According to the game's lead writer Dragon Age 4's new protagonist will explore "what happens when you don't have power." This is a far cry from Dragon Age: Inquisition, where the player quickly rose from being a political prisoner to find themselves put in charge of the newly reformed Inquisition, controlling an army of agents that spanned the continent of Thedas.
The new focus on a powerless protagonist doesn't mean that Dragon Age 4 won't include the Inquisition at all, however. Though players had the opportunity to disband the Inquisition in Inquisition's Trespasser DLC, there are still plenty of ways the Inquisition and the Inquisitor will likely be involved in the plot of the upcoming game.
At the end of Dragon Age: Inquisition's Trespasser DLC the Inquisitor lost the arm which had the Anchor in it, and had the opportunity to disband the Inquisition or to have it serve under the Chantry's Divine Victoria. In the case that the Inquisition continues to exist, its role in Dragon Age 4 seems far more clear.
Dragon Age 4 is confirmed to take place in the Tevinter Imperium, which has its own Imperial Chantry under its own Divine. Nonetheless, if the Inquisition continues to exist after the events of Trespasser, it is likely that players will encounter agents of the Inquisition operating in the northern part of Thedas.
If the Inquisition was disbanded, the effect of some of the Inquisitor's biggest decisions will still likely be felt. Whether the Inquisition sided with the Circle of Magi or the Templars will almost certainly have had a huge impact on the Tevinter Imperium, where magic is legal and mages like Inquisition's Dorian Pavus serve in government as Magisters.
The Inquisitor will still likely have a powerful presence in Thedas as well. Just as Dragon Age 2's protagonist Hawke returned in Inquisition, it seems likely that the Inquisitor will appear as an NPC in Dragon Age 4. It's hard to imagine that the Inquisitor will leave hunting down Solas to someone else, especially a female Elven Inquisitor who could have romanced Solas in the last game. Indeed, many Dragon Age fans will be wondering how the next game will find a way to connect Solas and the new protagonist considering how personal his betrayal was in the last game.
The Dragon Age 4 trailer which premiered at the Game Awards 2020 already established the return of fan-favorite companion Varric Tethras, which again makes the Inquisitor's return as an NPC seem likely as well. Whether or not the character actually returns as the official leader of the Inquisition will naturally depend on the player's choices in Trespasser.
There are other hanging plot-threads linked to the Inquisition which will also likely make the organization's presence felt in Dragon Age 4. The series has been hinting at one key reveal for a long time. The Executors are a mysterious group who speaks on behalf of "powers across the sea." In Inquisition, markings left by the Executors begin appearing at Inquisition outposts across Thedas. This leads to a decision where the player can either listen to Leliana, who wants to investigate, or Cullen, who believes it's a waste of time.
If the player listens to Cullen, three Inquisition outposts on the border with Nevarra are found abandoned with no sign of struggle. The Inquisitor receives this mysterious note from the Executors:
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