The title of this page is not an official name, but the article uses it as conjecture.

The Darkspawn Civil War occurred in the lands of Amaranthine a few months after the events of the Fifth Blight in 9:31 Dragon. In essence, it could be considered part of the Thaw and merely a continuation of the Blight. The war was fought between the forces of the Architect and the Mother, both intelligent darkspawn with ideological differences.

The Grey Wardens became involved in the war when the Architect sent an emissary to negotiate with the Grey Wardens. Mistrust and misunderstandings led to the massacre of the Orlesian Grey Warden contingent stationed at Vigil's Keep and also the Architect's emissary.

Hostilities occurred at the ancient dwarven fortress of Kal'Hirol, where broodmothers belonging to the Mother's faction were stationed. The fortress was assaulted by darkspawn beloning to the Architect's faction and also a team of Grey Wardens hostile to all darkspawn factions. Other engagements occurred at the Blackmarsh and the Wending Wood.

A major invasion force was launched by the Mother to simultaneously destroy Vigil's Keep and Amaranthine. The force was destroyed at great cost to the defenders.

Soon after, the Warden-Commander initiated a strike mission to destroy the Mother. The war ended with the death of the Mother who was stationed at Drake's Fall.


With the destruction of Urthemiel officially ending the Fifth Blight, it was assumed that the remnants of the darkspawn horde that survived the Battle of Denerim were now merely disorganised stragglers continuing a futile resistance. Darkspawn had long been generalised as animalistic savages devoid of any intelligence or direction without an Archdemon's guidance, but the emergence of talking Disciples and of the Architect changed this view of the darkspawn.

The Architect was a unique darkspawn, with no discernable subspecies or connection to the Taint. Born outside of the darkspawn hive mind, he had immunity against the Call of the Old Gods that drew the darkspawn to them. The Architect was an emissary in ability, including the ability to speak coherently, and also, a first for the darkspawn, a visionary; lamenting the vast casualties on both sides that a Blight always brought before it ended, he sought to bring peace between the other races and the darkspawn, and was willing to do whatever it took to achieve his goal.

In time his studies produced an unprecedented result; by drinking the blood of Grey Wardens, the darkspawn could gain resistance to the Taint and, consequently, think for themselves. This resulted in the creation of a new kind of darkspawn - the Disciples, who could form opinions, strategize and better command control of their unconverted brethren. Some Disciples were grateful to the Architect, but for others losing the bliss of the Call and the taint was too much.

Things came to a head when the Architect freed a once-human broodmother who deeply resented losing her connection to the taint and the call, as well as the loss of the Archdemon's "song". Assuming the title "the Mother", she began producing a new species of darkspawn of her own - the horrific Children, gathered an army of unconverted darkspawn and decided to resume attacking the surface and wipe out both the Architect and the Grey Wardens. Realising the threat the Mother posed to both the surface and himself, the Architect gathered an army of his own; the Disciples, however, were free to choose their own side. Reformists who agreed with the Architect sided with him, while traditionalists who resented being cut off from the Taint sided with the Mother. Eventually the two sides started fighting, the Civil War begun.

Grey Warden involvement

The Grey Wardens of Ferelden, after being exiled from Ferelden until 9:10 Dragon and decimated at the Battle of Ostagar during the Fifth Blight, were slowly rebuilding in the aftermath. The fortress of Vigil's Keep and Amaranthine was given to the Grey Wardens as compensation for Arl Rendon Howe's betrayal. A contingent of Orlesian Wardens and auxiliary troops would later arrive to bolster the garrison at Vigil's Keep.

The Grey Wardens were essentially caught in the middle of the darkspawn civil war. The Architect's plan required Grey Warden blood, causing him to send the Withered in an attempt to gain an alliance with the Wardens. The Mother, however, knew the importance of the Wardens to the Architect. Seeking to undo the Architect's work out of hate for robbing her and the other awakened darkspawn in her faction of the bliss of the Old Gods' call and have revenge upon the Archdemon's murderers, the Mother sought to destroy the order completely. The Architect, however, knew that the Warden-Commander possessed the power to defeat the Mother, and refusing to give up on the Wardens he sent his forces to hinder and if possible stop operations being conducted by the Mother's forces.

After meeting the Architect, uncovering evidence of The Mother's plan, and halting The Mother's army, the Warden Commander of Vigil's Keep personally tracked The Mother to her lair and killed her, ending the conflict.

Overview of the war

Assault on Vigil's Keep

Main article: The Assault on Vigil's Keep (conflict)
See also: The Assault on Vigil's Keep, The Withered, It Comes From Beneath, and The Survivors of Vigil's Keep

The Withered and a contingent of darkspawn troops were sent by the Architect to negotiate an alliance with the Grey Wardens at Vigil's Keep. Presumably they entered through the deep roads below the basement of the keep. Since the Warden-Commander was not present at the beginning of the assault, Seneschal Varel, commander of the defensive forces, ordered an immediate attack upon the darkspawn.

