- 1 Dragon Age II
- 1.1 Absolution
- 1.2 Armor of the Fallen
- 1.3 Armor of the Overseer
- 1.4 Aurvar's Prize
- 1.5 Bardin's Folly
- 1.6 Bianca
- 1.7 Blade of Mercy
- 1.8 Bloom
- 1.9 The Celebrant
- 1.10 The Centurion's Cuirass
- 1.11 Cold-Blooded
- 1.12 Enasalin
- 1.13 Finesse
- 1.14 Garahel's Helm
- 1.15 The Gem of Keroshek
- 1.16 Girdle of the Elders
- 1.17 Glandivalis
- 1.18 Hands of the Carta
- 1.19 Karasten's Belt
- 1.20 The Last Descent
- 1.21 Longbow of the Jackal
- 1.22 Mantle of the Champion
- 1.23 Puzzle Ring of the Fox
- 1.24 Ring of the Ferryman
- 1.25 Sataareth
- 1.26 Shield of the Knight Herself
- 1.27 Shield of the Resolute
- 1.28 The Spiral Eye
- 1.29 Staff of Violation
- 1.30 Stonehammer's Gift
- 1.31 Sundering
- 1.32 Talisman of Saarebas
- 1.33 Templar's Ceremonial Cummerbund
- 1.34 Tranquility
- 1.35 Urzara's Tooth
- 1.36 The Vague Blade
- 1.37 Valdasine
- 1.38 Vestments of Sacrifice
- 1.39 Vir Atish'an
- 2 Legacy and Mark of the Assassin DLCs
- 3 Item Packs
- 3.1 The Fugitive's Mantle
- 3.2 The Long Trek
- 3.3 Malcolm's Bequest
- 3.4 Malcolm's Honor
- 3.5 Aldenon's Vestments
- 3.6 Freedom's Promise
- 3.7 Robes of the Pretender
- 3.8 Wisdom's Eye
- 3.9 The Black Fox's Jerkin
- 3.10 Hood's Message to the King
- 3.11 Jarvia's Shank
- 3.12 The Lion's Claws
- 3.13 The Rascal's Scale, by Coinheart
- 3.14 Arms of Mac Tir
- 3.15 Arms of the River Dane
- 3.16 Bard's Honor
- 3.17 Fiona
- 3.18 King Maric's Helm
- 3.19 Longbow of the Avvars
- 3.20 The Archon's Blades
- 3.21 Beregrand the Bold
- 3.22 The Edge of Night
- 3.23 The Empress's Point
- 3.24 The Golden Prince's Raiment
- 3.25 The Ashen Cuirass
- 3.26 The Dogs of War
- 3.27 Hauberk of Gelgenig the Faithful
- 3.28 The Mountain-Father's Haft
- 3.29 Willem's Bulwark
- 4 Unlockables
- 4.1 Air of Confidence
- 4.2 Amulet of Ashes
- 4.3 Blood Dragon Armor
- 4.4 Boots of the Frozen Wastes
- 4.5 Dura's Blue Flame
- 4.6 Evra's Might
- 4.7 Evra's Trophy Belt
- 4.8 Fadeshear
- 4.9 The Far Cliffs of Kirkwall
- 4.10 Hayder's Razor
- 4.11 Hindsight
- 4.12 The Irons
- 4.13 Ivo Family Crest
- 4.14 The Lion of Orlais
- 4.15 Lothering's Lament
- 4.16 Of Things Not Lost
- 4.17 Ser Isaac's Armor
- 4.18 Staff of Parthalan
- 5 Cut content
Dragon Age II
Antiva doesn't have a monopoly on assassins. The bleak Anderfels have produced some of the most ruthless killers in the world, and in the capitol of Hossberg, there are never fewer than ten in the service of their king. They served only the king, and the politics of the Anderfels are a brutal affair. Among the pious, the most dangerous thing a man can do is disgrace himself, for the king sends his killers not for those who plot to overthrow him, but for those who break the Maker's laws and fall into sin and decadence. In the Anders, this is called absolution, not assassination. Death is the sinner's act of penance.
Armor of the Fallen
To the Orlesians, these knights were little better than bandits... but to the Marchers they were heroes, warriors that fought for freedom and autonomy. Most of the Fallen died on the Fields of Ghislain in 5:40 Exalted, defending the newly-crowned King Tylus of Nevarra from Orlesian attack. They held their line against a mounted chevalier charge, managing to keep Tylus alive long enough to retreat—and are credited with Nevarra's continued independence everywhere outside Nevarra itself.
Armor of the Overseer
The Overseer was a nickname given to Magister Claudian Vyrantus, the last and perhaps most notorious of those assigned to the Maharian jetstone quarry outside of Kirkwall (now known locally as the Bone Pit).
The magister was known for his sadistic cruelty. His malevolent social experiments were designed to make examples of those who disobeyed him. Vyrantus even noted that feeding slaves to his pet dragonlings was "little more than they deserved."
The slave revolt in 25 Ancient put an end to the Overseer. He was assaulted by a mob of slaves who stripped his enchanted robes and threw Vyrantus into the Bone Pit to be feasted upon by his dragonlings. What became of his robes during all the chaos is unknown, but it is assumed they remain in Kirkwall.
Aurvar Raed was a gifted young smith of Orzammar. He fell in love, in secret, with the youngest daughter of Walder Turin, a high-ranking warrior, but Aurvar knew their union would never earn Walder's blessing. He worked hard at his craft, and fashioned a beautiful mace, wrought from the purest steel, enchanted with lyrium. He presented it to his love's father, who immediately recognized its value.
Walder Turin asked what Aurvar desired in exchange for the weapon. Aurvar replied, "This is a masterwork piece. It is worth more to me than my own life. As payment, I can only accept something that is as dear to you as this mace is to me." Walder was silent for a moment, and then burst out laughing, amused at Aurvar's boldness. He agreed to a price that he believed was worthy of the mace.
Not two days later, Aurvar and his love stole away from the city, with the princely sum her father had provided. Incensed, Walder tore Orzammar apart looking for his daughter, but she had gone with Aurvar to the surface to start a new life. He never saw them again.
The mace remained in Orzammar, but Walder could not bear to look upon it. It was hidden away deep in his estate, and sold to a merchant upon his death.
A dwarven rune crafter named Bardin made this for his lover, Mayla, a nobleman's wife who was fond of dalliances. As the story goes, Bardin fell hard for Mayla, and after a few passionate nights, he presented her with a beautiful handcrafted ring. Feeling sorry for the love-struck fool, she graciously accepted the gift.
Unfortunately for Bardin, his fine workmanship had become well known, and Mayla's husband immediately recognized the handiwork. No one knows exactly what happened to the rune crafter, but he disappeared from Orzammar shorty after. It's said that the nobleman tracked him down, tied him up, carved runes on every square inch of his body, and tossed the sinewy mess into a river of magma outside Orzammar.
Mayla fled for the surface with the ring. Some versions of the story have her making it to Orlais, while others involve Mayla getting hopelessly lost in the Deep Roads, never to be seen again. The ring, however, turned up years later in a merchant's stash outside Ostwick.
When asked how he procured the weapon, Varric has a few claims. He could have won it in a game of Wicked Grace against Paragon Branka, it could've been a gift from a mysterious old beggar who disappeared into thin air, and it's possible he bought it off a crooked merchant in Lowtown with the previous owner's hand still wrapped around the trigger.
None of those explanations is very likely and continued questioning simply results in Varric grinning and walking away.
Blade of Mercy
Of course, the Tevinter Imperium did not become part of the Chantry until well after its formation centuries later, so the first of these blades was created in 2:2 Glory as a gift from Archon Therion to his general, Lord Galineus, for battles fought at the height of the Second Blight. Since then many archons gave similar gifts and it is seen as a badge of honor within the Imperium—though more than one of these blades have ended up on the black market, either stolen or sold by the recipients when their family fell on hard times.
Ironically, one of the four swords found impaled in the body of assassinated Queen Madrigal of Antiva in 5:99 Exalted (thus inspiring the Age of Steel) was a Blade of Mercy. It was a great sacrilege to the Chantry.
Our hero strode the winding road,
Defiant of the vile.
Uncertain pause for home and cause,
When met the monster's smile.
A man his kin through blood and sin
A bastard of the gloom.
A rising cut through bone and gut,
An awful skyward bloom.
The Grand Tourney is the oldest, and perhaps only, tradition of the Free Marches. On those rare, one-in-a-thousand days when a Contest of Arms may be called, every Marcher unites in fellowship to witness the birth of a new champion.
