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“The Chantry foolishly forbids blood magic—but there are so many secrets to uncover.”

Avernus is a Grey Warden who has lived since the time when Wardens inhabited Soldier's Peak back in the Storm Age.


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

Avernus was a young mage in the Wardens at the time Sophia Dryden was Warden-Commander. Avernus is an unapologetic blood mage; Warden-Commander Sophia Dryden often made use of his blood magic to influence the Fereldan nobility and keep their secrets safe during the Wardens' rebellion against King Arland Theirin.

During King Arland's siege on Soldiers Peak, Commander Dryden ordered him to summon demons from the Fade to aid in the fight; although if questioned, Avernus will admit he probably would have done so even without Sophia's order.

However, the demons Avernus summoned killed indiscriminately and killed Wardens and Fereldan royalists alike. The magic had tore open the Veil and caused Soldier's Peak to be overrun by demons. Unable to control the situation and seeing the battle as lost, Avernus and his acolytes abandoned Sophia and the Fereldan soldiers to the demon hordes.

A demon had eventually possessed the corpse of Sophia Dryden. For years, Avernus has locked himself in his mage tower and used his magic to keep the demons locked in the fortress. It is also implied that he used blood magic to slow the decay of his own body.

Avernus has also been researching on how to weaponize the taint in Grey Warden blood and perhaps even master it to the point where the taint no longer kills them.[1] In order to efficiently further his research, Avernus conducted painful experiments on his fellow Grey Wardens. He managed to create an Alchemical Concoction that unlocked the Power of Blood in Grey Wardens, but ran out of test subjects to help further refine it. Avernus had hoped he could use his research to defeat the demons that have overrun Soldier's Peak, but as a fallback plan, Avernus contacted Levi Dryden in his dreams and guided him to reach the fortress. Although he was unaware that Levi was a Dryden, Avernus was pleased that Levi brought forces to whittle down the demonic squatters.


Dragon Age: Origins[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

In the last room of Avernus' tower, the Warden will find Avernus himself. He will ask for a temporary truce and that the Warden stay their hand until he can seal the Veil and the demons are dealt with. If the Warden made a deal with the possessed Sophia Dryden, Avernus can be told that the possessed Sophia Dryden has asked the Warden to kill him. In which case, Avernus proposes a second solution... to help him kill the demon possessed body of Warden-Commander Sophia Dryden and help him seal the tear in the Veil. He can still be betrayed once the Warden, Avernus, and Sophia are in the same room. After either Sophia or Avernus has been killed, the other will take the Warden to the next room and begin the ritual to close the tear in the Veil. Even if the Warden chooses Avernus to close the tear, he can still be killed once the ritual is complete. This yields the Robes of Avernus. He can also be persuaded to bow to the Warden's justice and thus can be executed without a fight after the Veil has been sealed. Alternatively, he can be allowed to continue his research up in the tower, either as he was before, or ordered by the player to follow ethical constraints.

If he is questioned for details about the rebellion, he will mention that they specifically sought the aid of the then-current Teyrn Cousland, but were betrayed. They were ambushed by the king's guard during their attempted meeting and barely escaped with their lives. If the Warden is a Human Noble, it is possible to exclaim that this is their family. Avernus will then dryly inform the Warden that they lost many relatives that day and that he saw the head of Teyrn Cousland "on a table, with an apple in his mouth." Apparently Arland decided to butcher as many Couslands as necessary to ensure the remainder would stay in line.

If the Warden allows Levi to question Avernus about Sophia Dryden, he will express his belief that (prior to her possession, at least) she was the very best of the Wardens, and a hero, but that there is unfortunately no proof to be found that could help clear his family's name. He also reveals that it was he who originally called Levi to the fortress in the first place (though he wasn't aware of Levi's heritage as a Dryden) in order to attract the necessary reinforcements to finally break the 200 year deadlock.

As rumors of the events in Soldier's Peak and the fate of Avernus begin to surface after the Blight, the Grey Wardens chose to remain silent about the matter.[2]

Dragon Age II[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

If Avernus survived the Fifth Blight and was allowed to continue his research:
If Avernus was allowed to continue his research, a dead messenger can be found on the Wounded Coast with a mysterious vial based on Avernus's research and a message from Avernus himself for the Grey Wardens. The effects of the potion will be the same regardless of Avernus's research being ethical or not, although Avernus' message will be different.

Dragon Age: Inquisition[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

If the Warden is alive by the time the events of Inquisition take place, Avernus' experimentation to prolong his life to unnatural lengths will be mentioned by either a romanced Morrigan, Leliana, or a Grey Warden Alistair, as one of the precedents that inspired the Warden to search a way to prevent the Calling.


Ancient History Ancient History
Soldier's Peak Soldier's Peak


If the party did not kill Sophia and you side with Avernus against her, he may cast fireballs, which will badly injure your party; he will then take you to seal the Veil immediately, so prepare potions to survive the fight.

The Warden may choose to execute Avernus after sealing the Veil. Alternatively, the Warden may choose to endorse his research or command him to help the Wardens using his research in ethical ways. Avernus says that he is close to a breakthrough in his research and will report any discoveries. This will result in a level bonus in Dragon Age II.

Each time Avernus transits to a different map, you can Steal from him again.


  • "Blood magic comes from demons; they could counter every bit of lore I possess. But the darkspawn taint, that is alien to them. And it has power."
  • (In response to Leliana's comment about how his actions are forbidden by the Maker) "Short-sighted men have forbidden my research, not any god."


  • Warden: "You practiced blood magic on the nobles?"
  • Avernus: "Of course. To nudge people, to keep our secret safe."

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Avernus's Notes Codex entry: Avernus's Notes
Codex entry: Grey Warden Letters Codex entry: Grey Warden Letters

See also[]

Avernus's Experimental Draught
Power of Blood
Robes of Avernus