These codex entries relate to books and songs. They can often be picked up from books and papers found lying around the world.
- 1 Aveline, Knight of Orlais
- 2 Ballad of Ayesleigh
- 3 Meditations and Odes to Bees
- 4 Adventures of the Black Fox
- 5 The Holy Brazier
- 6 The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 1 - On Calenhad's early rise
- 7 The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 2 - On Calenhad's rise to the throne
- 8 The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 3 - On Calenhad's fall
- 9 Caridin's Journal
- 10 The History of the Chantry: Chapter 1 - The Imperium in flames
- 11 The History of the Chantry: Chapter 2 - A prophet born
- 12 The History of the Chantry: Chapter 3 - On the betrayal of Andraste
- 13 The History of the Chantry: Chapter 4 - On the birth of the Chantry
- 14 The Tale of Iloren
- 15 Dane and the Werewolf
- 16 Death of a Templar
- 17 A Very Chewed and Moist Book
- 18 The Noladar Anthology of Dwarven Poetry
- 19 Feast Day Fish
- 20 The First Blight: Chapter 1
- 21 The First Blight: Chapter 2
- 22 The First Blight: Chapter 3
- 23 The First Blight: Chapter 4
- 24 The Maker's First Children
- 25 The Legion of Steel
- 26 In Uthenera
- 27 The Legend of Luthias Dwarfson
- 28 In Praise of the Humble Nug
- 29 Traditional Dwarven Folk Songs
- 30 The Sermons of Divine Renata I
- 31 Journal of the Tranquil
- 32 Trian's Journal
- 33 The Journal of Enchanter Wilhelm
- 34 Cautionary Tales for the Adventurous
- 35 Sophia Dryden's Journal
- 36 Darion's Journal
Aveline, Knight of Orlais
Aveline was born to an Orlesian farmer near the city of Halamshiral in the early half of the Storm Age. She was a large and ugly baby, and her father had hoped for a boy. Not wanting another mouth to feed, the farmer left Aveline in the woods to die from exposure. But a traveling band of Dalish elves came upon the crying child.
The elves took her into their clan and raised her as their own. They taught her archery, dueling and survival skills. When she came of age, she was larger and stronger than most women, let alone elven women. Her adoptive parents knew that she was a fine warrior, so they encouraged her to enter a human tournament in nearby Montisimmard. But women were not permitted to join the knighthood in Orlais, nor to compete in a tournament, so Aveline joined the tournament as a man. Her clan forged a suit of armor with a full helm and gave her an ironbark sword of the finest quality.
Aveline entered the competition claiming to be a knight of Antiva. She refused to doff her helmet, even during the archery competition. And sure enough, Aveline bested many other knights until, in the grand melee, she came upon Kaleva, a knight who served the emperor and was considered the finest in the land.
Kaleva was determined not to be beaten, and struck swiftly and strongly. As Aveline matched each of his blows, Kaleva grew ever more frustrated. Finally, in desperation, he tripped Aveline and threw her to the ground. The blow knocked her helm from her head, and Kaleva was shamed. He called to have the competition declared invalid, but the crowd booed and jeered. In anger, Kaleva turned and slew Aveline as she lay helpless.
The son of the emperor, Prince Freyan, was also present at the tourney. He too had been beaten by Aveline, but he recognized her skill and bravery and was saddened by the injustice of her death. Upon rising to the emperor's seat in 7:44 Storm, Freyan abolished the law that disallowed women from joining the Orlesian knighthood and posthumously knighted Aveline. Although women in the Orlesian knighthood are still a rarity today, all those who do become knights revere Ser Aveline as their patron.
Ballad of Ayesleigh
the wind that stirs
their shallow graves
carries their song
across the sands
heed our words
hear our cry
the grey are sworn
in peace we lie
heed our words
hear our cry
our names recalled
we cannot die
when darkness comes
and swallows light
heed our words
and we shall rise
Meditations and Odes to Bees
- Main article: Codex entry: Meditations and Odes to Bees
Oh, fair damsel of the garden,
Arlessa of honeysuckle and rose,
I humbly beg your gracious pardon
For the offense that here arose.
Surely your work is far too vital
To be interrupted by one like me
I am in no way entitled
To earn the notice of a honeybee.
I was a fool to pluck that flower
For my lady fair. On my honor I
Swear to bring you dozens more within the hour
If you give me leave to try.
Listen traveler, if you would walk the garden paths some spring:
Mind that you don't trespass, for the gardeners do sting.
Adventures of the Black Fox
Born Lord Remi Vascal in 8:63 Blessed, the Black Fox was a dashing thief and rogue who went on to inspire so many tales of his exploits that it is nearly impossible to determine today which are true and which are merely fabricated legend. Despite coming from nobility, he has become something of a hero of the common people.
His initial exploits involved ridiculing the tyrannical and powerful lord of Val Chevin. Wearing a mask, he would appear in public and disrupt the lord's plans to the point that the lord angrily put a huge bounty on the life of "this cunning fox" (the origin of the nickname, which stuck). That the primary bounty hunter who took the job, Karolis, ended up becoming Remi's lifelong partner in crime (only after nearly killing him several times) is one of the most popular tales told in taverns today. The story is often exaggerated to make Remi appear initially buffoonish, until Karolis becomes so furious at the Black Fox's inexplicable ability to survive that the cunning Remi gains the upper hand, which impresses Karolis so much that the bounty hunter joins him.
After years of terrorizing the lord's men and foiling his tax collectors (a favorite pastime of Remi's, according to the Orlesian commoners), Remi was supposedly betrayed by his lover Servana de Montfort (in some versions of the tale a mage of the Circle, no less) and was captured. After more than a year of torture, Remi was rescued from prison by his compatriots (including a repentant Servana), and together they escaped Orlais. In this period of Remi's adventures, he appears almost everywhere in Thedas: As his legend grew, more innkeepers and merchants were happy to claim that the Black Fox had visited their village or establishment and performed some legendary feat. If the tales are to be believed, Remi led the lord's men on a merry chase. He became embroiled in political intrigue in Nevarra, was hunted by the Crows of Antiva, and then kidnapped by a powerful mage in Tevinter. In each situation, Remi escaped death at the last moment, foiled the evil-doer, and improved life for the poor and downtrodden. Then, inevitably, he rejoined his band of adventurers and moved on to the next land. His companions Karolis and Servana, the wise dwarf Bolek, and the tempestuous knight Ser Clementis have each spawned their own individual legends over the years.
The stories all agree that, at some point, the Black Fox disappeared: He and his fellow adventurers voyaged into the heart of the Arlathan forest seeking the sunken city of the elves and never returned. Many more are the tales that expand on what ultimately happened to them in that forest and postulate on how they could someday be rescued.
—From the Adventures of the Black Fox, by Gaston Gerrault, 9:11 Dragon
The Holy Brazier
- Main article: Codex entry: The Holy Brazier
The brazier that stands atop the stairs in the great hall of our temple has always been something of a mystery to us. This is the brazier that created the beings we call the ash wraiths. This is where Andraste's followers immolated themselves and became the eternal guardians of Her temple.