Contestants come from all over Thedas. Minrathous alone always sends no fewer than two dozen entrants hoping to claim the honor for the Imperium. Once, the champion was an Avvar mountain man. Twice in a row, it was Talisa of Sundarin, a lady knight from the Anderfels—which scandalized the crowd, created endless drama amongst the participants, and therefore got her declared the "Most-Loved Champion in the History of the Tourney".
Each champion is presented a crown of sage leaves and a sword. The leaves wither, of course, as a reminder that all victories are fleeting, but the blade, Celebrant, endures and has passed from champion to champion since the first, inscribed with the names of each victor, a reminder that legend is eternal.
The Centurion's Cuirass
In the 435th year of the Tevinter Imperium, Archon Almadrius built a summer palace for himself near the Eyes of Nocen. The palace was considered one of the greatest wonders of the world, and many of Almadrius's jealous rivals hatched plots to burn it to the ground.
To protect his palace, the archon stationed one hundred soldiers on permanent guard. These centurions were sworn only to the service of the archon himself, their oaths sealed with blood.
The reign of Almadrius ended in violence and his successor, Tidarion, converted the palace into a garrison for his troops fighting the insurrections all across the Imperium. Amidst the bedlam, the centurions maintained their watch. They eventually fell in battle, but their oaths held and the bodies rose again to take their posts.
When Tidarion's reign came to an end, the magisters fought amongst themselves for twenty vicious years before they crowned a new archon, and when Parthenius finally took the throne, he found that the palace and its guardians had vanished. Not a single stone remained in the Nocen countryside.
Some say the centurions, faithful to their oaths, carried the palace away brick by brick and rebuilt it in a distant land where it would be safe, waiting for an archon to lay claim to it.
Adain of Starkhaven escaped from the Circle of the Magi in the winter of 8:76 Blessed, the coldest winter that the Free Marches had seen in decades. He decided that it was better to die a free man than remain a servant to the Chantry and broke out of the Circle's stronghold, fleeing into an unforgiving blizzard. The templars gave chase, but there was little they could do in the harsh winds and bitter cold.
They came after Adain again in the spring, tracking him to his hideout. But Adain was prepared, and he tore them to pieces with blood magic and destroyed the phylactery they used to find him. With his phylactery gone, Adain was finally free. He married a young woman from the village of Hambleton, near Markham, and dedicated the rest of his life to the study of blood and primal magic.
When Adain passed on, he left his memoirs, his magical research, and his staff to his children, one of whom was also a mage. The staff bears one notch on its shaft for every templar Adain dispatched over the course of his life.
Little knowledge remains of the great war the Tevinter Imperium waged upon the elves of Arlathan. Many human scholars believe that Arlathan was the only elven settlement of note, and that if elves existed elsewhere on the continent their forces were at best negligible. My conversations with the Dalish, however, indicate that there was a time when the elves had many cities, and it's possible that the elven civilization declined long before the Imperium entered the height of its power.
An example of such a place is Sundermount in the Vimmark Mountains near Kirkwall. According to Dalish legend, this was a burial site for elders and the location of a great battle between Imperial and elven forces—nowhere near Arlathan (if one believes the city was near the forest of the same name in northeastern Thedas).
The arcane warriors that remained at the mountain to defend their slumbering elders were known as the Enasalin'abelas, or "sorrowful victory". These elves knew they were going to die, but were bound by duty to protect their charges. The enchanted armor that belonged to these warriors was looted by the Imperial victors, so pieces that resurface today are considered relics of great importance.
—From An Investigation into Arlathan, by Alstead the Sage, 9:18 Dragon
Some might find it strange that the greatest assassin in the history of the Antivan Crows was both a woman and a commoner—a whore, if the legend is to be believed. I conferred with several Crows myself (all of whom spoke only with monetary incentive as well as assurances of anonymity) and they say it is true.
The assassin known to legend as "Finesse" was Callisto di Bastion, a wealthy courtesan who was welcome in many noble homes as well as their bedrooms. She was gifted with a silver tongue, and according to my contacts, may have received training among the Orlesian bards in addition to her time with the Crows. Perhaps this is where her success can be credited? Finesse achieved fame and adoration among the common folk with the fatal stabbing of King Guiomar the Younger in 4:22 Black.
This adoration is not necessarily shared by the Crows, however. That she was captured, hanged and had her fabled dagger auctioned off to the highest bidder speaks poorly of her skills. Still, in centuries since, the Crows have embraced her legend as their own. Convenient, as it only adds to their dangerous reputation.
It was enough to level what buildings were not already destroyed by the endless battle we had fought, enough to knock horses and ogres aside as if they were little more than parchment. Even at my distance, the force struck me like the blast of some great storm. The darkspawn around us felt it too, as savage desperation turned to sheer terror.
A great pillar of energy rushed up into the dark clouds, the blackness that had gathered with the horde and blocked out all glimmer of hope. When we stood again, we saw the first rays of sunshine peeking through those clouds and we let out such a cheer of joy and relief that it shook the very earth. I joined the others as we searched for Garahel, but as the eve approached all I found was his enchanted helm. It was not until much later that I heard his body had been retrieved, flung to the far side of the battlefield by the Archdemon's death throes. My friend, this elf who helped us unite the lands and cleanse Thedas of the darkspawn scourge will always be remembered. I swear it.
—Excerpt from a letter written by the Grey Warden Prosper, 5:24 Exalted
The Gem of Keroshek
Go to any hive of drinkers and gamblers in the Marches and you will undoubtedly hear the legend of the Gem of Keroshek. Ask three different men about it and you will get three different stories. One will say that an alchemist found it in the ashes of Andraste's pyre and then steeped it in wine for forty days and nights. Another will swear that it was a bezoar cut from the belly of a boar that was found inside a griffon that was swallowed by a high dragon. The last will tell you that it's the petrified heart of Trajan the Quick, a merchant prince of Orzammar who almost became a Paragon.
One thing all will agree on, however, is that it brings luck. Keep the Gem of Keroshek in your pocket and you will never lose a bet. Sleep with it under your pillow and it will bring wealth and prosperity into your life.
And where is the gem now? That is the sovereign-plated question. I'm told it's in the mausoleum of a prince of Starkhaven, and that this is the reason for the city's wealth.
—Excerpt from Tales and Legends of the Free Marches, by Lord Rodney Pierce
Girdle of the Elders
The elf seemed pretty upset when we started pawing at his stuff, especially the belt. Turns out it's some kind of heirloom. The knife-ear claimed that it came from Arlathan, that it had been in his family for generations.
Well, things change.
We dumped the body by the mine for the clan to find. I took a closer look at the belt and it was clear that the leather was new, but there was something odd about the buckle. So I brought it to this fellow in Val Royeaux who deals in antiques, and he tells me it's old—could even be from the time of the ancient elves. Suppose the runt was telling the truth.
Anyway, hope this is adequate payment for the job. You could sell it or melt the buckle down. I believe it's real silverite.
—Excerpt from a letter found in a gambling den in Jader
It seems most people would prefer to believe that Andraste crossed the Waking Sea with little more than a basket of flowers and songs of peace and harmony. The truth is that she came with a horde of warriors at her back, and that without a rebellion occurring behind the enemy lines it's very possible that the holy invasion could have been foiled.
Shartan was a slave who became a fabled warrior and later a devotee of Andraste herself, and we know this because the Canticle of Shartan spoke of their meeting on the Valarian Fields. Andraste gave him a mystic blade that he called Glandivalis (translation unknown) and he even fought at Maferath's side. But now the Canticle is one of the Dissonant Verses, and has been ever since the Exalted March of the Dales.
It seems we don't wish to speak of elven heroes or the role they played in Andraste's war any more than we wish to speak of barbarians or the bloody death toll that accompanied the war. With each passing age, heroes like Shartan become more of a fable, but some of us will always know the truth.
Hands of the Carta
The dusters have a saying: "Blood or coin, the Carta always gets its cut." When Beraht was running Dust Town, he took the saying literally. He commissioned a pair of wicked blades made by Smith House Dural. Beraht gave one to his right hand, Jarvia, and the other to his second, Karshol, so that whatever hand of the Carta you got, it'd be holding a big sodding knife. Beraht wasn't exactly a poet.
Jarvia was killed in Dust Town during the messy succession, and Karshol turned all of Orzammar upside-down looking for her blade. Some duster struck gold finding that blade and must have been clever enough to sell it right away. Stone only knows what Karshol will do to the luckless clod who has it when he finds it.
