- Main article: Codex entry: A Challenge!
You ruddy bastard!
You'd be laying at the bottom of the ocean if it weren't for me. That Marlin would've spiked and dropped you. I save your life and this is how you repay me? That catch was ours-we both worked for it. You're not getting away with this. I'm getting the gold you owe me, even if I have to beat it out of you. Just so you don't run off like the little shit I know you are: I did your sister. That's right.
So if you've got the stones, meet me by the old camp. We'll settle this.
A Different Darkspawn?
The journal, penned by an unknown writer, appears to be quite old, with many of its pages damaged by water and dust. The entries that can be read all appear to be about twenty years old:
We finally found Amuk alive in that passage. Still can't believe it. The only reason I didn't stop digging is because he had the key to the cache—but, after two weeks, I was expecting to find it on his corpse. What story does he come up with? That he was found by a darkspawn, of all things. A talking darkspawn, polite as you please, who fed him and gave him water and evidently chatted with him about surfacers. I don't know what Amuk is thinking, coming up with a story like that, but he swore by the Stone it was all the truth. Crazy as it sounds, I know Amuk, and he's got the imagination of a dull hammer. Why would he make something like that up?
Reminds me of a story my grandsire used to tell, about something his grandsire did. Said he once came upon a group of three darkspawn in the Deeper Roads, each twice the size of any dwarf—bigger than humans, even—and dressed up like kings. He watched from the shadows and said they talked, like people, about things he couldn't understand. A city gone black, and they blamed each other for things but could barely remember for what. My mam was like that: never remembered the slight, just that she was angry. Story goes they attacked each other, and one ran off while the second choked the third to death and then ate him.
Don't know about darkspawn having talking kings, never mind polite ones that give you food and tea, but maybe Amuk met one of them. There's strange things in the Deeper Roads, after all, things the Shapers can't even recall. As if smuggling wasn't dangerous enough.
A Dispatch from the Crown of Ferelden
- Main article: Codex entry: A Dispatch from the Crown of Ferelden
I read your first letter. Trust Orlais to put up a fight about this now. You've been there before, so I'm not telling you anything new. Send a messenger if you need anything; I'll send someone out straight away.
Regards, King Alistair of Ferelden
Someone, presumably His Majesty, has drawn a stick figure weighed down by an oversized crown at the bottom of the page.
If Alistair and Anora rule together...
To our honored friend, Arl Teagan,
Thank you for attending this Exalted Council. We trust you implicitly with Ferelden's wishes, and to fight for the security for our borders. Messengers will be dispatched daily so that you are not cut off from us as you undertake this duty.
Maker be with you,
King Alistair and Queen Anora of Ferelden
A Postscript has been scribbled faintly at the bottom of the page:
Good luck, uncle! If there's anyone i'd rather have there than me, it's you. Or anyone else, really, but thanks for braving the lion.
If Anora rules alone or with the Hero of Ferelden...
Honored Arl Teagan,
Let any who read this letter know you speak for the kingdom of Ferelden. Your words stand as my own, and your decisions are made with the support of myself and those pledged to the crown.
You have been a loyal friend, and we invest in you our trust and goodwill.
Maker be with you,
Queen Anora of Ferelden
A Faded Letter
- Main article: Codex entry: A Faded Letter
Forgive the absence of my letters. The Dalish raids were ominous enough, but now Gaspard's chevaliers ride through my estates without so much as a by-your-leave! What a time to rattle their swords: A shipment came the other day with things that will not travel well. A rare Nevarran miniature of Andraste, A triptych lattice of thinnest oak from Tevinter, and, most wondrous of all—a pre-Chantry full-length elven mirror!
The Mirror was discovered after an earthquake near Vol Dorma brought to light an unplundered elven ruin. I purchased the entire lot - there were some other minor artifacts and trinkets -- and the mirror has quickly become my favorite. My wife insists we leave soon, and I suppose she is right, but I cannot bear to leave it behind. I will send for the mirror when I am safely in Val Royeaux, then throw a party where you can marvel at it yourself!
A Father's Letter
- Main article: Codex entry: A Father's Letter
This letter never reached its intended recipient:
My dearest Fennela,
How are you? How is your Aunt Kaitlen? My dear girl would never give trouble, I hope? How are your studies? Perhaps you could read some of this letter to her, to show her how much you're learning.
I am sorry to have been away for so long. I have a duty. Remember when mother was very sick, and she asked you to fetch her water, and you did it because you loved her? It's like that. Sometimes we have to do difficult things, because they help other people that we love. The country is ill, and I have to try to make her better. Don't worry—I am not alone here, and now we have special medicine that will make us stronger so we can fight better.
It won't be long 'til all the mages are all gone and we're safe again. I will be home soon.