I have painstakingly pieced together information from old books and from the tales and half-truths passed down to us by our forefathers. I believe I now understand the ritual used to create the wraiths. The brazier was lit with a consecrated taper, its flame taken from the everlasting fire that long ago consumed Andraste Herself. The chosen disciple would fast and pray for weeks, taking into his body nothing but a sip of water a day. When the disciple was finally ready, he would place in his mouth a flawless black pearl, and step into the flames. In ancient Tevinter, black pearls were thought to be magical, able to stop the soul from passing through the Veil when held in the mouth at the moment of death.
Thus, Andraste's disciples consigned themselves to the eternal flame; they became dust and ashes, and rose again and again to protect the most Beloved of the Maker.
—From the journal of Father Kolgrim.
The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 1 - On Calenhad's early rise
- Main article: Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 1
Calenhad was born in 5:10 Exalted as the third son of a Highever merchant on hard times. He was eventually sent to a distant cousin, a poor young knight named Ser Forannan, who made Calenhad his squire and dog-handler. As the tale goes, Ser Forannan and his squire became caught up in one of the wars of unity at the time: Arl Myrddin was a strong but generally disliked man who was making a bid for kingship. Forannan's own lord, a young fool of an arl named Tenedor no older than Calenhad, was besieged by Myrddin's forces at his castle, today known as West Hill. When Myrrdin called Tenedor out to parley, the young arl asked for a volunteer from among the squires, someone who could masquerade as Tenedor in the parley party. Calenhad kneeled before Tenedor and asked for the honor.
Much to Tenedor's and Ser Forannan's dismay, Calenhad immediately identified himself to Arl Myrddin. When asked by the arl why he was here, Calenhad explained that he had been asked to take the place of his lord. The arl said that he had planned to kill Tenedor—was Calenhad willing to die in his lord's place, as well? Calenhad impressed Myrddin and his allies by saying that he was. Myrrdin offered Calenhad a place as his own squire, but Calenhad refused, stating that if Myrddin had planned on betraying the right of parley, he was no man of honor. Myrddin's allies laughed at that, and Myrrdin himself conceded that Calenhad had a point. He allowed Calenhad to return to the castle safely and launched his final assault.
During the assault, both Tenedor and Forannan were killed, but Calenhad found himself in one-on-one combat with Arl Myrrdin. In front of all of Myrddin's allies, Calenhad defeated the arl and commanded he call off his armies. The arl asked Calenhad who he professed to serve now, if both his knight and his lord were dead, to which Calenhad replied that he would do as his honor bade him to, for he had nothing else.
"You are not a man known for your honor," Calenhad said, "but I believe you wish to be. You allowed me to live once, and so now I do the same for you. Perhaps if more of our people lived by honor, we would learn to trust each other long enough to live together." And with that, Calenhad withdrew his sword.
"I am humbled by your words," Arl Myrrdin told Calenhad, dropping to one knee. To his allies he shouted that he now knew he would never be king, but he knew who should be. With that Myrddin pledged allegiance to Calenhad, whom he named teyrn and ruler of Tenedor's lands.
The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 2 - On Calenhad's rise to the throne
- Main article: Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 2
With the allegiance of Arl Myrddin, Calenhad began his rise to greatness.
Some of Myrddin's allies also pledged allegiance, but most thought him foolhardy: A boy commoner was to lead them and become king? Over the years that followed, however, Calenhad would prove himself worthy of Myrddin's trust. With each victory, he won over more men to his command and his reputation as a man of honor spread. Eventually, during his campaign against the lowland bannorn, he met his most infamous friend and companion, the vaunted warrior Lady Shayna. Calenhad married the famously beautiful daughter of Myrddin, Mairyn, and his firm belief in the ways of the Chantry became the staple of his court. In a time when the Chantry was still new to the lands and courts following Andraste held the majority of the power in Ferelden, Calenhad began to solidify the nation as one in line with the other nations around it. This piety eventually won over to Calenhad those faithful in Ferelden who had been waiting for such a leader.
With Lady Shayna at his side, Calenhad was unstoppable, and by 5:42 Exalted, the war for Ferelden had come down to one final battle against the collected forces of Simeon, Teyrn of Denerim and the most potent nobleman in the land. Calenhad persuaded the Circle of Magi to come to his aid, as well as the Ash Warriors, and in the Battle of White Valley, he famously defeated Teyrn Simeon and united the nation.
During the battle, Simeon nearly killed Calenhad, but Lady Shayna intervened and took the wound for him, slaying Simeon. Calenhad was crowned king in Denerim that year, with Mairyn his Queen, but he spent much of the months that followed nursing Lady Shayna back to health.
King Calenhad's Ferelden was peaceful for a time, with the Chantry spreading quickly under the King's guidance. Everywhere the king and queen went, they were surrounded by cheering crowds. The common folk celebrated Calenhad as one of their own who had achieved the impossible, and trade opened up with many outside lands for the first time in Ferelden's existence. But, as with many such golden ages, it was not to last.
The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 3 - On Calenhad's fall
- Main article: Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 3
Calenhad's legend tells that Lady Shayna harbored a love for her king that went beyond friendship, a love that she had kept secret out of her sense of duty and honor. When offered a love potion by a witch in disguise—a witch who would later turn out to be the vengeance-seeking sister of Arl Simeon—Lady Shayna gave in to temptation. She used the potion on Calenhad, but Queen Mairyn discovered the two of them together that night, and, broken-hearted, fled Denerim to return to her father. She told Myrddin everything, and he angrily threatened to revoke his support of Calenhad and begin anew the civil war.
It is said that Lady Shayna felt remorseful at her manipulation of her best friend's heart and confessed her use of forbidden magic to the court. Although her life was forfeit, Calenhad forgave Lady Shayna for what she had done and refused to have her executed. Myrddin furiously roused the other arls against Calenhad and Lady Shayna, and it was not long before Ferelden stood on the brink of civil war once again.
Against Calenhad's orders, Lady Shayna went alone to Mairyn to plead for peace and plead her case, only to be found out by Myrddin and slain. Angered but also saddened, Calenhad challenged Myrddin to an honor duel, a fight neither of them wanted but both knew was necessary, and Myrddin was slain. The death of the king's greatest ally, an important arl, was too much for the young kingdom to bear. The other arls would not back down in their claims against Calenhad. The threat of civil war rose once again. Calenhad went to his wife one last time then, although none know what he said to her, and then he simply vanished. He left with Mairyn a proclamation abdicating his throne in favor of the son his queen carried in her belly, who eventually ascended to the throne as King Weylan I, the king credited with establishing the Theirin dynasty lasting to this day. Calenhad would never reappear.