—From the account of Kalah, a casteless of Orzammar
The antaam infantry field commanders wear these belts. They may indicate rank, division within the army, or they may simply hold an officer's pants up. As with most everything else, the Qunari refuse to explain the significance of the items.
The Last Descent
The Legion of the Dead are comprised of dwarves who are looking to regain their honor. These discredited dwarves must venture into the Deep Roads to battle an endless tide of darkspawn. The Legion guarantees redemption for its members, but so too their deaths.
There are records indicating that one human joined the Legion. Sir Aurelian Pentaghast, the defeated contender for the Nevarran throne, retreated into dwarven lands in 8:60 Blessed. Sir Aurelian was a pious man who was ousted after clashing with his people. He believed the Maker demanded that he return his homeland to Chantry rule.
With little recourse but to live out his days as a dishonored exile, he joined the Legion of the Dead and went into the Deep Roads a dwarven hero. He was never seen again, but pieces of his enchanted armor have turned up on the surface in the ensuing decades. Some say the armor was scavenged off his body, others that he sold the pieces after secretly returning to the surface. The truth, as always, is known only to the Legion, whose motto has always been, "our secrets die with us."
Longbow of the Jackal
There once was a bard from Montsimmard, whose tongue was made of purest silver. His name was Corsa the Jackal, and he was famous for enchanting emperors and empresses by knowing exactly what to say to please them. This often got Corsa into trouble!
One day, Corsa was traveling to Val Royeaux where he was to press his silver-tongued words into Empress Necessiteuse's ear. As he walked and rehearsed, a mighty storm blew in. Rain washed away the path, and Corsa became hopelessly lost. Chill set into his bones, so he took shelter in a cave.
But the cave was home to a big brown bear! Corsa drew his longbow, but the bear seized it. "I was just about to go out for dinner," said the bear. "Nice of you to drop by!" He looked at Corsa and began to drool. "You shouldn't do that," replied Corsa. "I am old and stringy and not at all good to eat. Let me share your cave, and in the morning, I will gather honey and berries. You shall have a feast fit for kings!"
"Agreed," said the Bear, "but go no further into the cave. You won't like what you'll find there."
Corsa warmed himself by nestling into to the bear's thick fur. The bear fell asleep, but Corsa was kept awake by what lay further in the darkness. Finally, he could no longer endure the mystery.
At the back of the cave, Corsa found a huge room. And in the middle of that room? An enormous dragon! "Mmm," said the dragon. "Food!"
"Wait, wait!" cried Corsa. "I am old and stringy and not at all good to eat. Let me leave, and I will bring you the bear."
"I think not," said the dragon. "That bear promised me breakfast!" And that was the end of the Jackal.
—"The Tale of Corsa" from Bedtime Stories for Good Children, by Sister Marigold
Mantle of the Champion
- Main article: Codex entry: Mantle of the Champion
- See also: Mantle of the Champion (warrior), Mantle of the Champion (rogue), Mantle of the Champion (mage)
Champion: an honor unique to the Free Marches. Other terms of reverence suffer the stains of their holders, the lingering baggage of office and entitlement. But champion is not an appointment that can be sought. It cannot be owned or willed, and the process by which it is bestowed is not argued through policy or guile. It is earned with blood and sweat and leadership in times of great turmoil. Always worthy, as their deeds are of true importance, a champion is greeted not by debate, but by nods of reverence.
The title was most recently granted in Tantervale, 8:82 Blessed, on the resolution of the bloody expansion of Nevarra. Their king, emboldened by the taking of Perendale and the quick yielding of Hasmal, thought the remainder of the Free Marches as easy claim. He who became the Champion. Cade Arvale of Rivain, did what Orlais had not: He stopped a nation in its tracks. There was blood and barter, but Tantervale is still free against all odds.
There is the contradiction of the honor. Champion is not itself a sign of approval. He or she can be respected or feared, their coming dreaded as much as desired. All that is common is that they have an effect and lives are changed.
Kirkwall now adds to the history of the title, a first for the city, on this 9:34 Dragon. The Qunari are repelled by means respected or reviled, and it remains to be seen what follows for this Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall.
—From The Champion: History, Ancient and Current, excerpted by Philliam, a Bard!
Puzzle Ring of the Fox
In Orlais, they say there are ten of these rings, one for each finger, and that the Black Fox was never without a single one. Some claim each represented a conquest; others: that they were reminders of secrets the he kept; still others: that they carried an inscription that, if all the rings were assembled as one, told the location of the Black Fox's stronghold.
Ring of the Ferryman
Legend has it that prior to seizing powers as the first archon of the Tevinter Imperium, Darinius had a dream that he crossed a mighty river in a small ferry piloted by a man whose face was always in shadow. When he reached the other side, Darinus [sic] looked back and saw that the ferryman was himself.
When he took the throne, Darinius chose, as the seal of the archon, an image of a hooded ferryman. Every archon since has worn such a ring on the third finger of his right hand. A new ring is cast in gold for each archon with his name around the image relief. By tradition, upon his death, the ring is ceremonially crushed in front of the assembled magisters, so that no one may use the power of the archon until a new one is crowned.
But the tradition has been circumvented at least twice: a forgery can be substituted and ritually destroyed in place of the Ring of the Ferryman. This one bears the name of Archon Hadarius, but whether it's the true ring or the forgery is impossible to discern.
Qunari are a people of metaphors, and for them, words have many meanings. Sataareth, the name given by the Arishok to this axe, means "that which upholds". It is the word for foundation, defender, and enforcer, all at once.
Shield of the Knight Herself
A shield of impressive weight, to the point of being unwieldy if held by a weak hand. The crest is Dalish and old Orlesian, and the direct and deliberate styling can be a reference to only one person: the legendary Ser Aveline, the first woman to gain Orlesian knighthood.
Abandoned as a baby, Aveline was raised by the Dalish and grew into a skilled warrior. Her elven parents encouraged Aveline to demonstrate her skill among her human kin, but women were not allowed to enter Orlesian knighthood or compete in tournaments. She entered anyway, her features obscured by armor. Aveline defeated everyone she faced.
Her final victory came to a brutal end when Kaleva, a knight in service to the Emperor, tripped Aveline out of frustration, knocking the helm from her head. Realizing that his honor had been bested by a woman, Kaleva demanded that the competition be nullified. Jeered by the crowd, he lashed out and killed the fallen Aveline.
Prince Freyan had also faced Aveline in the tournament and saw her death as a great injustice. When Freyan became emperor in 7:44 Storm, he formally recognized her skill by abolishing the practices that had excluded her. She was posthumously knighted, and while women are still a rarity in the Orlesian knighthood, those who enter revere Ser Aveline as their patron.
Ser Aveline's career was short—it's simply impossible for her to have held all the equipment that has been attributed to her over the years. But this shield is still of exceptional quality, and Aveline may find it's attribution to her namesake of interest.
Shield of the Resolute
The Shield of the Resolute was once worn by Knight-Commander Reiner of Starkhaven. Reiner's father crafted this shield for him when Reiner was recruited to the templar order. It was plain and unadorned when it first left the anvil, a simple shield for a smith's son.
Reiner proved himself on a mission to rescue several mages from a demon. Upon seeing the creature, the other templars fell back in fear. Only Reiner held position, his father's shield in front of him. He killed the demon and saved both the mages and his fellow templars.
Reiner's heroism earned him respect. His superiors, his colleagues, and the mages of Starkhaven's Circle saw him a fair and honorable templar. He was knight-commander by thirty-five.
Reiner's shield was modified over the years and enchanted at least twice. By the time Reiner passed the shield on to his successor, it no longer looked as it did when Reiner first strapped it to his arm; it had become a shield worthy of a knight-commander.
The Spiral Eye
Kirkwall has been a tinderbox since becoming the center of templar power in eastern Thedas. Of the hundreds of mages that live in the Gallows, it is perhaps telling that the most well known are its apostates.
Ceridweth was one such infamous apostate. She lived during the latter half of the Storm Age and was known for hunting priests and templars that abused their charges excessively. Ceridweth was also known as the Watcher and the Spiral Eye, so named for the spiral glyph she marked near her victims.
Templar records show that Ceridweth was captured and made Tranquil in 7:90 Storm. Many refuse to believe this, so her legend lives on.
