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Those mages who honor the Maker and keep His laws we welcome as our brothers and sisters. Those who reject the laws of the Maker and the words of His prophet are apostate. They shall be cast out, and given no place among us.

—From The Sermons of Justinia I[1]

Apostates are mages who are not part of the Circle of Magi and are thus considered "rebel mages."[2] There are two main types of apostates: hedge mages and general apostates, who were never part of the Circle, and rogue mages, who have fled from the Circle. The Templar Order is charged with finding apostates and either capturing or killing them. Maleficarum are a branch of apostate mages considered most dangerous.


Morrigan, an apostate and Witch of the Wilds

Once, the term only described mages who willfully left the Circle of Magi and the path the Chantry had dictated for them. However, as the Andrastian Chantry is the dominant religion in Thedas, the Chantry expects everyone born in Thedas to follow the faith. Any mages outside the Circle are thus regarded as heretics, and labeled apostate. The Chantry believes that apostates are at greater risk of being possessed by demons and becoming abominations.

This Chantry policy also includes the Dalish elven mages including the clan keepers and their apprentices, who are however left alone as long as the clan remains isolated and limits their number of members who have magic. Although Saarebas are controlled by the Qunari and typically reside on Par Vollen, the Chantry also treats them as apostates. Spirit Warriors tend to be seen as apostates by templars;[3] although they are not mages and they deal with benevolent spirits, these distinctions are almost entirely lost in favor of caution.

Mages within the Grey Wardens are technically apostates, but are granted reprieve from templar attention and free of the confines of the Circle upon recruitment; so they may battle the darkspawn unfettered.[4] The harboring of apostates—even blood magic practicing maleficarum—is a point of contention between the two orders, and is only tempered by its relative rarity, due to the Wardens' conservative recruitment standards. Nonetheless, the Wardens are expected to act appropriately if a mage grows beyond their control, else the templars consider the mage's immunity forfeit. In addition, the templars also keep the phylacteries of the mages who join the Wardens for good measure. Witches of the Wilds constitute a separate group of apostates.

Apostates who gain the favor of influential and powerful political figures may also be granted the same reprieves if the apostate's arrest would be considered too impolitic. An example of such rare occurrences would be apostate Champions of influential Free Marches city-states.

No matter how a mage has become apostate, the Chantry treats them alike: templars begin a systematic hunt to bring the apostate to justice, which almost always results in their execution. If there is some overriding reason the mage should live, the Rite of Tranquility is forced upon them instead, becoming unfeeling slaves for the Circle.[5]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

Shortly after the Kirkwall Rebellion, all the Circles in southern Thedas rose up against the Chantry, making all mages technically apostates.

Hedge magic[]

Main article: Hedge magic

Hedge magic is a form of magical expression different than that of typical mages. Hedge mages are untrained magic-users who wield powers developed outside of conventional teaching[2]. Some of these hedge mages are not even aware of their nature.


Main article: Maleficar

Maleficarum actively pursue dangerous and forbidden schools of magic, including blood magic.[2] Many apostates do not practice forbidden schools of magic, but the stigma is so intense that most apostates are looked upon as maleficar.

Notable apostates[]

Apostate mages[6]

Apostate Wanderer in Heroes of Dragon Age

For a complete list, see Category:Apostates.

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Apostates Codex entry: Apostates
Codex entry: Apostate's Courage Codex entry: Apostate's Courage
Codex entry: An Honest Answer Regarding Apostates Codex entry: An Honest Answer Regarding Apostates
Codex entry: The Hedge Witch Codex entry: The Hedge Witch
Codex entry: Cold-Blooded Codex entry: Cold-Blooded
Codex entry: Apostate's Courage Codex entry: Apostate's Courage
Codex entry: Maleficarum Regrets Codex entry: Maleficarum Regrets
Codex entry: The Seekers of Truth Codex entry: The Seekers of Truth
Codex entry: The Spiral Eye Codex entry: The Spiral Eye
Codex entry: Staff of Violation Codex entry: Staff of Violation


  1. Codex entry: Maleficarum
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 105
  3. Dragon Age RPG, Core Rulebook, p. 73
  4. According to banter between Vivienne and Iron Bull after Here Lies the Abyss
  5. Codex entry: Apostates
  6. Dragon Age RPG Player's Guide, set 2, pg. 59.
  7. Codex entry: Cold-Blooded
  8. Codex entry: Apostate's Courage
  9. An infamous apostate who was eventually captured and made Tranquil; Codex entry: The Spiral Eye.