The legend of Calenhad himself only grew over time, as stories and sightings multiplied, even long after the point when Calenhad could possibly still be alive. Some say he disappeared into the Korcari Wilds or went to live with the dwarves or even became a monk in a reclusive Chantry order. The Chantry named Calenhad one of the Anointed in 7:88 Storm. Calenhad's sword, Nemetos, was left with Mairyn and became a symbol of Ferelden kingship over the next century. Rumors of its magical powers grew, and when it was lost in the ambush that killed King Venedrin in 8:24 Blessed, it was seen as a great blow to the Theirin line. Several false swords have appeared since that time, but never has the true sword resurfaced.
—From The Legend of Calenhad, by Brother Herren, Chantry scribe, 8:10 Blessed.
940, 45th day, 5th year of the reign of King Valtor: I have done it. The vision the ancestors gave me has come to fruition. Today a man sat up from my forge, a man of living stone and steel. I called him golem, for the legend of those great statues animated by the dead. They are our future and our salvation.
940, 60th day, 5th year of the reign of King Valtor: It is a horrific process. Not every man could do such a thing and survive with his mind intact. I am honored that the ancestors believe I have the strength to bear this burden and forge Orzammar's defenders.
Nothing so great may be achieved without sacrifice. Nor may stone and steel walk without a spirit to animate them.
940, 73rd day, 5th year of the reign of King Valtor: I have asked for volunteers. Some few answered, men of the Warrior Caste, younger sons with no property, no chance for marriage. They want to defend Orzammar from the horrors these humans have unleashed. They want to live forever in a body stronger than the finest armor. They do not ask to speak with those who have gone before.
I have put off saying this, even in these pages. But I must say it now. My golems will be powered by their deaths. These brave warriors come to me, naked as the day they were born. I dress them in a skin of armor, so large it makes the burliest look no more than a babe, the anvil their first and final cradle.
We are surrounded by a mile of earth on all sides. No one hears the screams as I pour molten lyrium through the eyeholes, the mouth, every joint and chink in the armor. They silence quickly, but the smell lingers, just a trace of blood in the greater stench of hot metal. I must work fast. The armor is malleable now, as I shape it with hammer and tongs.
It is not long before it moves beneath my hands, writhing and twisting with every blow. It speaks again now, a low moan, but I have learned to tune it out. I can afford no error in this craft. There can be no melted slag blinding the eyes, nor an unhewn bit of granite shackling the leg. They groan at my work, but would they rather be broken, crippled? Those I have spoken to tell me of the pain, but could they see themselves, they would see perfection.
—From the journal of Caridin.
The History of the Chantry: Chapter 1 - The Imperium in flames
- Main article: Codex entry: The History of the Chantry: Chapter 1
- See also: Chantry
The first Blight devastated the Tevinter Imperium. Not only had the darkspawn ravaged the countryside, but Tevinter citizens had to face the fact that their own gods had turned against them. Dumat, the Old God once known as the Dragon of Silence, had risen to silence the world, and despite the frenzied pleas for help, the other Old Gods did nothing. The people of the Imperium began to question their faith, murdering priests and burning temples to punish their gods for not returning to help.
In those days, even after the devastation of the first Blight, the Imperium stretched across the known world. Fringed with barbarian tribes, the Imperium was well prepared for invasions and attacks from without. Fitting, then, that the story of its downfall begins from within.
The people of the far northern and eastern reaches of the Imperium rose up against their powerful overlords in rebellion. The Tevinter magisters summoned demons to put down these small rebellions, leaving corpses to burn as examples to all who would dare revolt. The Imperium began to tear itself apart from within, throngs of angry and disillusioned citizens doing what centuries of opposing armies could not. But the magisters were confident in their power, and they could not imagine surviving a Blight only to be destroyed by their own subjects.
Even after the Blight, Tevinter commanded an army larger than that of any other organized nation in Thedas, but that army was scattered and its morale dwindling. The ruin of Tevinter was such that the Alamarri barbarians, who had spread their clans and holds over the wilderness of the Ferelden Valley at the far southeast edge of the Imperium, saw weakness in their enemy, and, after an age of oppression, embarked on a campaign not only to free their own lands, but to bring down mighty Tevinter as well.
The History of the Chantry: Chapter 2 - A prophet born
- Main article: Codex entry: The History of the Chantry: Chapter 2
- See also: Chantry
When the prophet Andraste and her husband Maferath arrived at the head of their barbarian horde, southern Tevinter was thrown into chaos. The Imperium had defended against invasions in the past, but now they stood without the protection of their gods, with their army in tatters and their country devastated by the Blight. Many felt that the timing of the invasion was yet another of the Maker's miracles in Andraste's campaign to spread His divine word.
Andraste was more than simply the wife of a warlord, after all--she was also the betrothed of the Maker. Enraptured by the melodic sound of her voice as she sang to the heavens for guidance, the Maker Himself appeared to Andraste and proposed that she come with Him, leaving behind the flawed world of humanity. In her wisdom, Andraste pleaded with the Maker to return to His people and create paradise in the world of men. The Maker agreed, but only if all of the world would turn away from the worship of false gods and accept the Maker's divine commandments.
Armed with the knowledge of the one true god, Andraste began the Exalted Marches into the weakened Imperium. One of the Maker's commandments, that magic should serve man rather than rule over him, was as honey to the souls of the downtrodden of Tevinter, who lived under the thumbs of the magisters.
Word of Andraste's Exalted March, of her miracles and military successes, spread far and wide. Those in the Imperium who felt the Old Gods had abandoned them eagerly listened to the words of the Maker. Those throngs of restless citizens that destroyed temples now did so in the name of the Maker and His prophet, Andraste. As Maferath's armies conquered the lands of southern Tevinter, so did Andraste's words conquer hearts.
It is said that the Maker smiled on the world at the Battle of Valarian Fields, in which the forces of Maferath challenged and defeated the greatest army Tevinter could muster. The southern reaches of the mighty Imperium now lay at the mercy of barbarians. Faith in the Maker, bolstered by such miracles, threatened to shake the foundations of the Imperium apart.
Of course, the human heart is more powerful than the greatest weapon, and when wounded, it is capable of the blackest of deeds.
The History of the Chantry: Chapter 3 - On the betrayal of Andraste
- Main article: Codex entry: The History of the Chantry: Chapter 3
- See also: Chantry
It is said that at the Battle of Valarian Fields, Maferath stood and looked out over his armies. He had conquered the southern reaches of the greatest empire the world had ever known and built splintered barbarian clans into a force to be feared. With pride in his heart, he turned to congratulate his men and found that they had turned from him.
Maferath fell to the evil of jealousy. After all that he had done, his wife was the one to receive all the glory. He saw his wife's power and influence, and tired of his place as second husband, below the Maker. His heart swelled with fury. If he had conquered just to have his wife wrested from him by a forgotten god and a legion of faith-hungry rabble, then perhaps this war was not worth the trouble.
Here, history and the Chant of Light come apart. History tells us that Maferath looked north into the central Imperium and saw nothing but more war against a rapidly regrouping army, and he despaired. The Chant of Light holds that Maferath chafed with jealousy of the Maker, and jealousy of the glory that Andraste received although it was he who led the armies.