Staff of Violation
Casimira was, in fact, the first leader of Kirkwall's Circle of Magi. She was saddled with the great task of transforming a decrepit, crumbling prison into a proper home for mages transferred to her from all over Thedas. Some of those mages were apostates, men and women one step away from being rendered Tranquil, and it was her unfortunate task to keep order.
How many battles did she fight in those early days? How much blood was spilled on these grounds? Casimira had to be a hard woman, but she did it to keep the templars from declaring the Right of Annulment and killing us all.
And your other rumor that she was arrested by the first knight-commander? I am telling you it isn't so. I have studied the records, and the truth of the matter is that Casimira was taken by a demon and slain before she could endanger the tower. The templars admired her strength in holding the demon back long enough for them to act. It was a noble sacrifice, and Casmira's staff was kept by the first enchanters to commemorate this. It saddens me that people choose to dwell on its form rather than the lesson it signifies.
The Proving, the dwarven name for gladiatorial arena matches, became popular in Imperial society in 1200 Ancient. This led to the construction of the Grand Proving arena, a structure that still stands two thousand years later.
The armor was lost during the Imperium's great civil war in 575 Ancient. There are rumors that Stonehammer's Gift (or portions thereof) has since surfaced outside of Tevinter, most prominently during the Fourth Blight's Battle of Ayesleigh where the armor was reportedly worn by the fabled Champion of Starkhaven.
Legend says the mace was not crafted by hand, but instead hatched from an egg high in the mountains and then carried by birds to Luthias as a wedding gift from the Lady of the Skies.
When Luthias dies, dwarves arrived to carry him to Orzammar to be buried as one of their own with the Stone. Sundering was to lie at his side, but the mace could not be found. Stories say the birds reclaimed it and will deliver it to another hero in time.
Talisman of Saarebas
A simple shape on a leather cord. The uneven polish is not a failure of workmanship; rather the result of exacting and repeated study by powerful hands.
Black glimmers curl just beneath a surface that should be solid, and there are glimpses of a core that seems to be carved from a piece of horn. Gaze for more than a moment and it seems to stir something in an uncommonly dark corner of the mind, coaxing out a familiar, primal emotion: want. It is impossible to say whether Saarebas intended this as reinforcement or restriction. At the moment, it simply is.
This secret thing was never meant for the eyes of another.
Templar's Ceremonial Cummerbund
When a templar takes his vows and enters the service of Andraste, he is presented with a suit of ceremonial armor to be worn when in the presence of the grand cleric. Every piece of the armor is covered in the iconography of blessed Andraste.
The cummerbund is wide, made of interlocking steel plates inlaid with gold, and adorned with two hundred and eight embossed stars along the edging: one for each day Andraste sung to the Maker to deliver her people. The center plate depicts, in bas relief, the burning Sword of Mercy. Beside it is a shield, representing the disciple Havard. On the other side is ring split in half, which symbolizes Maferath. The buckle is formed like a sun, representing the Maker. On the steel inner face of each plate, a line of the Chant of Light is written.
The last is an interesting touch. Concealed artistic flair or an overt cheat sheet at mass?
Orana was brought to the Circle of Magi in Kirkwall at the age of five. Her mentors had high hopes for the child, seeing her talent for magic. Unfortunately, the poor child was plagued by nightmares that only worsened after her move to the Gallows.
Orana became afraid of falling asleep. She would lie stiffly in bed, her eyes wide open. Without sleep, she grew thin and wan, and her studies began to suffer.
Orana began to experience waking dreams. Shadows flitted in corners, and she swore she heard voices calling her name. She knew demons could take advantage of her vulnerable state, and at the tender age of eleven, she requested to be made Tranquil. The first enchanter complied.
With her connection to the Fade severed, Orana was again able to sleep. Her health returned, and she was at peace with her decision. She continued her education at the Circle and excelled in enchanting and runecrafting.
Orana saw the Rite of Tranquility as a gift, although many mocked her for this view. Later in life, she created an amulet to remind her of the Rite. She named it Tranquility. The Tranquility Amulet soothes the mind and imparts a general sense of well-being to its wearer.
In 7:28 Storm, a high dragon rampaged through the northern Free Marches, destroying villages and killing over a hundred people. Following in the dragon's wake was a group of wild-eyed fanatics who worshipped the dragon they called Urzara.
The cultists believed Urzara would soon claim the Maker's throne, being the child of the Old God Urthemiel. To prepare for the dragon's ascension to true godhood, the cultists burned down village chantries and forced those they came upon to bow down to their crude stone idol of the dragon.
Followed by her cult, the dragon returned to her mountainside home near the mouth of the Minanter River. The Marchers, afraid the dragon and her cult might one day return, assembled a small army of militiamen. The men suffered heavy losses but succeeded in killing the dragon. When Urzara fell, many cultists threw themselves into the Minanter and died.
The cult leader was captured and taken to Tantervale where he was publicly emasculated, disemboweled, and burned. His symbol of power, a talisman carved from Urzara's mighty tooth, was awarded to the man who struck the killing blow on the dragon.
The Vague Blade
What does it do? Well, who can say?
It changes form from day to day.
Of unknown metal and magic keen,
A finer blade there's never been.
My foe once exclaimed as he was flayed,
"I've never seen so vague a blade!"
— From Legendary Blades of Thedas, by Lord Roderick Gutenschwantz
One day the mining family shut the doors of their thaig. They spoke not to their noble patrons, nor their king, and not even a visiting Paragon. Days passed in silence before the doors to Valdasine Thaig opened. Anxious partners discovered it empty. Not one soul remained—no bodies and no sign of what had happened.
House Valdasine only left a staff of strange metal behind. It looked like lyrium and chilled one's heart like a remembered sorrow. The king sealed the staff inside the thaig, and no dwarf ever ventured there again.
—As recounted by Shaper Merta
Vestments of Sacrifice
The Vestments of Sacrifice is a replica of the robe worn by Grey Warden Neriah, a mage who fought in the Second Blight's final battle in Starkhaven. According to legend, she threw herself in front of a darkspawn emissary to protect her lover, Corin. Neriah's sacrifice saved Corin's life, which was instrumental in ending the Blight for it was Corin's blade that struck the Archdemon Zazikel down.
The original robe was displayed at the Circle of Magi in Antiva for many years, and I count myself among the lucky to have seen Neriah's robe before it was destroyed in a fire. I constructed this replica from my notes and sketches, and it is as accurate a copy as one could achieve. I have even gone to great lengths to recreate the enchantments placed on the original robes.
The recreation of this garment brings me great joy and fulfillment. I hope it brings the same to one of your order. Please accept this gift, humbly presented, as a token of appreciation for all the Grey Wardens have done for Thedas.
There is never a shortage of hunters. The Vir Tanadhal, The Way of Three Trees, has lured many to Andruil's side. The Vir Atish'an, The Way of Peace, is a harder path to tread, and few are called to hear Sylaise's wisdom. Those who hear that call learn the arts of the healer and the mender.
Legacy and Mark of the Assassin DLCs
Helm of Weisshaupt
- Main article: Codex entry: Helm of Weisshaupt
The labyrinth has claimed Warden-Commander Astor. Ulrich tampered with one of the magical seals in this place and unwittingly released a demon upon us. Commander Astor ordered us to run—he would hold the creature back while we activated the prison's defenses, trapping them both. The barriers came up, and they will stay up. This was Commander Astor's last instruction and we will follow it to the letter.
We are unable to retrieve the Warden-Commander's prized helm and the other trappings of his office. They will not be returned to Weisshaupt and will remain with the Commander, wherever he may be.
—From a torn Grey Warden report, the writing barely legible
The key is, and always will be, part of the cage that holds Corypheus. The prison's power is tied to that of the key; as the power of one waxes, the other wanes.
The key's origins are lost to time. All we know is that it is an ancient, powerful weapon. The Wardens of old uncovered a few of its secrets—just enough to draw upon its magic to create the seals that hold Corypheus.
Accounts indicate that the key attunes itself to whichever man or woman wields it in the rituals that reinforce Corypheus's chains. It is the nature of the magic, something in the blood. The key is currently attuned to one Malcolm Hawke, the last mage to hold it.
The key is an essential part of strengthening the seals, and also the only thing that can break Corypheus free.
—From Janeka's research notes
Regalia of Weisshaupt
- Main article: Codex entry: Regalia of Weisshaupt
- See also: Regalia of Weisshaupt (mage), Regalia of Weisshaupt (rogue), Regalia of Weisshaupt (warrior)
I find myself drawn inexplicably to the principal seal. My waking moments are consumed by thoughts of it. I make excuses so that I might visit it. Then there are the journals of the Warden mage who created the seal using the artifact known as the key: What is the key? Can the seal be broken without it?
I have begun to suspect that these thoughts are not my own. Close scrutiny of my emotions and thoughts have led me to the frightening conclusion that this obsession was planted in me by the creature they call Corypheus. Corypheus wants me to learn about the seal and key so that he may pluck the knowledge from my mind. Corypheus wants to be free, and he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.
One hundred and fifty years ago, the girl who would rise to become First Enchanter Illana of Montsimmard was born to a noble family of Val Royeaux. When Illana's gift was discovered and she was sent to Circle of Magi, her family did not abandon her; rather, they took an enthusiastic interest in her career as a mage.
Her mother made several feeble attempts to start fashions at court with her "Circle-inspired" gowns. Illana's father was more successful, directing his daughter's fortunes through support of coin and political influence. Throughout Illana's apprenticeship at the Circle of Montsimmard, he secured private quarters for her as well as a personal guard of templars hand-picked by the knight-commander. So long as she was accompanied by her guards, Illana was allowed to leave the Circle as often as she wished.
With her father's backing, Illana rose swiftly through the Circle's ranks, named senior enchanter just after her twenty-second birthday. Eight years later, she was appointed first enchanter. Her family commissioned a fine set of a first enchanter's ceremonial raiments, designed in accordance with the prevailing styles of the time and presented them to her on the day she was raised.
Illana was first enchanter for just shy of two years, during which time the Circle was mostly run by her assistant, Hugh, and a small group of senior enchanters. She cited mental exhaustion when she stepped down and lived the rest of her days in a quiet manor outside Val Royeaux.
A good messenger of swift foot and sound mind is rare. Maker knows, I couldn't rely on mine to convey a simple "dinner is served" to my daughter, and her quarters are but two doors down.
But here you have Gilbert de Marais, whose capable hands delivered not only notes to family, but also secret documents to the emperor. He rendered unto you fifteen years of faithful service, no? And not once did he fail. They say you treasured him far above rubies. An exaggeration, surely, for if that were so, you would have entrusted him with baubles meant for mistresses, not crucial messages in the lands of a sworn enemy.
Gilbert insisted he knew nothing of your plans to divest me of my fortune and have me removed from court. I believed him, and so he is on his way back to you with one last message.
Oh, another thing: thank you kindly for the handsome suit Gilbert was wearing when I found him. Alas, he has no further use for it.
—Letter, written on vellum and sewn onto the skin of messenger Gilbert de Marais, who was found naked and nailed to a tree on the border of his master's lands
With her in all circumstances
Celene's guard and their stony-eyed glances,
Hand-picked by the dame,
For strength, boldness, and name,
And also the size of their lances.
The Fugitive's Mantle
Malcolm Hawke ranged the breadth of the Free Marches as he ran from the templars who pursued him. He often posed as a mercenary, and his substantial martial skills easily secured him positions in different bands. On one assignment for the Crimson Oars he was sent to Kirkwall, the seat of templar power in the region. He had every intention of staying there briefly, but fate had other plans.
The Long Trek
Malcolm would never tell his wife or young children where he was from; it was a bloody tale that forever gave him nightmares. When their love was still fresh, Leandra once pressed him on the subject. All he would say is, "Freedom's price is never cheap, but that was hundred leagues and a lifetime ago." His haunted gaze lingered on his favorite boots, and he would say no more.
In Kirkwall, Malcolm met Leandra and, despite all common sense, courted her. The few times Leandra managed to slip away from her family, Malcolm showed her a whole new world, something completely different from her cloistered existence. It was dangerous, forbidden, and she quickly fell madly in love with the dashing Malcolm Hawke. These stolen moments would end all too soon.
One day, while fighting the Carta on the docks, Malcolm used magic to save the life of the Crimson Oars' leader. The Kirkwall templars were alerted, but Malcolm wouldn't flee the city without seeing his love one last time. He devised to meet her at the masked ball for the visiting Orlesian Empress.
Disguised in Orlesian robes, Malcolm slipped past the templars to dance with his love. At the end of the night, Leandra would not hear his goodbyes and chanced at happiness rather than face her gray prearranged future. Malcolm and Leandra ran into the night and never looked back.
Malcolm and Leandra fled across the Waking Sea, to a new life away from the cold shadow of the Gallows. It took some doing, but the vastness of Ferelden allowed them to fall beneath the notice of their templar pursuers. They settled in the small village of Lothering, where Malcolm made every effort to ensure that his children didn't fear magic, and were well insulated against those who did.
Malcolm had picked up a trick or two, here and there, and this deceptively simple staff shows the breadth of his knowledge. More an ongoing project than a specialist's tool, it is the handiwork of someone comfortable with the life he must live, for as long as he was granted the opportunity to live it.
To all appearances, he was a hedge wizard hailing from the Frostbacks, perhaps Alamarri—but from the wild lands if so. Venerable, certainly worthy of respect, but not commanding it. When he stormed into my master's feasthall and offered his service in a resounding voice, there was laughter at his audacity. Several bondsmen offered to remove the miscreant, but before they could grab him the mage lifted his staff and the bondsmen fell to the ground. Each time they stood, they slipped again, and their antics were met with laughter. Arl Tenedor the Elder, who was not long for this world, demanded to know who this arrogant invader was.
"I am the beginning and the end. I am luckbinder, spellweaver, and the keeper of secrets. And I am here to build a kingdom. I am Aldenon the Wise, and if you haven't heard of me yet—never can you say the same again." His voice boomed, silencing all. His magic was potent and the hall gave him a wary look. Tenedor accepted him as his advisor that day. Then, when Tenedor the Younger rose to his father's seat, he took Aldenon into service as well. I sat with the mage in many councils and although his magecraft was greater than even the Tevinter magisters, many believed his advice to be folly. He had little appreciation for the hard truths of our lands, they said. Compassion, mercy, justice—they matter not when Teyrn Simeon invades your land, subverts your nobles, and takes what's yours. He grew bitter and impatient with us and ours, and these sentiments were often returned. But others could see he had a vision of something better than the endless petty wars of teyrns and arls.
When Arl Myrddin besieged us, a youth named Calenhad was sent to meet the asp, but all expected a treacherous end. Yet the boy returned, to great acclaim, and announced there would be no terms. Aldenon was taken with the "foolhardy honor" the boy displayed and seemed to awaken as from a dark dream. The mage told Tenedor the Younger he would lend his aid for this battle, but after that, he would serve another. Tenedor accepted his resignation with relief more than anything.
By the end of the siege of the Western Hill, Arl Tenedor was no more. It was Calenhad who defeated Myrddin in single combat, and he became Teyrn Calenhad. Aldenon was named his chief advisor.
—From The Recollections of Ser Devith, banner knight of King Calenhad
As Calenhad grew into a man, one great contentious issue separated him from Aldenon: Calenhad's faith. As biddable as Calenhad was on some topics, never would he back down from matters of honor or Andraste. What Aldenon believed, only Aldenon knew, but he most certainly did not believe in the Maker. The friends' arguments grew only hotter as the years passed.
But that aside, the union of Calenhad's peerless honor and Aldenon's ingenuity overcame every obstacle set before them. Rivals turned into friends, treacheries were uncovered, and impossible battles won. But as we turned to Teyrn Simeon, no one rested easy. Teyrn Simeon's host outnumbered us many times over. He controlled the holy city of Denerim. Many great and terrible warriors had sworn him fealty.
Aldenon conceived a plan to enlist strong allies and Calenhad went into the Brecilian Forest to make it so. But unbeknownst to the mage, Calenhad had made contact with the Chantry. When Calenhad returned at the head of the Ash Warriors as Aldenon expected, so as well did templars and Circle mages join our host. Aldenon was in a fury such as I've never seen. He wanted a kingdom of free men, of moral people beholden to law. Where a common man could tend his land safely and in peace. He lifted his staff and his voice echoed through the hills: "A civilization cannot be civil if it condones the slavery of another. And that is what this Circle is! But by accident of birth, those mages would be free to live, love, and die as they choose. The Circles will break—if it be one year, a decade, a century, or beyond. Tyrants always fall, and the downtrodden always strive for freedom!"
Then Aldenon left. And although Lady Shayna slew Simeon that day and Calenhad ruled a united kingdom, my liege was not the same without his mentor and friend. We live in the kingdom built on the dreams of two great friends, and we are all lessened by Aldenon's departure.
