Alamarri.png

The Alamarri were one of the earliest human tribes, and the first humans to settle in south-eastern Thedas. They are the tribal ancestors of the Fereldans, the people who live in the nation of Ferelden. "Alamarri" is not a single tribe, but a loose coalition of tribes started by the Alamarri peoples. Besides the people of Ferelden, who are descended from the Clayne, there are the Avvar and the Chasind who exist in modern times.

History[edit | edit source]

Ancient times[edit | edit source]

In -2415 Ancient, the Alamarri crossed the Frostback Mountains and settled in the lands that would become known as Ferelden. According to their legends, they needed to find a new homeland because their previous territory was plagued by a being they refer to as a "shadow goddess." Scholars theorize the Alamarri were actually trying to escape from an unidentified natural disaster.[1] Solas claims that he has met this spirit during his travels, and that she currently dwells in the southern tundra.[2]

In -1815 Ancient, the Alamarri tribes living near what is known today as Lake Calenhad separated from the rest, becoming the Avvar.[3] They were led by Tyrdda Bright-Axe, who defeated another Alamarri leader, Thelm Gold-Handed. The Avvar left the plains in favour of the mountains.[4] Even after their separation, the Alamarri and the Avvar would sometimes form alliances. Maferath, an Avvar leader[5] who controlled much of what would become eastern Ferelden,[6] married Andraste, a daughter of an Alamarri chieftain. He led the combined Alamarri forces in the Exalted March against Tevinter.[7]

In -1415 Ancient, another group of the Alamarri broke away, forming the Chasind tribes. They settled in the Korcari Wilds[8] and quickly adapted to their new home. Chasind live in small tribes and cultivate shamanistic traditions.[9]

War with the Tevinter Imperium[edit | edit source]

Alamarri tribe members[10]

Around -715 Ancient, the Tevinter Imperium launched several campaigns in an attempt to subjugate the Alamarri tribes in Ferelden. They eventually succeded and took control of the area for a time. The Imperial Highway was built across the Frostback Mountains, leading all the way to Ostagar.[11] Ostagar was abandoned during the First Blight when the Tevinter Imperium collapsed.[12]

In -620 Ancient the Tevinters established Emerius (now known as Kirkwall) across the sea from the Alamarri lands, as a slave trade hub. They again ventured into the Fereldan valley and often captured the locals, including the elves scattered in the area, but also humans such as Andraste and Radun.[13]

Though their lands were occupied by foreign powers, the tribes continued to fight with each other, for example in the Battle of Red Falls that took place in -355 Ancient.[14]. However, in -180 Ancient they united against the invaders. As one people, the "barbarian horde" consisting of various Alamarri clans such as Clayne, as well as Avvar and Ciriane tribes, crossed the Waking Sea.[15] The Imperium, weakened by the Blight, nearly fell to the force led by the former slave Andraste and the armies of her Avvar husband Maferath, and the elven slaves led by Shartan who joined the Alamarri side in -171 Ancient.[16] The Alamarri used the Tevinters' own Imperial Highway to lay waste to their lands all the way from Ostagar to Minrathous.[citation needed] However, when the Tevinters neared annihilation, Maferath made a deal with the Magisters who retained part of their nation. Andraste was killed as a result of the deal,[17] and the Alamarri were given the land that makes today's Ferelden, parts of Orlais, and the Free Marches.[18]

Maferath's fall[edit | edit source]

The Alamarri conquered a vast portion of the lands that once belonged to the Tevinter Imperium, including what is now known as Orlais, the Free Marches, and Nevarra. Maferath split the majority of the newly acquired territory among his three sons, while he continued to rule over the Fereldan part.[19] For their help during the Exalted Marches, he gave the elves the Dales to call their own.[20] However, Maferath started losing support when he would not let his army attack further into Tevinter territory to avenge the death of his wife. His own people completely abandoned him when Archon Hessarian converted to the Cult of the Maker and revealed that Maferath was a traitor who let Andraste die in exchange for the lands. He was overthrown by his sons.[21]