Maferath traveled to the Imperial capital of Minrathous to speak with the Archon Hessarian. There he offered up his wife to the Imperium in return for a truce that would end hostilities once and for all. The archon, eager to put down the voice of the prophet that stirred his own people against him, agreed. Maferath led Andraste into an ambush where she was captured by Imperial agents, putting an end to her Exalted March.
Crowds of loyalists stood in the central square of Minrathous to watch Andraste's execution. By command of the archon, she was burned at the stake in what the Imperium believed to be the most painful punishment imaginable. According to the Chantry, however, Andraste was instead purified and made whole by the flames, ascending to life at her Maker's side. By all accounts, there was only silence where they expected screams. At the sight of the prophet burning, the crowds were filled with a profound guilt, as if they had participated in a great blasphemy. So moving was the moment that the archon himself drew his sword and thrust it into the prophet's heart, ending her torment and leaving those assembled to consider the weight of what they had seen.
Whereas the execution of Andraste was meant to be a symbol of defeat for the faith of the Maker, in truth it all but sealed the fate of the worship of the Old Gods and paved the way for the spread of the Maker's chant.
The History of the Chantry: Chapter 4 - On the birth of the Chantry
- Main article: Codex entry: The History of the Chantry: Chapter 4
- See also: Chantry
The crowds present at the death of Andraste were right to feel despair. It is believed that the prophet's execution angered the Maker, and He turned His back on humanity once more, leaving the people of Thedas to suffer in the dark.
In these dark times, mankind scrambled for a light, any light. Some found comfort in demonic cults that promised power and riches in return for worship. Others prayed to the Old Gods for forgiveness, begging the great dragons to return to the world. Still others fell so low as to worship the darkspawn, forming vile cults dedicated to the exaltation of evil in its purest form. It is said that the world wept as its people begged for a savior who would not come.
Andraste's followers, however, did not abandon her teachings when she died. The Cult of Andraste rescued her sacred ashes from the courtyard in Minrathous after her execution, stealing them away to a secret temple. The location of that temple has long been lost, but the ashes of Andraste served as a symbol of the enduring nature of the faith in the Maker, that humanity could earn the Maker's forgiveness despite its grievous insult to Him.
With time, the Cult of Andraste spread and grew, and the Chant of Light took form. Sing this chant in the four corners of Thedas, it was said, and the world would gain the Maker's attention at last. As the Chant of Light spread, the Cult of Andraste became known as the Andrastian Chantry. Those who converted to the Chantry's beliefs found it their mission to spread Andraste's word.
There were many converts, including powerful people in the Imperium and in the city-states of what is now Orlais. Such was the power of the Maker's word that the young King Drakon undertook a series of Exalted Marches meant to unite the city-states and create an empire solely dedicated to the Maker's will. The Orlesian Empire became the seat of the Chantry's power, the Grand Cathedral in Val Royeaux the source of the movement that birthed the organized Chantry as we know it today. Drakon, by then Emperor Drakon I, created the Circle of Magi, the Order of Templars and the holy office of the Divine. Many within the Chantry revere him nearly as equal with Andraste herself.
The modern Chantry is a thing of faith and beauty, but it is also a house of necessity, protecting Thedas from powerful forces that would do it harm. Where the Grey Wardens protect the world from the Blights, the Chantry protects mankind from itself. Most of all, the Chantry works to earn the Maker's forgiveness, so that one day He will return and transform the world into the paradise it was always meant to be.
The Tale of Iloren
- Main article: Codex entry: The Tale of Iloren
In the far north, where the hills wander the plains and the earth is eternally baked beneath the uncaring sun, the lands which the shemlen call Anderfels, a clan of our people lived, struggling to survive the Blight.
Iloren was their keeper. A hunter in his younger days, crafty as any wolf, he led his people always just ahead of the darkspawn who chased them. But the old hunter knew that even halla cannot run forever. They must turn and fight, or be run down.
At the foot of the Merdaine, the darkspawn cornered Illoren's clan. That night, the moon was strangled by clouds, the earth concealed by a dread mist that rose out of nowhere, so that the elvhen could not tell up from down. In the confusion, the darkspawn attacked.
But Iloren had prepared for them. All around the camp, the hunters had strewn dry grass, brush and brambles. When the sound of rustling footfalls began, Iloren and the other hahren called upon the old magic. They struck out with lightning, and though the bolts missed the darkspawn, they hit their target all the same. The sea of kindling lit, and not one of the dark creatures made it through the fire to reach Iloren's clan.
Dane and the Werewolf
- Main article: Codex entry: Dane and the Werewolf
- See also: Creature: Werewolf, Tale: Dane and the Werewolf
Let me sing of heroes and honor lost and found,
Of monsters and men in all forms,
Of Dane, hunter without peer,
Feared by the forests of Ferelden,
Who one autumn morn spied
A hart of pure white in beam of warmest sun,
A prize for huntsman's spear.
Through the greenwood they ran, hart and hunter
Bringing the stag to spear at last in a long-forgotten grove,
Heedless that the chase had waked a hunger in the golden wood,
A werewolf, a creature with mind of man,
Lured by the hunt and come forth to lay claim
To the hart as rightful tribute
Drawn by the scent of cooling blood.
In the silence the two hunters held.
Dane, spear-armed against the wolf with all his brood,
Knew with sinking heart he was lost
Steeled for the winding roads of the Fade
Then the beast spoke, human-like in voice,
"You have taken this stag from my woods, and my pack
But nothing comes without a cost."
The wolf pack circled, ever closer, and he
Who felled boars and bears with his bright blade
Knew fear. They spoke his name in roars
Like gravestones, offering a beast's bargain.
"Die here, huntsman, alone
And forgotten, or take my place amongst the wolves
As I take your place amongst man."
Thus was a bargain struck,
And Dane the wolf pack served in wolfen form,
And the werewolf to his family sped, as Dane,
One year and a day all told.
But some things cannot be repent,
Some coinage cannot be unspent,
When hearts are wagered, a fissure rent.
Death of a Templar
- Main article: Codex entry: Death of a Templar
The dry, dusty earth swallows up salty drops that splatter its surface. A tiny insect pauses, sensing the vibrations, and scurries off, leaving behind its invisible enemy. As the drops fall, the dark circles merge together, expressing a mirror to their creator.
The primal emotions of bloodlust and sorrow blend into a lethal cocktail that breaks the strongest of men. The jurisdiction of strength must be left to the spirit, not arm nor chest. Only the wisest turn to His inner sanctuary to partition the mind from an all-consuming madness. Seductive voices whispering promise of glory waiting down the weaker path of the flesh, bringing a death far worse than that of hot lead or steel. These blank, hollow promises will echo the unfathomable eternally.