This conflict ended up as a massacre with no apparent explanation (though the Architect later explained that he had sent the Withered to ask for aid from the Grey Wardens, not considering they might regard the darkspawn's approach as an attack, and that misunderstanding might have led to the ensuing carnage). Captain Garevel's predecessor and all Orlesian Wardens were slaughtered, except for those not present at the keep, while all darkspawn including the Withered were slaughtered by the returning Warden-Commander and their companions.

Battle at Wending Wood

Main article: The Righteous Path

The Architect's darkspawn troopes slaughtered Dalish elves camping in Wending Wood. Their leader Velanna suspected humans for doing this, so she attacked by sylvans every human, who came to the woods. The Warden-Commander of Ferelden traveled there to investigate this, what lead to local Silverite Mine. There the commander was abducted by the Architect and imprisoned, but escaped after killing there all met darkspawn troops and dragons. The sentient darkspawn emissary escaped with its surviving subordinates.

Battle at Kal'Hirol

Main article: Last of the Legion

Kal'Hirol was the location of several broodmothers belonging to the Mother's faction. The Architect invaded the fortress of Kal'Hirol in an apparent attempt to destroy these broodmothers.

The fortress's defence was commanded by the Lost and was protected by Hurlocks, Genlocks and Children, with additional stone golems at the darkspawn emissaries' command. A single Inferno golem protected the Lower Reaches along with the Lost.

The invading forces of the Architect consisted of lightly armed Hurlocks, led by an unnamed Disciple, and were heavily outnumbered as the Grey Wardens arrived.

A legionnaire scouting party was wiped out, except for one member, before the arrival of the Commander of the Grey. The Grey Warden team arrived due to the intelligence report from Captain Garevel and remained neutral during the engagement. The Commander of the Grey killed everything on the way to the broodmothers, before killing them by dropping a lyrium well onto the nest.

Battle at the Blackmarsh

Main article: Shadows of the Blackmarsh

An Orlesian Grey Warden, Kristoff, went to the Blackmarsh to investigate a rumor about darkspawn, who remained despite the Archdemon's death. He killed some darkspawn, but was overhelmed and executed by their leader, the First. Because the Warden didn't return, The Warden-Commander went looking for him, but fell into a trap set by his killer. Both the Wardens and the First were trapped in the Fade and separated to find a way to return. After the Warden-Commander finished the First, they returned to Thedas, but unfortunately some demons also left their realm. They were all exterminated by the Warden-Commander with help of the spirit of Justice, who was also expelled from the Fade.

Assault on Amaranthine

Main article: The Assault on Amaranthine

The Mother launched a preemptive attack on the city of Amaranthine while simultaneously advancing on the Wardens' stronghold at Vigil's Keep. The city came under the attack from the standard darkspawn infantry as well as heavily-armoured ogres. Constable Aidan was charged with the city's defense.

The Commander of the Grey initially went to the defense of the city and wiped out the attacking party. However, the Architect sent The Messenger to warn the commander of the incoming attack on Vigil's Keep. This knowledge of the surprise attack on Vigil's Keep may have changed his/her mind to stay in the city.

If the Commander remained to defend the city, while recuperating at the temporary base of operations at the Chantry of our Lady Redeemer, the Herald's army caught up to engage the Warden. Within the city, the Herald engaged in a form of guerilla warfare operating from the smuggling tunnels beneath the city. The Herald and his forces were routed in the battle.

Siege of Vigil's Keep

Main article: The Siege of Vigil's Keep

Vigil's Keep came under simultaneous attack from the Mother's force. The keep may have been forced to withstand the onslaught on its own or the Commander may have chosen to return from Amaranthine to personally oversee the keep's defences.

Battle at Drake's Fall

Main article: Depths of Depravity

The Grey Wardens led by the Warden-Commander entered Drake's Fall to destroy the commander of the hostile darkspawn force, the Mother.

During their descent, the Wardens re-activated three old Tevinter towers with powerful magic stored within. The Architect met the Warden-Commander face to face for the second time, and explained his intentions and reasons for experimenting on the Wardens during their last meeting. After talking about his inverted Joining ritual and explaining the attack on Vigil's Keep, as well as other events including the Mother's origins, he made the Commander an offer: in exchange for his help fighting the Mother, the Architect would be allowed to leave with his followers to continue his work. The other Wardens had differing opinions on fighting or agreeing with the Architect, but ultimately it was the Commander's decision.

Regardless, the Wardens reached the Mother's Lair and after a long and grueling fight the Commander killed her by stabbing a dagger through her head.

Victory and Aftermath


The Mother was slain and the darkspawn threat was lessened.

What became of the Architect and his plans is unknown. His death is a possibility as is the possibility that he was released to continue his work in nullifying the Calling.

All remaining darkspawn returned to the Deep Roads; if the Architect survived, the Deep Roads became quieter than ever.


City of Amaranthine

If the Warden chose to defend the City of Amaranthine, reconstruction of the city took a year.

Vigil's Keep

  • If Vigil's Keep survived the siege, reconstruction took five years.
  • Possible emergence of the Silver Order.
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