—From The Recollections of Ser Devith, banner knight of King Calenhad
Robes of the Pretender
As the Chantry's hold on the kingdom grew, and Aldenon's rebel mages were claimed one by one, the great Calenhad came to regret letting the Circle form in his kingdom. Certainly he missed his old friend's counsel.
And then Calenhad disappeared, leaving crown and kingdom to his unborn son.
One story says he tracked down Marterel the Elusive, the only one of Aldenon's apprentices who was never captured. Calenhad managed what the templars could not and found the mage. He asked Marterel where Aldenon had fled to, but Marterel refused him. The next night, the king asked again, and was again refused, so he began to tell Marterel his whole life's story. After a full week, the king reached the end of his tale and Marterel heard the regret in the king's words. So the mage broke his solemn vow and told Calenhad where his old master had gone. Calenhad thanked him and left to find his truest friend.
Whether Calenhad ever found Aldenon, what they said, and whether they made amends—only the Maker knows. But that's the last anyone ever saw our king.
—From a story told and retold many times by apprentices in the Circle Tower of Ferelden
Although his vestments are legendary, Aldenon also weaved many subtle and potent enchantments into his cap during the years he fought against the Circle Tower of Ferelden. He claimed he could use Wisdom's Eye to even see the future. Certainly the innumerable times he and the other rebel mages escaped templars lend some credence to the claim.
When Aldenon's band numbered fewer than the fingers of one hand, he donned his hat and meditated a full day. When he awoke, he said the Maker and the Circle had won, and he bade his apprentices run. He was never heard from again.
The Black Fox's Jerkin
During the merriest part of the night in any tavern in the lands, odds are good you'll hear one of the many tales of the Black Fox. A scoundrel and a hero, the Black Fox's misadventures took him and his band throughout Thedas. He's blamed for many thefts, a few murders, a revolution, and almost a kingdom-wide civil war, but every one of his deeds were designed to thwart tyranny and oppression.
Hood's Message to the King
He wields a rebel's bow, strung tight against heartwood strained too far. It's a tension that can't last, but it doesn't have to, for the cause must be won or lost while passions still burn. It's a powerful template for revolution repeated many times across the Free Marches, but was it born on a battlefield or in rhetoric?
The "Message to the King" is where the stories usually diverge. Sometimes it's a plea for liberty taken to a tyrant's heart by the point of an arrow. More often, it's carried in the clatter of sacrifice as weapons fall to a courtyard's cobbles. It depends on the audience—the young like their victories sudden and violent, while the old prefer something more cautionary.
It may be that Hood is not so much a person as a tactic, ushered to far horizons or the grave's embrace in order to protect conspirators. After all, how many deaths can he claim when one is the typical limit for a common man? But the tales return, time and again, across leagues and centuries. At a certain point, one hopes the name is symbolic, because allying with such a power would bring its own problems and debts.
—From Rebels of the Marches: Allegory in Rebellion, forward by Philliam, a Bard!
When the Carta crime boss Beraht fell, his lover Jarvia fought off rivals, planting this shank in each of their hearts before she emerged as the group's undisputed leader. For years, Jarvia used a mix of brutality, cunning, and blackmail to grow the Carta's power until it threatened the Diamond Quarter itself.
When King Endrin Aeducan died, some whispered that Jarvia planned to force the Assembly to recognize the rights of dusters in Orzammar. Others said she planned to overthrow the nobles entirely. The truth will never be known, though. She was killed in cold blood by the Hero of Ferelden.
The Lion's Claws
Foiled at every turn by the infamous outlaw Lady Rosamund, the ever-persistent Teyrn Loghain fielded an army to chase the bandit through the Korcari Wilds. Eventually, she was captured near Barshamp. Bound, gagged, and in chains, she still managed to escaped on the first night using thieves tools concealed in these gloves. To this day there is an unclaimed bounty on her head of one thousand sovereigns.
The Rascal's Scale, by Coinheart
- Main article: Codex entry: The Rascal's Scale, by Coinheart
- See also: The Rascal's Scale, by Coinheart
Strangest suit I ever made? The scale for that fool Rascal, no second thought needed. A project I wanted to try for years, obvious given my name, right? But I could never find a fool to wear his wealth as protection. This one, though, was daft as any surfacer and was paying two coins for each that I hammered, and that buys a smile and nod for any idiot. I guess he's something of a name in his own lands, this Rascal, so I can't really question, and I did him my best, like always. Damned lyrium weave left my fingers numb, though. No sword will get through that, I guarantee, but I'll bet his children are born pale.
From Tales of the Craft: Masters in their Own Words, a record of dwarven smithwork, guild archived
Arms of Mac Tir
Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir was not born a nobleman. It's said his family descended from freeholders in the western Bannorn, a region known as Oswin. His father, Gareth, would have had no surname of his own. He likely would have described himself as "of Oswin" or "ban Aehswin" (as the region would have been known in the Old Tongue).
The name "Mac Tir" means "son of the land." It was bestowed upon Loghain by King Maric after the Battle of River Dane. The Fereldan people considered the name highly appropriate: to them, Teyrn Loghain was a son of the entire nation, and he was famously said to have told a crowd that Ferelden would forever be "part of his blood."
After Loghain's betrayal of King Cailan at Ostagar in 9:30 Dragon, the general became as reviled as he had once been revered. His manse in Gwaren was looted and many of his personal possessions stolen—among them the armor he wore at the Battle of River Dane. That armor is said to have had special significance to the man. One peculiarity of the armor was a square of red silk pinned to one of the shoulderbelts. "For luck," Loghain once explained.
Arms of the River Dane
The Fereldan army was cobbled together from commoners and banns who had turned against the Orlesian usurper, King Meghren. Even so, under the leadership of Loghain Mac Tir, they scored an astounding victory against a large force of chevaliers fording the River Dane.
Afterwards, Loghain was hailed as a Fereldan legend, and for a time veterans of the battle enjoyed similar status. The soldiers' possessions became prized mementos, in particular the suits of armor belonging to those early supporters who joined Maric after the death of his mother, Moira, the Rebel Queen. Folk tales suggest that the Maker's blessing lives on in the armor those brave allies wore on that fateful day.
A curious thing, Perren. I found the axe among Cailan's belongings, wrapped in damask cloth, and initially I thought it might be another gift from that Orlesian harlot. It was a pretty enough thing, and the markings on the blade certainly seemed imperial.
I even went so far as to confront Cailan with it, and do you know what he said? The axe was of "personal importance" to his father. So why wasn't it buried with his ashes, I asked? "Because my mother wouldn't have approved." I wondered if he was lying, but Cailan's terrible at it.
I did some digging, and are you aware there was an elven woman seen in Maric's company shortly before the Battle of the River Dane? There was a rumor, I understand, that they were lovers, and that she was a bard. Was Maric being blackmailed? I wonder if this has anything to do with that mysterious bequeathment to those elven families in Orlais?
Of course, I had Cailan dispose of the axe immediately.
Polara, who hailed from Antiva, had built an amiable relationship with King Cailan. She overcame many of the objections of Teyrn Loghain, who had argued strenuously against the order returning—after all, the Wardens had attempted to overthrow the Ferelden throne centuries before.
When Polara disappeared—perhaps recalled to Weisshaupt, although none in Ferelden saw her leave, nor have seen her since—Duncan bequeathed to her son a silverite axe of great value. Duncan said he had wielded it and a twin in younger days, back when he had been a far different man. He'd named the axe "Fiona" after a Warden who inspired him, and suggested that the son ought to take similar inspiration from his mother.
King Maric's Helm
King Maric Theirin, widely regarded as a hero by the Fereldan people for liberating the country from Orlesian rule, disappeared at sea while en route to Wycome in 9:25 Dragon. He was to attend a gathering of the Marcher lords in an attempt to forge a union in the north, and when he failed to appear, the Free Marches fell back into the petty squabbling that they are infamous for.
Teyrn Loghain spent almost two years searching for his lost friend, consuming much of the royal treasury and the majority of the Fereldan navy. The search was futile, and when Loghain claimed that Orlais had purposefully sunk King Maric's vessel in order to prevent Marcher unity, he was called off by his daughter, Queen Anora, and a united Bannorn. It was time to mourn the king, they said, and so, in 9:27, a massive state funeral was held in Denerim's chantry.
To this day, rumors insist that Maric is still alive, perhaps held in an Orlesian prison somewhere. The lasting mystique has increased the value of his personal possessions, leading to the theft of several artifacts from the royal palace. Among these was the helmet said to have been worn by a young Maric at the disastrous Battle of West Hill.