All my love and prayers,
A Good Marriage
In a hold past our own, a man named Virmik Torsen was to wed a woman named Seddra Yildsdotten. They were young, and in love, and made large offerings to the gods asking for happiness. The night before their wedding, Seddra had a dream. The Lady of the Skies came to her and told her to tie her rope-knots so tightly that she and Torsen would only wed a year. She awoke troubled, but did as the Lady asked. Virmik untied only one knot, and they married a year.
The year was hard. Their bows missed game and the winter wind howled through their huts. Virmik and Seddra grew thinner. When their marriage was up, they made large offerings to the gods, this time asking for mercy. The night before the wedding, the Lady of the Skies came to Virmik in a dream and told him to untie a single knot, so he and Seddra would wed only a year. Virmik awoke sorrowing, but did as the Lady asked. He and Seddra married again for a year.
The year was long. The weather was foul and the crops were poor. Virmik and Seddra grew thinner still. When their marriage time was up, Seddra and Virmik both had a dream from the Lady of the Skies. "You asked for happiness," she said, "but I cannot give that to you. You asked for mercy, but the land will not show it. Think carefully what you ask tomorrow."
Seddra and Virmik spoke long into the night and in the morning made an offering to the gods. They asked for strength to hunt and harvest when life was good, and patience, when life was not. The year was good in some places and hard in others, but they grew to know themselves and what they could bear. They became happy, not from the gift of the gods, but from their own deeds, and lived the rest of their lives as one.
There are notes at the bottom margin of this page, in different handwriting:
How's a rope tell you how long you marry?
An Avvar groom unties knots on a rope that the bride ties for him. He's got until the end of the wedding-chant. Number of knots he unties is the number of years they're married.
That doesn't make any sense!
Sounds like a good deal to me. See if you like living with your handsome new husband or wife once the bloom's worn off. Maybe you only untie one knot or tie them tight, like in the story, if you're not sure.
I think it's daft.
I think you two nitwits should stop scribbling in the book I've got to return to the library.
A Grey Warden's Journal
We searched the area but found no sign. If he was here, it was some time ago.
The fishermen in this area are friendly. Unlike some, they remember how the Grey Wardens fought to save Ferelden in the last Blight. Though they had little, they shared some of their catch to give us a better supper than we had tasted in weeks. They even deferred to me once they saw that I commanded the other Wardens, and there are few even in Ferelden who would watch an elf command men without pause.
They are friendly folk. After all this land has suffered in the past years, I hope they find some peace
Still no trace of him, though I feel the darkspawn in the ground below. Could he be lurking close to them, perhaps preparing to die with honor? I doubt it, but it is the only lead we have so far. I confess that this seems a fool's errand at times, given how much is at stake.
We saw bandits harassing the fishermen, and we intervened. The fishermen thanked us, though I fear the bandits will return again in greater numbers, and we will not always be here to help. Nevertheless, as long as we are here, the fishermen are safe.
The dreams continue, as they do every night. They make it hard for us to sleep, but we must persist. Hopefully the others will have found a solution by the time we return. In the meantime, I sing the song of Andruil to myself to clear my mind as best I can.
I grow more convinced that if he was ever here, he is now long gone. Still, it would not do for us to miss him through laziness, and he was one of our most skilled warriors. If anyone could hide himself here, it would be he.
One of the fishermen shows promise with a spear and has shoulders like an ox from throwing nets all day. He asked about joining the Grey Wardens. Under other circumstances, I would be honored to take a worthy and willing volunteer. Now... my orders did not say whether I should seek new recruits, even with our circumstances. Or because of them, I suppose. It did not hurt his cause that he was easy to look at, and clearly wished to know more about the Dalish.
The darkspawn are louder than I thought at first. The constant whisper at the back of my mind makes it difficult to sense them as easily as I usually do, but they are near the surface. Perhaps bandits are not the worst these people have to face.
He is not here. We have searched thoroughly, and we will now move on. How many days have I wasted here, with whispers lurking at the back of my mind, on this mad assignment? I pray we have more luck as we head south.
After speaking with the other Wardens, I told the fishermen about the darkspawn we sensed beneath the earth. They may not burst forth from the ground today or tomorrow, but I fear it will not be long... and we will not be here when they finally surface. The fishermen were grieved at the news, but they decided to make for West Hill, which is safe for now.
As for the fisherman who was interested in joining, I convinced him that now was not the time. Others might have told him otherwise, but he is too young to make such a sacrifice simply because he does not wish to throw nets into the water all his life. We shared one last night by the campfire, and he went on his way with a smile, humming the song of Andruil as he left.
—From pages torn loose from a journal found on the Storm Coast
A Letter by a Burning Candle
- Main article: Codex entry: A Letter by a Burning Candle
Maker, give me strength.
