The Ash Warriors are an elite and renowned unit of Fereldan fighters who use vicious mabari war dogs in battle. According to the legend their training is considered to descend from the dwarven berserkers. They are pious mercenaries who work for no pay, instead working for whatever cause they deem just. They are so admired by common Fereldans that wherever they go, they are treated as heroes.
Despite the prestige, few people choose to join the Ash Warriors. They are denied the opportunity for both personal wealth and for personal glory.
Indeed, the Ash Warriors' ranks are often composed of former criminals, joining the group as a means to redeem themselves. Their past identities are expunged, as "even in legal records their old life is erased—contracts voided, marriages annulled, records of birth erased".
The Ash Warriors' training has, according to the Ash Warriors, been passed down since Luthias the Dwarfson, first harnessed the battle-rage of the dwarves. Ash Warriors harness the battle rage inside, nurture it, and draw it out so they cannot fall in battle until their last foe is slain.
Ash Warriors are also famous for their use of mabari. They trust their hounds with their lives, as the hounds do them. They fight side by side with their hounds in battle and it is common for an Ash Warrior to pair with their dog for life. The sight, and smell, of the Ash Warriors fighting with their dogs is legendary.
In -355 Ancient the Battle of Red Falls occurred. This was last great battle between the Alamarri with their legendary leader Luthias and the Avvar with their warrior queen Morrighan'nan. Even though he was thought to be unbeatable, he and Morrighan'nan slew each other. The Ash Warriors were founded shortly after his death in order to honour his memory.
Some time before or during the Blessed Age, the Ash Warriors were led by a man named Gelgenig who received a vision of Andraste while the Alamarri warred with the Avvars and Chasind over land. He then helped spread the faith of the Maker and helped unify the religion where Andraste could not, and ever since the Ash Warriors have been fierce adherents. However, this is not to say they are a part of the Chantry, as they predated its formation and do not practice the Chant of Light.
Dragon Age: The Calling
Kell ap Morgan reveals that he trained with the Ash Warriors.
Dragon Age: Origins
The Ash Warriors stand with King Cailan Theirin ready to fight the darkspawn at Ostagar. If the Warden in Dragon Age: Origins is an elf they will show little to no respect for them, if human they will simply ask to be let be, if however the Warden is a dwarf their leader will show great respect and be much more polite.