Longbow of the Avvars
We investigated the area as per your instruction. It seems Warden Fiona is correct: It was once a dwarven fortress that one of our scouts called Kul-Baras. Regardless, it has fallen to ruin and the taint now.
Despite Fiona's description, there were no darkspawn to be found. If they were ever present, they have since moved on... which, if you ask me, seems highly unlikely. Her tales of this "darkspawn who speaks" must be a product of a fevered imagination.
There are no signs of a library in the fortress, nor any indication that the Grey Wardens or King Maric were there at all. One of my men did, however, find something in a section of the Deep Roads not far away: a longbow of Avvar origin, amid darkspawn corpses (the age being hard to judge, considering how the creatures deteriorate).
I suspect the bow belonged to Kell ap Morgan, the Warden who sacrificed himself to facilitate Fiona's escape. If so, he put up an impressive fight. We found no evidence of his body, sadly. I shall send the bow to you in Weisshaupt.
The Archon's Blades
The Archon's Guard of Hessarian are vilified throughout the lands. The Chant depicts their cruel treatment of Andraste as one of the reasons the Maker turned his gaze from his creation. After Hessarian converted to Andraste's teachings, he disbanded his guard and stripped them of their arms. Most of the guards' swords were destroyed, but a handful of the archon's blades are still around. Perhaps one of the blades here drew the prophet's blood as the archon interrogated Andraste before her execution.
Beregrand the Bold
Beregrand the Bold was either a hero or a traitor, depending on how you look at it. Before exile was common among the dwarves, only the most heinous crimes warranted a dwarf being stripped of house and sent to the surface. Beregrand qualified and was banished on accusations of regicide after killing a dwarven king on the Proving Sands. Beregrand spat on the Assembly that pronounced his sentence before strapping on his armor and leaving Gundaar.
Living on the surface, Beregrand's incredible fighting skills, tactical knowledge, and intellect built a naval empire centered in what would one day be Antiva. His more enduring legacy was teaching human smiths, engineers, and other crafters jealously guarded dwarven secrets. Cursed by dwarves and hailed by humans, Beregrand became a figure of much controversy.
As complicated as his life was, the story of Beregrand's armor is even more checkered. His armor has passed through many heroes hands over the centuries. Despite the advantages it gave them, no hero using it ever survived to old age.
The Edge of Night
You've never seen a lad so taken with an axe! He carried one of the old sodding things with him wherever he went. Practicing day and night, he drove his mother to distraction, he did. Even when he was fully raised into the Warrior Caste, he refused proper weapons. Said he had the feel of an axe, and that's all he needed. Over the years, he spent a small fortune having smiths layer enchantments on 'em. Oh, how others would sneer at those ancient things. Well, they did until Beregrand lopped off King Jegrek's head on the sands. Sad business, that, and Gundaar was the poorer for it. And I'm not just talking about the king.
From The Memories of Gundaar, a collection of stories preserved by the Shaperate of the lost dwarven kingdom
The Empress's Point
As one the early rulers of contemporary Orlais, Empress Jeaneve the First created many of the traditions and practices of the imperial court. She employed the bravest and most skilled swordsmen to her guard, the Empress's Arm, one of the main predecessors of the chevaliers. Her guards were given a princely gift, an enchanted Tevinter blade. These blades were named for the Empress's darker side. When rivals overstepped their bounds, Jeaneve was always quick to make them see her point.
The Golden Prince's Raiment
Tales of Emile Deveraux flourish amongst the Orlesian peasants. The dashing "Golden Prince" was a populist who raised a huge army from his common subjects by promising reform for the aging empire. Although he never won his imperial coronet, Lord Emile captured the hearts and minds of generations of Orlesian dreamers while wearing this golden armor. It is said that, as a young girl, even Empress Celeste was captivated by his stories.
The Ashen Cuirass
The charge of the Ash Warriors is a sight to behold. With hounds at their side and their fierce battle cries, the Ash Warriors have buckled the ranks of even stalwart veterans. And if the enemy line does hold, then the true test begins. Quill and ink is a poor medium to convey the sheer power of their rages.
Despite the Ash Warriors' renown, several misconceptions persist. Some believe the mercenaries are predominately Avvar or Chasind tribesmen. Certainly their armor evokes barbarian roots. But the men and women of the Ash Warriors are almost entirely civilized. In my travels as chronicler and surgeon, I spent several months with the Ash Warriors, although finding any willing to speak of their history was difficult. The stories I gradually elicited were chilling tales of hard men.
One was an arsonist who joined the Ash Warriors on the gallows. Another had committed fratricide, and another's dire past I dare not recount. In joining the Ash Warriors, their crimes were forgiven, for it was as if they were never born. Even in legal records their old life is erased—contracts voided, marriages annulled, records of birth erased. In this, they are much like the dwarven Legion of the Dead. Their new lives are dedicated to redemption and service.
My first night with the band, I was startled when they asked me to sing a few verses of the Chant of Light. Grim to a man and fearsomely garbed, yet they were as eager to hear the Chant as the most faithful parishioner. I felt as the first missionaries must have—surrounded by barbarians. The more I learned of the Ash Warriors, the more questions I had. They are mercenaries who demand no pay, men with no pasts, considered the king's men yet beholden to no one. I could have traveled with them for many years and still had mysteries to uncover.
—From Annals of the Scarlet March, by Brother Bedine, Chantry Scholar
The Dogs of War
And then Velcorminth swung his mighty hammer, and the blow tore the Alamarri bann's head clean off. He lay crumpled beneath the war leader and Velcorminth did shout, "You canine-lovers, you who think you can defeat me, stand before me and my dogs. They are the Dogs of War!" He planted his blood-soaked hammer in the earth and his enemies did quiver.
And so they traded blows for three days and three nights. Bruised, bloodied, and tired they grew. It was after one thousand blows that Hafter's blade, Yusaris, found Velcorminth's heart. Then Hafter spoke, "I banish the Chasind from these plains. I have taken the greatest of your men from you and claimed his weapon as my own. If ever you rise against me or my sons, we will take more than that." And so, to this very day, the Chasind never venture far from their wilds, and the children of Hafter still hold our lands free.
—From Tales of the Alamarri, author unknown
Hauberk of Gelgenig the Faithful
- Main article: Codex entry: Hauberk of Gelgenig the Faithful
- See also: Hauberk of Gelgenig the Faithful
Not all of the Alamarri tribes flocked to Andraste. Especially on the borders of the Korcari Wilds, her words found scant purchase. Decades after her death, many Alamarri held true to gods of their ancestors. Missionaries braved these hard lands only to become martyrs of the faith.
And so it was until the Alamarri were embroiled in a bitter war for survival against the Chasinds and Avvars when the leader of the Ash Warriors, Gelgenig, received a vision of Andraste. The charismatic barbarian traveled throughout Ferelden, telling his tale and unifying the fractious banns around the word of the Maker. The Ash Warriors ever since have been fervent in their faith to the Maker.
The Mountain-Father's Haft
The Frostbacks run red with barbarian blood. We've found their sacred caves and claimed their most holy relics. When the soldiers came out of the mountain cave and brandished this weapon, the Avvars rose up in a mighty furor. We had to put down every man, woman, and child—it was as if they'd gone rabid. Before they perished, their witch woman pronounced a curse so vile and treasonous, three soldiers had to be whipped to re-establish discipline. Our guide says this axe is a sacred weapon, a weapon of the gods.
We plan to march further into the mountains to defeat the last of the tribes. Surely there cannot be more than a thousand left. I have every confidence that by next spring these barbarians will plague us no more. Then, we can turn our attention fully to the Chasind and Alamarri.
Although this axe may look crude, I assure you that it is of enormous importance to these backwards people. Consider it the first spoils of many.
From the fair and deadly Lady Shayna to his faithful squire Ser Tillers, much is known of the companions of Calenhad, the first king of united Ferelden. But seldom do bards recount tales of Willem Halfear and the Ash Warriors.
While noble Calenhad was trying to assemble a nation, he found himself greatly outnumbered by Teyrn Simeon's forces. It seemed a foregone conclusion that Calenhad would fall, but on the advice of Aldenon the Wise, Calenhad ventured deep into the Brecilian Forest in search of allies. Those woods have a fearsome reputation, and after a fortnight of waiting for their liege to re-emerge, his men lost hope.