Living comfortably amongst material possessions, it is easy to misunderstand the true meaning of uncontrollable hate. Failing to understand the power of fighting against pure, unfaltering beliefs, against foes that listen only to their soul. Uncontrollable hate. Influenced and thus removed from innocence. The scar is permanent and internal.
The rain, now red, feeds the debt owed for actions passed. Seeking further into the earth, as the mind draws slower. What was it that drew him, himself to this situation? The mind ebbs and parts to a lingering memory of true innocence. He entered war as a newborn enters the world, unknowing of both the horrors and light of the Maker that will save him.
The sound of metal sliding along leather comes from above him. From the second he was born, to his soon-to-be dying breath, his mind was processing and analyzing knowledge and experiences. It is true that he thought he could be wise in his own eyes, but only the most humble recognizes that he knows very little. Bias, speculation and all of false pretenses make way to the sound of the sweeping steel, and then finally, his soul, as ready as his eyes dry from this final understanding, enters His promise of its purist form.
A Very Chewed and Moist Book
(Much of this is illegible)
Day 42: I begin to suspect that we are being manipulated, as if by some unseen hand far above us. Always, I heard the sound of clicking. Click-click. Click-click.
(Several pages are missing, and much of the ink on the remaining pages has run together.)
.. and then told them I wouldn't take any cheese unless it came directly from the Revered Mother's hand...
(Mud or something similar has soaked the pages here.)
Day 115: My mother told me I was special. I never knew how right she was...
(the ink has smeared horribly.)
—From a very chewed and moist book.
The Noladar Anthology of Dwarven Poetry
- Main article: Codex entry: The Noladar Anthology of Dwarven Poetry
The undead exhumed
Borne from the shallowest graves
Mined from the living
Do you like fried mush and nug?
I do not like them Mister Klug
I do not like fried mush and nug
Would you eat them on a rug?
If you eat, you'll get a hug!
I would not eat them on a rug
From you I would not want a hug
Then would you drink them from a jug?
Come on, come on, give them a chug!
I would not drink them from a jug
I'd rather eat a slimy slug
Would you eat them with a bug?
Would you share them with a thug?
I would not share them with a thug
I would not eat them with a bug
Not for a hug
Not on a rug
From a jug
I will not chug
Come on, come on, now mister Klug
Are you on some kind of drug?
Eat them in this hole I dug
Eat them, eat them, don't just shrug
I've had it, had it, Mister Klug!
Down, into that hole you dug
Down with the thug
And the slug
And the bug
Dwarvish blood may be lukewarm
But vital as ore
—By the Paragon Lynchcar, 7:48 Storm
Feast Day Fish
- Main article: Codex entry: Feast Day Fish
Fluffy Mackerel Pudding
2 stalks celery
1 green pepper
Half a pound of poached mackerel
1 small onion, finely diced
2 tsp mustard
1 tsp salt
half tsp ground Antivan pepper
eighth tsp ground mace
dash ground cardamom seed
2 eggs, beaten
2 eggs, boiled and sliced for garnish
—This book, found in Arl Eamon's estate, naturally falls open to this page
The First Blight: Chapter 1
Thedas is a land of fierce diversity, from the assassin-princes of Antiva to the faded griffons of the Anderfels, but in my travels, I have found one tale that unites the people of this land. It is a story of pride and damnation, and although the telling differs, the essence of the tale remains the same.
At the height of its power, the Tevinter Imperium stretched over much of Thedas, uniting the known world under the rule of the tyrannical magisters. It is said that the Old Gods whom the magisters worshipped gave them the knowledge of blood magic, and the magisters used this forbidden power to cement their rule. The blood of elven slaves and humans alike ran down imperial altars to fuel magister greed, the tales of their excesses so horrifying that one can only be grateful that blood magic is prohibited today.
But all that stands tall must eventually fall. Perhaps they foresaw their ruin, or perhaps their pride knew no bounds, but whatever the reason, the magisters dared to open a magical portal into the Golden City at the heart of the Fade. They sought to usurp the Maker's throne, long left unattended in the Golden City after the Maker turned His back on His creations. They would storm heaven itself with their power and become as gods.
According to most versions of the tale, the magisters did indeed reach the Golden City and walked into the home of the Maker, where no living being before them had dared, or been able, to tread. But humanity is not meant to walk in heaven. The magisters were wicked with pride and other sins, and their presence tainted the Golden City. What once was a perfect, holy citadel became a twisted home of darkness and nightmares. The magisters were expelled back through their gateway and cursed for their treachery. As the Golden City had been tainted, so were the magisters twisted and transformed into things of darkness—the very first of the darkspawn. The Golden City, once a shining beacon at the heart of the Fade, became the Black City, a reminder of all that man's pride has cost.
—From Tales of the Destruction of Thedas, by Brother Genitivi, Chantry Scholar
The First Blight: Chapter 2
- Main article: Codex entry: The First Blight: Chapter 2
People today have little concept of the consequences of the second sin. Oh, believe me when I say that when asked, pious, Chantry-going folk will curse the use of foul magic, spitting and snapping their fingers—but none live today who actually remember the horror that was unleashed so very long ago. Whatever records might have existed regrettably did not survive the chaos and ignorance that was to follow. We have only the tales of survivors handed down through the murky ages and the dogma of the Chantry to instruct us, and that is precious little indeed.
I believe I am not understating when I say that the second sin unleashed the bane of all life upon Thedas. The darkspawn are more virulent than the worst plague, a heartless force of nature that came into our world like an ill wind. We know from accounts of later Blights (as these darkspawn invasions came to be called—never has a more appropriate name existed) that the darkspawn spread disease and famine wherever they tread. The earth itself is corrupted by their presence, the sky roiling with angry black clouds. I do not exaggerate, my friends, when I say that a mass gathering of darkspawn is an omen of dread cataclysm.
It is said that those cursed magisters who became the first darkspawn scratched at the very earth to find solace in the darkness of the dwarven Deep Roads, and there in the shadows they multiplied. Whether by intelligent design or by some last vestige of worship in their minds, they attempted to locate the Old Gods they had once served. They found what they sought: Dumat, first among the Old Gods, once known as the Dragon of Silence before the Maker imprisoned him and all his brethren beneath the earth for the first sin: usurping the Maker's place in mankind's heart.
The slumbering dragon awoke, freed from the Maker's prison by his twisted followers, and became corrupted himself. Dumat was transformed into the first Archdemon, his great and terrible power given will by a rotting, unholy mind. With the darkspawn horde following, Dumat rose and took wing in the skies once again, bringing ruin to the world the Maker had created. The Old God had become the eye of a dark storm that would ravage the entire world.
—From Tales of the Destruction of Thedas by Brother Genitivi, Chantry Scholar
The First Blight: Chapter 3
The world during the First Blight was different from the world we know today. Aside from the civilized rule of the Imperium, humans as a race were largely barbarous and splintered, divided into clans and tribes and squabbling among ourselves for resources. At the same time, deep beneath Thedas's great mountain ranges spanned a dwarven culture as organized and advanced as ours was primitive.
As the darkspawn bubbled up to the surface from their underground lairs, mankind first buckled and then fought back. The armies of Tevinter attempted to face down the multitudes of twisted creatures and the horrid rotting of the land around them, but they could not be everywhere at once. Human history remembers the First Blight as a time of terrible devastation, and those stories are accurate, but in our arrogance we often forget the price paid by the dwarves in their isolated mountain kingdoms.
The dwarves faced far greater hordes than humanity as the darkspawn challenged them for control of the underground. Despite the might and technology the dwarves brought to bear, the savage darkspawn tore through them, first destroying the more remote thaigs before swallowing up entire kingdoms. Think of it: an entire civilization lost in the space of decades. Compared to the near-genocide that the dwarves faced, what we humans call the First Blight must have seemed a mere skirmish. Against the darkspawn, the dwarven lands have always borne the brunt of the fighting and the majority of the sacrifices.
Four dwarven kingdoms finally managed to combine their might and fight back, and that cooperation saved them. But for the rest of their lands it was too late. The darkspawn had taken the Deep Roads, the majestic underground passages that linked the dwarven lands throughout Thedas. The darkspawn could now attack anywhere on the surface through these tunnels.
Humanity simply was not prepared for such an onslaught. It was clear that the warfare we knew would not avail us. We had to find a new way to fight.
Thus came our salvation: The Grey Wardens were born.
The First Blight: Chapter 4
- Main article: Codex entry: The First Blight: Chapter 4
Founded at Weisshaupt Fortress in the Anderfels, the Grey Wardens offered humanity hope in its darkest hour. Veterans of decades of battles with the darkspawn came together, and the best among them pledged to do whatever was necessary to stem the tide of darkness that swept across the land. These great humans, elves, and dwarves pooled their knowledge of the enemy and formed a united front to finally put a stop to the archdemon's rampage.
And stop it they did. Ballads are still told today of the first Grey Warden charge into the waves of darkspawn at the city of Nordbotten—each Warden facing 10 or 20 darkspawn at a time. Squadrons of Grey Wardens mounted on their mighty griffons, soaring through the blackened skies and battling the terrible archdemon with spear and spell: Oh, what a sight it must have been!
Incredibly, the Grey Wardens won that first battle. They raised their arms in victory, and suddenly there was hope. The Grey Wardens led the lands of men and the last stalwart defenders of the dwarven halls against the hordes of the archdemon Dumat for the next hundred years, gaining and losing ground, but never backing away. From all over Thedas, they recruited whoever possessed the skill and strength to raise the Grey Wardens' banner, making no distinction between elven slave or human nobleman, and finally, nearly two centuries after the first Old God rose from the earth, the Grey Wardens assembled the armies of men and dwarves at the Battle of Silent Plains. It was then that Dumat finally fell and the First Blight ended.
The Tevinter Imperium would face a new challenge with the coming of the prophet Andraste. Thoughts of the Blight grew distant. With Dumat's defeat, the darkspawn were considered no longer a threat—but with the wisdom of hindsight, we know that conceit proved foolish indeed. The task of the Grey Wardens was far from over.
The Maker's First Children
- Main article: Codex entry: The Maker's First Children
The Maker's first creations were the spirits, glorious beings that populated the many spires of the Golden City, and the Chant of Light says that they revered the Maker with unquestioning devotion. The Maker, however, was dissatisfied. Although the spirits were like Him in that they could manipulate the ether and create from it, they did not do so. They had no urge to create, and even when instructed to do so possessed no imagination to give their creations ingenuity or life.
The Maker realized His own folly: He had created the spirits to resemble Him in all but the one and most important way: they did not have a spark of the divine within them. He expelled all the spirits out of the Golden City and into the Fade and proceeded to His next creation: life.
The Maker created the world and the living beings upon it, separated from the Fade by the Veil. His new children would be unable to shape the world around them and thus would need to struggle to survive. In return for their struggle, the Maker gave them the spark of the divine, a soul, and He watched with pleasure as His creations flourished and showed all the ingenuity that He had hoped for.
The spirits grew jealous of the living and coaxed from them into the Fade when they slept. The spirits wished to know more of life, hoping to find a way to regain the Maker's favor. Through the eyes of the living, they experienced new concepts: love, fear, pain, and hope. The spirits re-shaped the Fade to resemble the lives and concepts they saw, each spirit desperately trying to bring the most dreamers to their own realm so they could vicariously posses a spark of the divine through them.
As the spirits grew in power, however, some of them became contemptuous of the living. These were the spirits that saw the darkest parts of the dreamers. Their lands were places of torment and horror, and they knew that the living were strongly drawn to places that mirrored those dark parts of themselves. These spirits questioned the Maker's wisdom and proclaimed the living inferior. They learned from the darkness they saw and became the first demons.
Rage, hunger, sloth, desire, pride: These are the dark parts of the soul that give demons their power, the hooks they use to claw their way into the world of the living. It was demons that whispered into the minds of men, convincing them to turn from the Maker and worship false gods. They seek to possess all life as their due, forging kingdoms of nightmare in the Fade in the hopes of one day storming the walls of heaven itself.
And the Maker despaired once again, for He had given the power of creation to his new children—and in return they had created sin.
The Legion of Steel
Paragon Caridin vanished in the eleventh year of the reign of King Valtor, and with the Paragon the entire process for golem manufacture was lost. Expeditions were sent into the Deep Roads to track him, but the darkspawn drove them all back.
Finally, in the second year of the reign of Queen Getha, one hundred and twenty six golems, the entire Legion of Steel, were sent to recover the Paragon.
The Shaper of Golems refused to support any further attempts to find Caridin, and the Paragon was officially declared dead.
The Shaperate never recovered from the loss of an entire legion of golems, and never again allowed an all-golem regiment into the Deep Roads.
hahren na melana sahlin
emma ir abelas
souver'inan isala hamin
vhenan him dor'felas
in uthenera na revas
vir samahl la numin
vir lath sa'vunin
Translated from the elven tongue:
elder your time is come
now I am filled with sorrow
weary eyes need resting
heart has become grey and slow
in waking sleep is freedom
we sing, rejoice
we tell the tales
we laugh and cry
we love one more day
—From In Uthenera, traditional elven song of unknown origin
The Legend of Luthias Dwarfson
At an early age, Luthias was smaller than most children of the Alamarri. At the age of 12, Luthias saved Tutha, the son of the tribal chief, from his own dog. The dog had gone rabid, and when it attacked Tutha, Luthias slew it with his bare hands. Tutha's father, Mabene, was impressed with Luthias's strength and bravery, and so took him in as his own son.
When Luthias grew to manhood, he became known for his charisma and bravery. While shorter than his fellow warriors, Luthias was stronger and doughtier than any warrior in the tribe. When Luthias was still a young man, Mabene sent him to the dwarven city of Orzammar to negotiate an alliance. Mabene's tribe had come into conflict with other Alamarri, and he needed as much help as he could get.
Luthias was unable to convince the dwarven king to aid his tribe, but fell in love with the king's daughter, Scaea. Luthias and Scaea fled the dwarven realm and returned to his tribe. Scaea taught Luthias the art of fighting without pain, the berserker state known as the "battle wrath," and with it, Luthias became a renowned warrior.
Luthias led his tribe to many victories, until eventually he replaced his foster father as chief of his tribe. This peace would not last. During a feast between the tribal leaders of the Alamarri and the Avvar, the beautiful and powerful Avvar chieftain, Morrighan'nan, became enamored with Luthias and seduced him. Scaea learned of the tryst and fled the village to return to Orzammar. When Luthias rebuffed Morrighan'nan's offer of marriage, she left in great anger, and from that moment on, there was war between the two tribes.
For 15 years, the Alamarri and Avvar fought. During the Battle of Red Falls, a powerful young warrior from Morrighan'nan's tribe challenged Luthias to a battle. Luthias was injured grievously, but slew the boy. Morrighan'nan revealed that the boy was Luthias's son, conceived 15 years ago during their tryst. She cursed Luthias as the murderer of his own kin, and the Battle of Red Falls turned against Luthias.
Morrighan'nan defeated Luthias in battle after battle, until the Alamarri were driven to the foothills of the Frostback Mountains. There, Luthias made a last stand. In the night before Luthias's final battle, Scaea came to him and offered him a dwarven suit of chain in exchange for a night together. Luthias agreed and wore the armor the following morning in battle. The battle was fierce and bloody, and Luthias met Morrighan'nan in personal combat. In the end, Luthias slew the warrior woman, but not before receiving a mortal wound to his heart, the chain inexplicably unable to block her final blow. Luthias died, and after the battle was done a party of dwarven warriors came down from the mountain and took the body of Luthias back to Orzammar.
—From The Legend of Luthias Dwarfson, author unrecorded, circa -350 Ancient
In Praise of the Humble Nug
- Main article: Codex entry: In Praise of the Humble Nug
I once served a human some nug and he proclaimed that it was like eating an unholy union of pork and hare. The idea disturbed him so much that he declined to finish his serving, and made himself content with some stale bread.
Of course, this one goes to show that surfacers—human or otherwise—have tragically unrefined palates. The nug is surely the most delicious animal I have ever tasted. Only a dead man would not salivate at the thought of a tender morsel of roast nug melting in his mouth. The Paragon Varen—although his house has fallen—shall always be remembered for discovering the wonders of nug flesh. Admittedly, it was discovered only out of desperation, when he was separated from his legion and lost in the Deep Roads for a week, but we won't hold that against the good Paragon.
While nug pancakes and nug-gets (my own children love these) are the nug dishes one encounters most often, nug can be prepared in other interesting and elegant ways. The late King Ansgar Aeducan adored nug—seared on a hot metal plate and finished in the oven—and dressed in a cream sauce flavored with deep mushrooms. You must be careful when using the mushrooms from the Deep Roads, because they often grow close to darkspawn bodies. They say that this is what gives them their unique flavor and intoxicating scent, but it also means that consuming too many of them may result in curious afflictions of the mind.
—From In Praise of the Humble Nug, by Bragan Tolban, honored chef to House Aeducan
Traditional Dwarven Folk Songs
Nug sits in the mud
Nug wiggles his ears
You catch the nug, he slips away!
Nug gets to live another day!
Nug sits in the mud
Nug wiggles his toes
You hook the nug, he slips away!
Now the nug runs off to play!
Nug sits in the mud
Nug wiggles his nose
You tickle the nug, he laughs away!
Now the nug sits on my plate!
—Nug Pancakes, a well-loved dwarven nursery rhyme.
The Sermons of Divine Renata I
The weakness of mortal will is the great failing of all the Maker's children. We trade our honor as if it were the cheapest of currency. We do not understand what integrity is or what it is truly worth. From this ignorance, original sin was born.
At some time, each of us has thought, "What does it matter if I keep hold of my integrity? I am but one mortal. I am powerless." How blind we all are! The virtue of a single slave destroyed the Tevinter Imperium. The dishonor of one man drove the Maker from our sight. I tell you truly, nothing but the integrity of our hearts will win the love of the Maker back to us. It is all the power we shall ever possess to change this world for good or for ill.
—From a sermon on integrity.
Journal of the Tranquil
Some laugh at me. I no longer mind.
Once upon a time, I studied as they did. I learned under the tutelage of an enchanter and attempted to master the art of bending magic to my will, and while I did well enough, I know that I struggled. I saw the way the enchanter looked at me, the sidelong glances of worry and disappointment. While other apprentices were conjuring fire, I could barely light a candle.
I was frightened of magic. When I was a boy, my grandmother regaled me with tales of the terrible Flemeth, the Witch of the Wilds. She told me of the magisters and how their evil magic infected the world with the darkspawn. She told me of demons, and how they were drawn to the dreams of those who possessed magic like moths to a flame. She told me all these things because, she said, the talent ran in our family's blood.
And so it ran in mine. All my young life I had dreaded the thought, prayed to the Maker that I was not so cursed, but I knew otherwise. Deep in my heart, I knew. When the templars came to our home, I knew.
The mages' tower was terrifying, full of secrets and danger. The templars glared at me as if I could spring full into an abomination before their very eyes. My enchanter patiently attempted to teach me to marshal my willpower, my only defense should a demon attempt to enslave me, but it was no use. How many nights did I cry myself to sleep in that dark and lonely place?
Then my Harrowing came at last, my final test. Face a demon, they said, or submit to the Rite of Tranquility. They would sever my connection to the Fade, and thus I would never dream and no demon could ever touch me—but I would also be unable to do magic, and I would never feel an emotion ever again. Facing the demon was certain death, so my choice was easy.
It was not so painful.
Now I serve in other ways. We Tranquil manage the archives. We run the tower, purchase the supplies and maintain the accounts. Our condition also allows us to use the magical element lyrium without ill effect, and thus we are the ones who enchant the magical items. We are the merchants who sell these items to those the Circle permits, and the coin from those sales provides the Circle's wealth.
Thus, we Tranquil are vital. The young and old may stare at me, ill at ease, but they would be worse off without me. They may think me a failure, but there is no horror for me now. I feel no fear of what I am. The shadows are merely shadows, and I am content.
21 Ferventis: Noticed Gorim running around trying to get pieces of my sibling's ceremonial armor ready for the feast. Stopped him and asked him how preparations were going. He mentioned that one of the bracers had a spot of tarnish on it. Was quite impressed at his dedication. He is most loyal to our family.
23 Ferventis: Was on my way to discuss the treaty with Father when came across a messenger waiting in the hall. On being asked why he was loitering about the royal palace, he mumbled something about having a gift for the "new commander" and asked me (begged, almost) to pass along some object or other to my sibling. Me! The heir to the throne of Orzammar does not run errands for a messenger! Must have been new on the job. Had him thrown out; however, still reeling from the gall of it.
