ideas for interesting items to make.  She showed me this fantastic game she’d been playing, Dragon Age, and suggested we do the black vials from it.  It’d been a while since I’d done anything terribly fantastic, and so I jumped at the chance.

We decided to do the sixth vial first.  It seems like it has the most interesting possible back story:

Binding the Sixth Corpse Walker
United we purge this realm of your corruption.
The smallest among us binds you by your true name.
Anton Wither, revenant and perversion of a friend not met.
Your strength and guile denied by innocence.
Andraste hold you, demon, and bind your rage for eternity.
(Six thumbprints in blood mark the end of the text. One is small, as though made by a child.)

The “easy” part was the calligraphy.  We decided to do two versions — one that was beautiful and meant to be held and looked at and one that would go inside the bottle.  (We had already determined that a “scrap” of vellum wasn’t going to hold six thumbprints.)   I chose to do the calligraphy by hand rather than utilize fonts.  This gives the letters more variety and adds the interesting pen weights that make a piece look great.  I created the two versions and Steph hand-applied gilding to the B’s.  It was around this point we decided an Andraste / Chantry seal was needed.  I drew the seal in Illustrator and milled it on my MDX-15.


We then aged some envelopes and sealed the hero scrolls within.


We decided that the vials would also have the Andraste seal on top as part of the “sealing ritual.”   Steph came up with a note from Sister Justine.  We decided not to dirty the bottles as we’re quite positive they’d have been kept clean and tidy by the hard-working girls in the Denerim Chantry.  (Plus, the revenant just looked to cool to cover with dirt.)

Oh yeah, the revenant!  Check him out: