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The codex entry on lyrium says the following:

Even though dwarves have a natural resistance, raw lyrium is dangerous for all but the most experienced of the Mining Caste to handle. Even for dwarves, exposure to the unprocessed mineral can cause deafness or memory loss. For humans and elves, direct contact with lyrium ore produces nausea, blistering of the skin, and dementia. Mages cannot even approach unprocessed lyrium. Doing so is invariably fatal.

Thus I find it baffling that touching a raw lyrium vein (as a mage no less) doesn't kill me outright, but rather heals me. I can kind of reason that raw lyrium has different properties when you encounter it in the Fade, but this also happens while underground in the Frostback Mountains.

So why do lyrium veins heal you when the codex says that they are fatal?

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    I don't think there's an answer here aside from "that's how they programmed it to work in the game". They just ignored the lore for the sake of not really having any better way of providing in world healing, I suppose. – Tarkenfire Feb 7 '15 at 6:23
  • Because Bioware is an extremely progressive and open developer! Stop oppressing lyrium, you misolyrinist. If it wants to not be fatal, it won't be fatal. Now buy more lyrium focused DLC. Joking aside, i don't expect BiowarEA to actually care about making a lore filled game, but a cash grab at whatever thing is popular in the game industry to cater to today. – Baseballs Mar 27 '15 at 16:17
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    Perhaps you did die, and the rest of the game is just an hallucination in a near death experience. – lorentzfactor Apr 12 '15 at 0:55
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The codex is correct. According to the lore of Dragon Age, Lyrium Veins are fatal to mages and have adverse effects to everyone else.

There really isn't an answer as to why the veins restore your character. There isn't any comment from developers and in the wiki, it states that this happening is contradictory to the lore.

Tarkenfire's comment is basically correct - they programmed it to say Lyrium Vein and clicking on it was supposed to kill you if you are a mage but instead they made it do the opposite.

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    Could you elaborate on how you know that the codex is correct and what you mean by lore? Is this something that is established outside the games, like the novels? – Thunderforge May 1 '15 at 18:26
  • @Thunderforge I will gather for you and update my answer when I have enough information for you. Thanks. – FoxMcCloud May 1 '15 at 18:39
  • Did you ever find additional information about lyrium veins from the Dragon Age Lore? – Thunderforge Jan 2 '18 at 2:00
  • @Thunderforge Yeah I think I read it outside the game somewhere, but I don't remember where. You could have reminded me 2 years ago, ya know – FoxMcCloud Jan 2 '18 at 14:12
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Lyrium is raw power that can be fatal and addictive. It's like drugs, it feels good and stops pain, but weakens the mind. I suppose drugs are fatal if you overdose, the same goes for lyrium. But the game was made so you don't get addicted to small doses and you're fine.

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  • insightful, but apart from what has already been said, your answer is entirely speculation. If you can provide a source to reference that this is what the developers intended, fair enough. But by itself, developer speculation has no real place on the Arqade. – user106385 Oct 12 '15 at 23:48

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