Learned later that Bhelen had told messenger that the quickest way to get things to our sibling was through me and had made him wait until I came by. So unseemly for a prince of Orzammar to play such tricks. He needs to grow up and understand that, as royalty, he has responsibilities.
24 Ferventis: Found Bhelen's little... playmate (again!) lurking about the corridors outside his bedroom this morning. Must have been trying to steal something, or already had. Bosom seemed fuller than most decent ladies. Some jewels hidden in the bodice? Anyway, pretended not to see her. Would have been awkward otherwise. Wish Bhelen would keep her confined to his room, if he must have her around. Little brother is too concerned with fun and pleasure and not serious enough about his duties as prince. Must talk to him about discipline when have time. Unfortunately, much too busy with the many tasks Father has laid upon my shoulders.
26 Ferventis: Remember to send small token of gratitude to Jaylia Helmi. Alliance between Helmi and Aeducan must be kept strong. Lady Jaylia will of course accept proposal of marriage since will be king sooner or later, but never hurts to be polite and keep the lady happy. Hear that there are some surfacers selling silks. Maybe will send second out for something nice. Jaylia's favorite color: Turquoise.
28 Ferventis: Heard about there being Provings held in our sibling's honor. They did not have Provings for me at my first commission, and I am the heir! What is going on? Must go watch these Provings, make presence felt. Orzammar must not forget that I am to be her next king.
—From the journal of Trian Aeducan.
The Journal of Enchanter Wilhelm
- Main article: Codex entry: The Journal of Enchanter Wilhelm
- See also: Character: Wilhelm, The Golem in Honnleath
13 Pluitanis: The interrogation of the demon is going well, and is rather fascinating—provided that what it is saying is true. I have sent all my research so far to First Enchanter Arden, and while he is concerned about my safety he does not think there is a reason to stop just yet. All I hope is that the templars do not discover what I am doing. How will we ever find another way to deal with demonic possession if the Chantry does not let us research it?
20 Eluviesta: Young Matthias nearly wandered down here again today, and this time I forgot to leave the barrier up. I believe I will key the defenses to ignore anyone of my blood. I would rather have the boy stumble into the laboratory than have him killed by my forgetfulness. Poor lad, all he wants is to know why his father spends so much time beneath the tower. I will spend more time with him soon, I swear it.
28 Eluviesta: Shale is acting strangely. I wonder if I should discontinue my experiments upon it? I am so near a breakthrough, I am certain! Ahhh, perhaps it is best if I focus on the demon.
11 Matrinalis: Could it be? What an intriguing discovery, especially considering that the demon was attempting to keep me from it at all costs. Or did it lead me to that information by seeming to deny it from me? I must discover the truth.
19 Umbralia: I think it is time to dismiss this demon. It is too dangerous for me to continue holding it, and I cannot discount the possibility that it is having some influence over the golem. Or is it my experiments? I will try to deactivate Shale for the time being and then deal with the demon once and for all. Let it end here.
(There are no further entries.)
Cautionary Tales for the Adventurous
It was then that he realized he wasn't alone. The abandoned camp in front of him was unbelievably welcoming, like a mirage. The fire felt like a warm hand grabbing his heart. It reminded him of a previous life, so long ago, when he was happy. Running on the sunflower fields with his boy, the sun on his face. Laying next to the fireplace, with his beautiful wife in his arms.
He felt a sharp pain in his heart. His thoughts shifted to that fateful day when everything changed. Blood was everywhere. He held the body of his dead wife in his arms. Around him the ashes of his burned house fell like snow. The stench was terrible. It smelled like darkspawn. He grabbed his axe, touched the icy cold hands of his boy, and left. He would kill them. He would kill them all. The pain in his heart was unbearable.
He opened his eyes and saw the second most terrifying thing he would see in his life—a shadowy wraith leaning over him, leeching his life away. Around him, the camp was gone, replaced by something familiar, almost peaceful: Bones, death and despair. He wondered if all his life had been an illusion, if he'd ever had a family. For a brief moment, he felt relief. You can't lose something you've never had. But being this close to death brought clarity. He knew it was real. Everything else was the illusion. You could see a smile on his torn face. He had been waiting for this moment for a long, long time. He lifted his weak arms, grasped the demon's face, and kissed it. It felt like kissing a cloud made of sand and dust. Suddenly, all sorrow left him, and with it, the last bit of life he had. Before his limp body hit the ground, it was all over.
He was finally free.
Sophia Dryden's Journal
It is done. The nobles have thrown their lot in with Arland--Arland the snot-nosed man-child, Arland who did not walk till he was in his fifth year, Arland who had to be pried off his nursemaid's breast not two years ago. Or so it is whispered. The teyrns and the arls believe him to be a simpleton, and easily led, but I have seen something in the boy's eye, and it terrifies me.
I watched the Summerday processions from a room high in Fort Drakon. The regent has me for treason, when my only guilt is of being true to my country and my heart. My guard's tongue was easily loosened with a gift of a ruby ring, and I am told that the banns are fighting against my sentence. I shall pray, but not hope that it will be anything but the gallows for me.
The draught was like bitter fire, but I survived. Weep for me, for I survived. Would that they had made a clean end for me. I should have died a lady, the greatest of the Drydens, not lived to become this nothing--this monstrous nothing!
Enough. I shall waste no more time with wretched, womanish lamentation. Death would have been easy, but fate saw fit to spare me and I will seize upon this chance. The Grey Wardens are an army, and the old commander is weak--a wisp of a man. I will inspire the Wardens, and Arland will rue the day he spared my life.
- Main article: Codex entry: Darion's Journal
A page ripped from a journal
"... We learned of an old laboratory called Amgarrak, where a man of Orzammar and a mage of Tevinter were attempting to recreate Caridin's work. Amgarrak was mentioned in Branka's notes, although why she did not pursue it is a mystery."
"They used not stone or metal, but flesh. Flesh of the dying, the diseased, the casteless. We found evidence of this—a putrefying construct of meat and bone. It looked awkward and headless, and the stench was unbearable."
"The switches divert the lyrium streams, causing unpredictable effects. Sometimes it even alters the environment, changing it to look—even feel—different. It must be magic, but our understanding of such things is limited."
"There is something in here with us."
"They called it the Harvester. They knew it was a terrible mistake and used magic to trap it within these tunnels. Our foolish greed led us here, and now we are trapped along with it. Our only hope of escape is to destroy everything: the creature, the research, the magic that sustains this place. They are all tied together. I must get to the forge, but it is locked. Only a specific combination of switches will work. I must think more on this."
"It found a body—rotting flesh harvested from the dead. It ripped them all apart and used them.
Pelted with heads of friends, tripped in their entrails... Ran. Still alive. Only one alive."
"I can still hear it out there. It knows I'm here. I cannot get back to the forge.
I could go out there and make it quick, or... stay here. Death is certain, either way."