The Principality of Antiva or simply Antiva is a plutocratic nation in northeastern Thedas. Although it possesses few resources of its own, Antiva's location makes it a center for trade in the north. Antiva's wine trade, buoyed by its fruitful vineyards and an aggressive approach to trading practices with other nations, is one of the country's main resources, allowing for a relatively prosperous life for its citizens. Its capital is Antiva City, which lies on the middle of its coastline and is one of the wealthiest in Thedas.
Antiva is bordered by the Rialto Bay and Rivain to the East, the Tevinter Imperium to the West and the Free Marches to the South. The country enjoys a warm north-eastern climate. Much of Antiva is coastline, thus facilitating their seafaring nature. Five of their major cities are port cities, including the Antivan capital, Antiva City.
- Antiva City – capital of Antiva
- Seleny – a river city famed for graceful bridges and sculpture
- Arvaud's Barrow
- The Drylands
- Green Dales
- Rialto Bay
- Tellari Swamps
- Verdant Isle
- The Weyrs
- White Spire (mountain peak)
Antiva's origins can be traced back to pirates and mercenaries who settled on the coast of Rialto Bay, seeing a lucrative opportunity in land trade. Over the years, the neigbouring settlements on the coast formed numerous alliances, eventually unting with the city-state of Antiva. The importance of trade led to a strong position of the merchant class within Antiva. In ancient times, Beregrand, a dwarf from the kingdom of Gundaar with his impressive knowledge and skills, helped the city states of Antiva to greatly expand their naval power. -30 Ancient, the city-state of Antiva evolved into a full-fledged nation.
Antiva usually remained neutral in the conflicts of its neighbours, though it did ally with some city-states of the Free Marches in the period between 2:15 and 2:45 Glory to stop the terriotorial advances of King Fyruss of Starkhaven. In 2:33 Glory, Antivan cities united under a common banner to better defend themselves. The Starkhaven threat faded in 2:45 Glory when King Fyruss was betrayed by his Tevinter allies and the Imperium annexed Starkhaven.
In 4:30 Black, Asha Subira Bahadur was born in Rivain. She married the King of Antiva and eventually became known as the "Queen Mother of Thedas" after creating multiple unions between her offspring and other royal and noble families of Thedas.
The Fourth Blight broke out in 5:12 Exalted with the awakening of the Archdemon Andoral. Initially, the darkspawn concentrated in Antiva and the country was overrun. The city of Seleny fell after a four day siege. Next, the darkspawn forces started advancing towards Antiva City. Before the siege began, the ruling family of Antiva was killed by their royal guard in response for refusing to evacuate the citizens. Antiva City was all but destroyed. The Blight ended in 5:24 Exalted. The darkspawn army was defeated in the battle of Ayesleigh in Rivain, where Garahel died after killing Andoral. During the battle, an Orlesian captain Lambert Valmont saved King Azar Adalberto Campana, a surviving member of the royal Antiva family who came to rule the country after the end of the Blight.
In 5:99 Exalted, Queen Madrigal of Antiva was assasinated. She was found with four steel swords plunged into her chest and many assumed she was murdered by the Crows. The event caused Divine Theodosia I to name the next age "the Steel Age".
In the early Steel Age, Qunari arrived in Par Vollen and soon began claiming territories on the main continent. Between 6:32 and 42 Steel, Antiva was conquered by the invading Qunari forces. In 7:25 Storm, the First Exalted March on the Qunari was declared. The Second Exalted March began at an unspecified time and ended in 7:52 Storm with the Qunari capturing most of Antiva. The city of Treviso was burned by the liberating armies of the Southern Chantry and the Imperial Chantry. In 7:84 Storm, the Third Exalted March ended with signing of the Llomerryn Accord, and Antiva was freed from the Qunari influence.
In 8:99 Blessed, dragons reappeared in Thedas, first showing in Antiva, then spread into Orlais and Nevarra where they devastated the countryside. Attempts to reduce the number of dragons resulted in a great loss of life.
- Main article: Antivan royalty and nobility
Officially, the line of kings in Antiva has remained unbroken for two and a half thousand years, but the monarchy is very weak and has virtually no army. In reality, Antiva is a plutocracy: the true power conferred strictly by wealth lies in the hands of a dozen merchant princes. They are not princes in the literal sense, but heads of banks, trading companies, and vineyards, each with a personal army, and each locked in a constant struggle against all the others. They possess sufficient capital to resolve any external diplomatic quandaries with a well-aimed purse or threat of withdrawn trade.
Despite the lack of a strong military tradition, there is another reason why Antiva has rarely feared invasion: the infamous House of Crows, the most efficient, most feared, and most expensive guild of assassins in Thedas. Their fame is such that Antiva has no need of a standing army. No leader is willing to order an attack on her borders or to lead the troops due to fear of assassination. Even the Qunari leave the nation alone.
In addition, the political machinations of Queen Asha Campana, "The Queen Mother of Thedas," involved an extensive array of political marriages between numerous noble houses in the effort of establishing alliances. This has given the Principality of Antiva significant political protection: to start hostilities with Antiva would mean running the risk of dragging half of Thedas into war.
An association of Antivan pirates called the Felicisima Armada is the leading maritime power in the region. It gained influence when the pirates aided the allied forces in the Exalted Marches against the Qunari, and now poses a serious threat on the Waking Sea. Wealthy merchants often prefer to pay the leaders of the Armada rather than to risk their cargo.
