Lyrium: Not just for mages
Lyrium – is a valuable but dangerous mineral. Physical contact with the raw ore will cause serious injury and psychological problems for humans or elves and will kill mages outright. Only the dwarves are able to process the ore into a less dangerous and more useful form. Generations of proximity to lyrium ore veins have made dwarves naturally resistant, though not completely immune, to its effects. Surface dwarves lose this resistance over time.
- Use and Effects
In its processed form, lyrium may be handled by anyone, but long term exposure or a single mistake while working with it can lead to serious side effects such as emotional instability or complete psychosis. Processed lyrium is used by dwarves and the Tranquil to enchant items. The Circle of Magi also uses it to mentally travel to the Fade in an aware state. Lyrium is used by the Chantry to control the templars: templars are given lyrium to “develop their talents”, which also leaves them addicted and thus within the control of the Chantry, which controls the lyrium trade. The smiths of Amgarrak, under the jurisdiction of a Tevinter mage, created strange contraptions known as lyrium wells, capable of shifting objects and people through different levels of the Fade and creating runic golems. However, this was used against them when one of their experiments created a monstrosity capable of manipulating the Wells. After realizing what their creation was capable of, the smiths were forced to seal the thaig to make sure that it wouldn’t be able to escape.
- " Primeval Lyrium "
An ancient form of lyrium, the “Primeval” lyrium is even more dangerous than its normal counterpart. It is known to give its user supernatural abilities at the cost of their sanity. A red idol made of pure lyrium was worshipped by the dwarves of an ancient thaig thousands of years ago. Even before the rise of the darkspawn contact with the thaig was somehow lost, and it could not be resumed because of the arrival of the darkspawn. The “Primeval” lyrium is mysterious, with effects on the mind that are even more dangerous than those of ordinary lyrium. Its power maddens anyone in prolonged contact with it; even normally lyrium-resistant dwarves are susceptible to its effects. It also seems to greatly enhance any magical abilities in its possessor, for example granting the ability to animate inanimate objects such as statues, and the power of limited flight.