Free Marches[edit | edit source]

One of Maferath's sons, Evrion, was entrusted with the lands that would become the Free Marches.[22] At the time, this area was inhabited by nomadic people. Evrion was more concerned with spreading the words of his mother than ruling. When the truth of his father's betrayal came to light, Evrion and his children disavowed their lineage and renounced their control over their holdings.[23]

Nevarra[edit | edit source]

The youngest of Maferath's sons, Verald, was assigned to rule the central Planasene.[22] Verald based his claim on his ties to Andraste and Maferath, which backfired when the news of Maferath's betrayal spread. His entire court was murdered, though Verald himself managed to escape with his life and fled to Orlais.[23]

Orlais[edit | edit source]

The eldest son, Isorath, was given the Ciriane lands to the west of the Fereldan Valley. He united the Ciriane tribes into one nation, which he called Orlais.[23] The Grand Unification happened in -155 Ancient.[24] Isorath was married to the Ciriane gyoja (female chieftain) Jeshavis, who began plotting to have her husband killed,[25] as she was angered by the upheaval caused by unifying Orlais. When Verald fled to Orlais, Jeshavis manipulated him into killing his older brother. Later, she married Verald, who wanted to legitimize his claim to the throne. Through Jeshavis' machinations, Verald was also killed, and the gyoja became the leader of Orlais.[23]

Civil wars[edit | edit source]

In 1:40 Divine, amidst the chaos of the Second Blight, an Alamarri warrior called Hafter united the tribes living in the Fertile Valley in order to drive back the darkspawn.[26] In 1:50 Divine, the Alamarri leader defeated the combined forces of the Chasind and Avvar who hoped to take advantage of the Blight and control the valley. Hafter was proclaimed the first teyrn of the Alamarri people.[27][28][29]

Since antiquity, powerful warlords known as "banns" had led the Alamarri in near constant struggle with their fellow tribes as each bann sought to widen his territory and influence.[30] The term "bann" dates at least as far back as the Towers Age.[31]

BioWare canon.png
The following characters, lore and events in this section are non-canon in Dragon Age and exist only within the Dragon Age tabletop RPG.

During the Towers Age the Chasind Wilders and other "terrible things" were led by Flemeth's daughters, the Witches of the Wilds. This force invaded the north and were all but unopposed until the hero Cormac led an army of Alamarri fighters and Orzammar dwarves. After a long series of dreadful battles, the Chasind were all but destroyed, and the witches burned. To this day the Fereldans eye the south warily, regarding the Chasind with suspicion and hatred.[32]

Other accounts say there was never a war between Flemeth and Cormac to begin with, nor a Chasind invasion at that time. Cormac led a brutal civil war against his own people under the pretense of rooting out an evil corruption amongst its nobility. The legend of Flemeth leading an army of Chasind Wilders to invade the Ferelden lowlands was a lie spread afterwards, presumably to be used as propaganda when the wars between the Alamarri and the Chasind eventually came.[33]

Since then, the Chasind have never left the swamps, nor have the Alamarri entered them. The Avvars took the hills as their land and the remaining Alamarri stayed in the Fereldan Valley and became known as "the lowlanders" to the Avvars and the "grasslanders" to the Chasind.[citation needed]

First Orlesian Invasion of Ferelden[edit | edit source]

In 4:80 Black, the Orlesian Empire invaded the Fereldan valley for the first time by crossing the Frostback Mountains, hoping to take advantage of Ferelden's fractured state. By 4:83, the Fereldan teyrns had set aside their differences to push the Orlesians back in a united front. The Orlesians' hope of taking the port of Highever was dashed when the fortress of Redcliffe held out too long and winter in the Frostbacks cut off their supply lines. By the spring, most Orlesians had either pulled out or been captured.[34]

Ferelden[edit | edit source]

Main article: Unification of Ferelden

The tribe of Clayne eventually formed the kingdom of Ferelden under the rule of Calenhad Theirin in 5:42 Exalted,[35] over 400 years past Hafter's time.

