Confession: It confuses me that Anders says the Tevinter Magisters are the only people to ever research “separating a demon from it’s host instead of just cutting off the head”. In Origins, to get the demon out of Connor, you entered the fade, and sure it was a big ritual, probably not something Anders could have gotten done easily, but none of the mages involved treated it like anything new or unheard of or secret.
Anders is referring at that point specifically to a ritual to separate a spirit/demon from a living host, as in, one that leaves both parties alive. He’s clearly aware that you can free a host by killing the spirit (heck, that’s a plot element the party is introduced to even within the confines of DA2 via Feynriel), but he clearly doesn’t consider that an option for himself. It’s easy to understand why- whatever part of him is Justice is obviously going to be invested in self preservation, and in general Anders seems to harbor a lot of guilt about their joining having had such a corrupting influence on Justice, whom Anders clearly considers to be a good friend. To Anders Justice is a friend he has personally wronged, not an enemy to be fought (or at least if he ever does become an antagonist even in Anders’ view, then he is only ever really perceived as such toward the end of act 3 in a rivalry relationship.)
So basically, when Anders discusses this subject, he’s already taken THAT option off the table completely. When he makes it sound like it isn’t common knowledge how to kick a spirit out of a host without killing the spirit, that seems to be basically true. There are some mentions in lore of the ancient Tevinter and the Avvar knowing how to do such a thing, but it’s unknown to the majority of Thedas.
Hum, but if I remember correctly that quest about Connor being possessed, your character had also other options, it seems. Like make a pact with the demon, to let Connor live free but she would be back again later, if I’m right.
So if it’s true, the spirit may leave by himself? I’m not sure it’s possible, but it leads to other possibility. I wonder if Anders will be seen, or his fate known, in DA Iquisition.
Well, it sounds very intersting. =)
A spirit/demon can certainly leave of its own free will if it chooses to, in a situation like with Connor’s where the demon is influencing the individual directly from their realm in the Fade. It seems, though, that very few people in Thedas know how to MAKE it leave, without killing it, if it doesn’t want to. You can bargain with it, but there’s no real guarantee it’ll keep its word. I’d also point out that the deal the Warden can make with Connor’s Desire demon is a pretty shit deal for poor Connor- the Warden gets something, the demon gets something, but for him it only buys a little time. I’ve always considered it an incredibly callous action on the part of a Warden who would choose it, tbh. Even if the demon really does follow through with it as agreed upon, Connor is going to THINK he’s finally ok, grow up, and then one day suddenly have to go through that nightmare all over again. The odds he’ll survive it or escape a second time are low- he’s unlikely to have the kind of resources he happened to have at that time in place to help him, and people are less likely to take pity on a possessed adult than a child. If he’s in the Circle as an adult he’s straight up boned.
The situation with Justice and Anders isn’t the same as Connor’s or Feynriel’s however, because Justice isn’t influencing Anders from the Fade, he’s in Anders’s body, cut off from the Fade. Evidently their situation is unusual in terms of possession, and stems from Justice being thrust out of the Fade in the first place during the events of Awakening. Recall that in dialogue Justice suggests in Awakening even he doesn’t know what would happen if he tried to leave the corpse he inhabits- he’s not even certain that he can. Apparently he figured out how to leave, but he went straight from a corpse into a living human, bypassing the Fade entirely. If he leaves Anders’ body, can he return home to the Fade? We don’t know. I’m not sure HE knows for certain. It could pose a substantial risk for the spirit, even ignoring that fact that his slide towards the demon side of the spectrum makes him less likely to want to try, lured and ensnared as he has been by the compelling emotions and causes of the mortal world.