I finished the Fade and soon after the Mage Tower, which officially puts this as the most progress made on any Dragon Age attempt so far. I'll give it credit, the fade gets better once you have the different forms so you can shift from one to the other to win fights better. Such as Spirit to cast Crushing Prison and Winter's Breath then to golem to punch things to death as a big rock man. The little sections where you get your companions back from their personal nightmares is pretty good, with the best one being Morrigan's by far, since hers is being stuck with DemonFlemeth, but she's completely aware it's a fake and keeps pointing this out. At one point, DemonFlemeth slaps her and Morrigan goes "That's more like it, but far too late". Which says a lot about Morrigan and Flemeth, really. Nothing much good, but a lot still.
And once the fade is over, it's only a few short fights to the top of the tower and the boss, who arguably isn't that bad if you can keep him from turning the captive mages into abominations who join the fight. Despite the urgings of the templar right before the boss door, I took Irving downstairs and let the head Templar decide what to do about the blood Mage situation, which felt like the right call, as far as anything can be the right call here.
Definitely seeing where the Templar Vs Mages thing is being set up here, especially for Dragon Age 2, which I already know it's a big theme in that game. Gonna roll down to Redcliff next, because I did most of that particular quest long ago before I was sent off to the mage tower because something about demons in the castle. I'm hoping because I've finished the Mage tower already I just need to do the Redcliffe stuff without further complication(I remember a village fighting zombies beforehand as well, but that's before you reach the castle).
Arguably this is one of the weaknesses Dragon age has in it's narrative structure. IIRC, Alister pushes you to go to Redcliff first thing because he grew up there, which is essentially the game is pointing you in that direction as the first main quest. Except at some point you get to a point where there's a demon involved and you need to go to the mage tower to deal with it(I forget the reason but I'm sure I'll find out soon enough), so you have to break off from Redcliffe to go do the Mage tower, which you get locked into and then once you go through 90% of that, you get the Fade, so you basically do 3 dungeons in a row without any real payoff until you finish all of them because of the constant goalpost shifting on the game's part (To be fair, God of War 2018 pulls something very similar and it's annoying there as well). It feels immesely frustrating to get most of the way through not 1 but 2 major undertakings only to have to divert attention yet again, and sure, you can see it as just step 1, 2, 3, etc of a larger quest but the game specifically outlines them as separate quests and the fade is basically a nested Dungeon inside a dungeon so it doesn't feel like that
On a side note, I went back to camp after the mage tower and Liliana immediately tells me about her past because I'd been chatting her up. And its interesting, but what's more interesting is she tells her how she ended up in the chantry and her life as a bard. The story she tells kind of fits with the events of her DLC but there are enough differences in the details that it feels off. Not little details but the story feels strangely different and having already played the DLC, either she's still lying here or the DLC was a distorted version of events, either way one of them is wrong. I know more likely the DLC was written way after the base game was written but it still feels like it could have been synced up a little better then it is.