And then Calenhad returned with Willem Halfear by his side and the Ash Warriors behind him. Although the Ash Warriors' numbers were relatively few, they turned the tide in the Battle of the White Valley. Halfear and his men breached the enemy's van, allowing Calenhad and Lady Shayna to kill Teyrn Simeon and unite the land.
Sitting at the Ash Warriors' campfire, listening to them tell of the prowess of Willem Halfear, it has become clear to me that his role in the formation of our kingdom is greatly underestimated.
—From Annals of the Scarlet March, by Brother Bedine, Chantry Scholar
Air of Confidence
After averting a disaster at the Circle of Markham, Evra was given this ring by the first enchanter. Though the Air of Confidence is not as eye-catching as his other famous ring, it is said that Evra always wore it, even when sleeping. The exact magical properties of the Air of Confidence are a subject of much speculation amongst minstrels.
Amulet of Ashes
A ruined piece of charred wood hangs from its setting of half-melted gold. Holding it over an open flame, however, reveals its powers – in the flickering flames, the gold recedes into some former shape while the wood turns brown and reveals its grain.
Blood Dragon Armor
Commissioned by an infamous Nevarran dragon hunter, this armor was crafted in a time when dragons had almost been hunted to extinction. Infused with the beasts' blood, the armor gained notoriety after the hunter died at the hands of men rather than the dragons it was designed to protect him from.
Boots of the Frozen Wastes
Temperatures in the Frozen Wastes can become perilously cold. The barbarians that live there favor boots like these to protect against frostbite. The barbarians, who are generally hospitable and friendly, often present these as gifts to travelers.
Dura's Blue Flame
This weathered silver amulet has passed through many hands over the years. A deep blue sapphire almost glows in a certain light. Although time has faded its intricate engravings, the amulet has a certain majesty about it.
When Evra gained notoriety by defeating the Blood Sisters of Vehnstel, he was wearing his signature ring. Although the massive size of the solid gold ring attracts attention, it served a more practical purpose for Evra: he used it to punch demons in the face, sometimes felling them in a single blow.
Evra's Trophy Belt
This grisly belt is filled with monstrous teeth, chipped blades, scraps of fur, and armor fragments. Each piece is said to be a trophy collected by Evra during his many adventures.
The core of this blade is old. As old as the first smiths who sought a way to battle the nightmares from the land beyond. It has fought the demonic hosts in countless battles. Sometimes it has been held high in triumphant victory. Other times, it has lain broken besides its dying owner. But after every defeat it has always been reclaimed, reforged, and made stronger. Fadeshear has passed through many hands before yours. Now it is your turn to make the demons of the Fade pay for crossing the Veil into the waking world.
The Far Cliffs of Kirkwall
In Kirkwall's seedier quarters, fortunes have been built on the slave trade. This ancient dwarven blade undoubtedly commanded a high price, but Hayder could clearly afford it. Who says crime doesn't pay?
There are more famous swords than you could count, there are helms beyond numbering, and there are breastplates, daggers, and even mystical footwear that roll immediately off the tongue. There are storied rings, gloves, and even bags invoked around a camp's common fire. But belts? There are very few noteworthy belts. It was here that the dwarf Thaulid Hammerspur decided he would make his mark. Here, he thought, between the tunic and the trousers, I will stake my claim.
He was familiar with the state of the art, of course; as an artificer making a name for himself in Orzammar, he had access to the typically robust record-keeping of the forges. He knew of the Drunkard's Cinch and the Pouchpaw, but there was no poetry to them, no lineage. They were parlor tricks, the domain of hawkers and pawns. He wanted a belt whose buckle gleamed with purpose, but what purpose? He worked on it from time to time, waiting for inspiration to strike. In the meantime, he needed something to keep his pants above the knee and though he might as well wear the damned thing.
And he did so until, after an especially memorable night at Tapster's Tavern, he managed to fall into his own forge. Shoveling out his remains, they found among the grey ashes his belt, somehow mercifully preserved.
Hindsight is a belt possessed of a strange, slow intellect. Whatever would have killed the wearer, does, and at that very moment, the belt develops a resistance that would have saved it owner. No one knows how Thaulid managed this, and at this point, it would be difficult to ask him. When the belt is held in the light, just so, the leather, reveals a grisly catalogue etched in glinting lyrium:
Thaulid Hammerspur, fire.
Gorgut the Wizened, poison.
Vil Arak, stabbed forty-three times.
Haliath Baronet, witches.
It went on like this for many years, until it fell into your possession. Your temporary, temporary possession.
Fashioned from the black steel of Kirkwall's infamous iron foundries, miner's safety harnesses such as this one have protected their hearty wearers since the days when the Tevinter Imperium last claimed the City of Chains.
Ivo Family Crest
Evolving over the years, the crest of House Ivo has become much more ornate than Paragon Ivo's original design. This ancient golden amulet bears the original crest. Though the engraving are simple, the stark line are somehow deeply stirring.
The Lion of Orlais
- Main article: Codex entry: The Lion of Orlais
At the height of the Summer War all of Orlais was embroiled in fierce battles. Over the course of the war dozens of contenders for the Imperial Throne emerged – most long forgotten except as footnotes in scholarly tomes. But everyone remembers the gallant young lord Emile Deveraux, "the Golden Prince". Thought outnumbered at every turn, he racked victory upon victory culminating in the Seventh Battle of Roses. While wearing this shield he broke through his uncle's vanguard to win the day. He never knew the taste of defeat, instead meeting his end at the hands of a jealous lover in the dead of night.
Of Things Not Lost
Written by a Fereldan refugee as she fled the Blight, this book of poems describes her struggle to preserve her past and cling to the few physical mementos she'd brought with her into foreign lands. Readers will surely find this book enchanting.
Ser Isaac's Armor
The chilling tales of Ser Isaac of Clarke are a favorite of bards performing in the wee hours of the night. In dank taverns throughout Thedas, these horror-filled stories captivate listeners and bring nightmares to those faint of heart.
Staff of Parthalan
During the Exalted March, the Tevinter Empirium [sic] was in chaos. Magister Parthalan and two high-ranking magisters were sent to Kirkwall to put down the slave uprising before it spread to the entire empire. However, their legion never arrived at Kirkwall; no one knows what happened to the party, Magister Parthalan—or his fabled staff.
We have found him at last, sire. This "Lalo" is not his true name at all—the culprit is not other than Count Eduardo Sanvelli, your own cousin. Strange that such a small and slender man could be one of the Crow's finest assassins. It cost twelve of my finest men before we were finally able to corner him in the abbey, and even then he almost escaped us. He would have slipped into the shadows had not one of my archers pinned him to the wall with her arrow. It was a fine shot, and had she not left the man’s other hand free to cut his own throat I'd pin a medal on her.
Sadly, I've no body to prove what I say. This morning I discovered that someone left the door unlocked to the room where Lalo's body was kept. His head has been removed from his body, and all his clothing and equipment are gone as well. It's difficult to say whether this was the doing of the Crows or merely some of my men looking to make some coin by pawning off a legend's goods. Perhaps both. I'll question the men who reported the body, but I think there will be no recovering what was taken. You must reconcile yourself with the fact the assassin is gone. You are safe until another Crow steps in to take his place. Perhaps a few days at most, yes?
—Excerpt from a letter written to Prince Enzio di Treviso, 6:32 Steel. Prince Enzio was discovered poisoned two days later.
Cuirass of the Winds
This piece of armor is something of a legend for the sea-faring folk of the East.
According to the tales, it was created by a Rivaini seer who lived high on the cliffs overlooking the Amaranthine Ocean. The woman took inspiration from the harsh winds and stinging rain that buffeted the coastline, and fashioned a cuirass that was as beautiful and cruel as the storm. As a finishing touch, the seer plucked the howling wind right out of the sky, and bound it within the armor. It is said that the winds of the Amaranthine Ocean will always favor any who possesses the cuirass.
This story may be true, or it may be a complete fabrication. However, one thing is certain—plenty of superstitious sailors have fought and died over this legendary object, risking everything to be able to bend the wind and the sea to their will.
Vigilance was commissioned by Ferelden's Warden-Commander and crafted by master smith Wade of Denerim. This powerful blade was fashioned from the bones of an ancient dragon. Forging was arduous and required the use of many rare and priceless components.
The sword was stolen from Vigil's Keep by Antivan Crows, but even they could not hold on to the blade. It has since changed hands several times. Some say that Vigilance has a life of its own and that it chooses its owners, coming to them in a time of need.