Trade and exports
Antiva, as a coastal country with bustling ports, facilitates a great deal of trade, both through piracy and legitimate business. Some of this trade may be under the aegis of the Antivan Crows and their confederates. The exports of Antiva are numerous and varied. Antiva is renowned for its admittedly unparalleled wines, as well as its coffee. It is also known for its rubies and diamonds. There are pearls in Rialto Bay. Antivan leatherworking is also particularly exquisite, and its crafters are the envy of the known world. In addition to leather Antiva produces fine weaving and silk of great renown. Antivan crafters also excel at the production of porcelain of a quality so fine light shines through, as well as woodwork. The country enjoys healthy trade with many nations, including the empire of Orlais.
Culture and society
The origins of modern Antiva lie in the alliance of pirates and "ne'er-do-wells" who favored a safer and more lucrative life on land as opposed to a dangerous life on the sea. They made a home on Rialto Bay's western coast which was, however, owned by the king of Antiva, the nearby city-state. Eventually the two distinct groups merged into one people, evolving into the nation of Antiva as it's known today.
Women have strictly defined roles in Antiva. They are considered pure and delicate and not allowed to participate in combat, among other things. However it's fairer to say this is an Antivan ideal of femininity which does not always match up well with the reality. Dueling, usually to a non-fatal extent, is a past-time and way to solve disputes among the nobility.
One particularly notable woman in Antivan history - and indeed Thedosian history - is the Rivaini-born Queen Asha Campana, also known as Asha Subira Bahadur Campana, the Gana of Ayesleigh. The daughter of rich merchants, she married the weak King Dario Campana during the Black Age, but was not content with allowing history to pass her by. She desired that Antiva have a larger and more powerful role in Thedosian politics. To this end, she married her children and grandchildren into royal and aristocratic families throughout the continent, leading historians to refer to her as the "Queen Mother of Thedas." She is said to have descendants amongst the royals of Orlais, Nevarra, Starkhaven, the Anderfels and even amongst some Tevinter magisters.
Satinalia is a Theodosian holiday. It is accompanied by wild celebration, the wearing of masks, and naming the town fool as ruler for a day. Particularly in Antiva, Satinalia lasts for a week or more, while a week of fasting follows. This holiday is celebrated at the beginning of Umbralis.
Antiva has a long history of puppetry. While the primary purpose of puppet shows is to entertain, many street shows comment on political issues. The Antivan Crows are known to use these shows as a way to send public messages. Antivan approach to puppetry might have been influenced by Antivan Dalish clans' habit of building "forest marionettes" to scare humans away from their clans.
Notable people with Antivan origins
- Zevran Arainai
- Captain Aristide – tasked with investigating the assassination of Queen Madrigal
- Queen Asha Subira Bahadur Campana – Rivaini-born princess, lived during the Black Age. Wife of King Alonzo Campana, became known as the "Queen Mother of Thedas."
- Calien d'Evaliste – an Antivan Crow during the Exalted Age
- Andarateia Cantori – Sixth Talon of the Antivan Crows
- Oriana Cousland
- Caterina Dellamorte – First Talon of the Antivan Crows
- Illario Dellamorte
- Lucanis Dellamorte
- Viago De Riva – bastard son of King Fulgeno II; Fifth Talon of the Antivan Crows
- Master Ignacio
- Queen Madrigal – lived during the late Exalted Age, her mysterious death caused Divine Theodosia I to name the next age as the Steel Age
- Josephine Montilyet
- Commander Polara – Warden-Commander of Ferelden prior to Duncan; Polara had a son who disappeared during the Fifth Blight and then she herself disappeared shortly after
- Claudio Valisti – a merchant prince of Antiva and Third Talon of the Antivan Crows
- Codex entry: Antiva
- Codex entry: Zevran Arainai
- Codex entry: The Raiders of the Waking Sea
- Codex entry: Beregrand the Bold
- Codex entry: Queen Asha of Antiva
- Antivans speak with a strong Spanish accent and some Antivans in-game even may say words in Spanish. Zevran, whether romanced or not in Dragon Age: Origins, will randomly say "Sí, amor?" ("Yes, love?") when switching control to him in the party. A similar case is Vincento in Dragon Age II, who says "Maldición" (a Spanish term for both "damn it" or "curse", depending of the context). In addition, Antiva has other Spanish cultural references, such as the use of many proper names that are typical in Spain or the Felicisima Armada which was a historic Spanish maritime fleet, among others.
- Politically, Antiva seems to be a fictionalized version of a medieval city-state like Venice. Cities of Treviso and Rialto, which appear in the map, are an actual Venetian city (in the case of Treviso), and the name of the largest and most famous Venetian bridge (Ponte Rialto). Antiva was originally going to be called Calabria, only because of how it sounded, not because of any similarities between the two, and it's erroneously referred to as Calabria in Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne and in some of the localized versions of Dragon Age: Origins.
- In his dialogue with Morrigan, Zevran mentions the rumors of a Witch of the Wilds settling in the Antivan Tellari swamps. This rumor is confirmed to be true in Dragon Age: The Silent Grove where it is revealed there is a Witch of the Wilds named Yavana living in the Tellari swamps.
- The symbol of Antiva is a golden drake.
- King Maric Theirin owned a mahogany vanity, a gift from the Antivan royal family.
- According to Zevran, the Dalish in Antiva are more violent than those in Ferelden.