Alamarri and mabari[edit | edit source]

The foreigners visiting Ferelden often remark that it smells of wet dogs.[36] True or not, one thing cannot be denied - Ferelden and dogs go together.[37] It's said that the mabari were bred by Tevinter mages but decided to stay in Alamarri lands after the Imperial occupation was ultimately driven back.[38] Ever since then, the mabari have had a strong presence in Fereldan lands. Many of the Alamarri tribes kept their own mabari, and the tradition was maintained by Fereldan nobles, many of whom claim ties to Hafter, the first teyrn, who was reputed to be the son of a werewolf.

Known Alamarri[edit | edit source]

Andraste – daugther of Alamarri chieftain Elderath and a Ciriane woman named Brona
Calenhad – born in Highever, united the Alamarri tribes
• Bann Conobar Elstan – husband of Flemeth [31][39]
Cormac – famous for his fight against the Chasind and Witches of the Wilds [31]
Dane – an Alamarri hero
Elderath – chief of the northernmost tribes of the Alamarri after the First Blight; father of Andraste [40]
• Teyrna Elethea Cousland – the only Cousland Teyrna to hold the title both as an Alamarri and a Fereldan; she fought against the unification of the tribes by the future King Calenhad Theirin, but ultimately joined Calenhad to retain her family's teyrnir [41]
Elias Howe – one of the first to support the unification of the Alamarri by Calenhad [42]
Flemeth of Highever [31]
• Teyrna Haelia Cousland – became a Teyrna after rallying an army against werewolves during the Black Age [39]
Hafter – the first teyrn
Havard – the first of the Disciples of Andraste; born in the same Avvar clan as Maferath [5]
Heggar II – a prominent Alamarri, father of Maferath [40]
Thelois – a prominent Alamarri, mother of Maferath [40]
Luthias the Dwarfson – an Alamarri Berserker leader who belonged to the Clayne tribe [43]
Maferath – a warlord in power after the First Blight; husband of Andraste
• Teyrn Mather Cousland – organized a curfew and patrols within the city after the werewolves arrived; several other local banns supported his efforts by swearing oaths of fealty, making him their Teyrn [41]
Morrighan'nan – a chieftain of an Avvar clan
Radun – a slave in Kirkwall whose murder incited a slave rebellion
Ruadan – an Avvar shaman and mage
• Bann Sarim Cousland – who took over the bannorn of Highever after Bann Conobar Elstan died [39]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 12
  2. According to Solas
  3. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 13
  4. Codex entry: Saga of Tyrdda Bright-Axe, Avvar-Mother
  5. 5.0 5.1 Codex entry: Havard's Aegis
  6. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 11
  7. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 13
  8. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 14
  9. Codex entry: The Chasind
  10. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 26
  11. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 23
  12. Codex entry: Ostagar
  13. Codex entry: History of Kirkwall: Chapter 2
  14. Codex entry: The Legend of Luthias Dwarfson
  15. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 42
  16. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 43
  17. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 44
  18. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 45
  19. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 16
  20. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 46
  21. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 113
  22. 22.0 22.1 Codex entry: The Children of Andraste
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 15
  24. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 47
  25. Codex entry: Jeshavis, Mother of Orlais
  26. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 66
  27. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 70
  28. Codex entry: Yusaris: The Dragonslayer
  29. Codex entry: The Dogs of War
  30. Codex entry: Politics of Ferelden
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 Codex entry: Flemeth
  32. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 1, p. 9
  33. Dialogue with Morrigan if discussing Flemeth's legends in Dragon Age: Origins.
  34. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 94-95
  35. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 105
  36. According to dialogue with Sten, Marjolaine, and Dorian.
  37. Codex entry: Dogs in Ferelden
  38. According to dialogue with Fenris
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Codex entry: Highever
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 11
  41. 41.0 41.1 Mentioned by Aldous
  42. Codex entry: The Howes of Amaranthine
  43. According to Ash Warrior Leader


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