When the darkspawn came to Denerim, I wept so hard that I could not see, but still I fought for You. When demons poured from the sky where the Temple of Sacred Ashes used to stand, my hands shook so badly that I could not aim my bow, but still I fought for You. When Corypheus and his Archdemon destroyed Haven and killed my friends, I screamed until I had no voice, but still I fought for You.
They are sending me to attack Adamant. They say that the fortress is defended by an army of demons, and the odds are grim. We cannot win, but our distraction, our sacrifice may give the important people the chance to do what is necessary. My stomach is knotted, and I see dead friends from old battles reaching out for me every time I close my eyes.
I am so afraid, Maker.
But still, I will fight for You.
A Letter from Warden-Commander Clarel
- Main article: Codex entry: A Letter from Warden-Commander Clarel
I am not an untutored apprentice. The Grey Warden mages who left the Circle just after their Harrowing might take your explanations at face value, but I was an enchanter before I joined the Grey Wardens.
That the sacrifices, the death, are necessary to bind the demons, I grant you. You know more of such things than I, and I make no judgement upon it. But the manner of my mages since binding the demons is still unsettling. They answer my questions readily, but the words are spoken by rote, and several of the non-mages have complained that their comrades seem cold and unfeeling since the ritual. Some of that is natural, I grant you—one cannot kill a brother and come away unchanged—but if there is more to this, I will have it from you.
The Inquisition presses us to action. Continue the rituals. If we must destroy them before we venture into the Deep Roads, so be it. But do not lie to me, Erimond. I stand against the Blight, and no man, no Inquisitor, and no magister will get in my way.
A Letter from the Carta
- Main article: Codex entry: A Letter from the Carta
We hired your mercenary organization to facilitate this business venture, not add complications. In order for the Carta to extract the product without attracting undo [sic] attention, the area must be free from observation. If the fighting between the apostate mages and the renegade templars is insufficient, your efforts were to dissuade refugees from exploring the area and interfering with our operation.
We are meeting at our primary base of operations in Valammar to determine the next course of action. At your earliest convenience, send representatives to the location marked, to explain the situation and obtain new instructions.
—An unsigned letter found in a remote mountain villa
A Letter from the Hero of Ferelden
- Main article: Codex entry: A Letter from the Hero of Ferelden
- See also: The Warden, The Warden-Commander
To His/Her Worship, Inquisitor [surname]:
If non-romanced Leliana or Morrigan provides the information to find the Warden:
I wish that I had helpful information regarding Corypheus, but due to my own limited training during the Blight, I know less of ancient darkspawn lore than do most Wardens. I am engaged in a search of my own. All Grey Wardens who do not fall in battle eventually fall to something known as the Calling, a magic that preys upon our own connection to the Blight and the darkspawn. Rather than such foul magic eventually leading to my death, I have determined to find a way to negate this Calling and save all Wardens from its effects.
As I have little useful information to offer, please accept the accompanying gifts instead. If, in my quest, I find anything that may be of use to you in your fight against Corypheus, I will send it to you immediately
If the Warden's romance provides the information to find the Warden:
I appreciate your warning regarding Corypheus. Fortunately, my own search has taken me out of the area where the supposed magister is operating, and while I have encountered challenges of my own, they have not involved any weakness related to my Grey Warden abilities.
As I have little useful information to offer, please accept the accompanying gifts instead. If, in my quest, I find anything that may be of use to you in your fight against Corypheus, I will send it to you immediately.
If the Warden became Queen of Ferelden:
Part of me wishes that I could help your Inquisition more personally because the danger of Corypheus and the Breach approaches the threat of even another Blight. Regardless, I have my own path to follow, and I must uncover a cure for the Calling if I wish to see my king ever again. I beg you, keep his kingdom safe until I can return to his side.
If Warden romanced Alistair and he stayed with the Grey Wardens:
I have also included a note of a personal nature for Warden Alistair.
Please take care of him. Like me, he was instrumental in ending the last Blight. I trust his compassion and his strength above any other's, and I would not go though such effort to overcome our Callings only to lose him to your Inquisition.
If the Warden romanced Leliana:
I have also included a note of a personal nature for Leliana.
I was not there for the death of Divine Justinia, but I know it will have hurt her terribly. While her wits and her skill are amazing, Leliana's greatest strength lies in her faith, and to have Justinia die strikes at her very core. I beg you, if she is faltering, help her find her way back into the light.
If the Warden romanced Morrigan and left with her at the end of Witch Hunt:
I have also included a note of a personal nature for Lady Morrigan and Kieran.
Please take care of my family. Morrigan is stronger and wiser than anyone else I have met, and I would not go through such effort to escape my own Calling to lose them to your Inquisition.
If the Warden romanced Zevran:
Part of me wishes that I could help your Inquisition more personally because the danger of Corypheus and the Breach approaches the threat of even another Blight. Regardless, Zevran and I have our own battles to fight, and I can only offer my confidence that you have matters well in hand.
If both the Warden and the Inquisitor are Dalish:
In closing, I wish you luck. This world of the shemlen is a difficult one for our kind, and I can only imagine the pressure of leading the Inquisition, an organization dedicated to the Chantry, while staying true to the Way of the Three Trees. May Mythal protect you in your quest, and Andruil bless your hunt.
If both the Warden and the Inquisitor are dwarves:
In closing, I wish you luck. I came from Orzammar, and not the Carta families, but I know well how easily the humans overlook our kind. Fight well, remember the Stone, and you will do our people proud.
Warden-Commander [surname] of Ferelden
A Letter to Harding
My darling Lace:
I hope this letter finds you healthy and happy. Last week, I managed to barter for maps of Ferelden and Orlais from Hugin, the old soldier who rents the place on Mistress Johann's farm—you remember him, don't you? Quiet man, always smoking a pipe in his chair on the porch. He wasn't using the maps anymore, so I gave him some of my jam and patched his coat in exchange for them. Now, whenever you tell me of your travels, I'll be able to track where you've been. I'm astounded, my darling, when I look at the weave of dotted trails I've already marked out on my maps. Oh, the places your feet have touched! How far you've gone, my little Lace. I am so, so proud of you. When I was your age, I'd only ever gone as far as Lothering. My mother never left Redcliffe; she lived and died there. And now here you are, flying so far with so much purpose. My mind can barely comprehend it, but my heart swells.
I shan't take up too much of your time. I know how busy you are. I am looking at the Frostbacks on the map as I write this, because I know you will likely be at your Skyhold. Please make sure to dress warmly. I have included the recipe for your favorite turnip-goat stew. A taste of home to stave off the cold mountain airs.
Kisses and hugs from me and your father.
A Letter to Revered Mother Giselle
- Main article: Codex entry: A Letter to Revered Mother Giselle
To my friend and faithful servant, Revered Mother Giselle,
The grand clerics tell me you have requested more aid in tending the refugees who are gathering in and around Redcliffe. Your efforts are indeed most appreciated, although in the future, when you are asked how many refugees will be helped by your efforts for requisitioning purposes, it may help if you provide an actual numerical answer as opposed to the worthy but unspecific, "as many as we can."
It breaks my heart to see this war cross the Maker's land, Giselle. I would that you were here with me at the Temple of Sacred Ashes. Your words have calmed many irate minds over the years, and we will not lack for those at the Conclave. Still, I am glad that the refugees have you to care for them. Too many in the halls of power have forgotten our faithful. If any pressure you to accommodate their views, you must let me know at once.
Maker willing, this war shall all be over soon, Giselle. Be well and go with my blessing.In service of the Maker,
A Midwife's Journal
- Main article: Codex entry: A Midwife's Journal
This timeworn diary was found amongst more valuable items. It is bound in leather and has a solid silver trim, which might be why it was saved. A few entries can still be made out.
16 Haring, 9:8
This has been the coldest winter I can remember, even the river is frozen. No one should be out there. Not in this blizzard. So you can imagine my surprise when there was a knock on my gate. A young woman. She's looking for the Fair Banks Cottage. I go out. I say to her, "Nothing fair about this weather. But yes, you are at the right place." She throws back her cloak and I see she is heavy, less than two weeks away. "Please help." She is almost in tears. I bring her into the house and sit her by the fire with some tea and slippers.
She is young, not more than twenty. her hands are smooth; they have not seen a day of work in her life. Her clothes are travel-stained, but fine. The cloak must be worth at least fifty royals. Beautiful blue, trimmed with fox fur.
Her name is Bernice, but she won't say more. Many girls come here not wanting to say who they are. I understand.
25 Haring, 9:8
Bernice has had the baby. A boy. Healthy. Full head of hair! She named him Everiste. She tried to pay me with a heavy gold locket, a falcon on its face. I asked her what it was. It looks valuable. She says it's her father's, and she doesn't care to have it anymore. I tell her she might not, but her son might one day want to know where he's from.
1 Wintermarch, 9:9
A new year. Bernice should be healthy enough to leave, but it is still cold and I just cannot turn her out. I will ask her to stay and be my assistant. I have needed help for a while. My fingers are not as nimble as they used to be. Clever girl. She will make a fine apprentice.
A Miner's Journal
- Main article: Codex entry: A Miner's Journal
Excerpts from the journal of an unknown miner, dated 9:38 Dragon:
Didot wants to know what it means. Didn't we all? But he frets at it. Keep your head low, work like the rest, and shut it out. That's all he needs.
He feels it. I know he does. We all see it. Still he pushes. I do not want to talk about it; I do not want to know what it means. Some evil magic best left alone—is that not answer enough? He thinks it's more. It's in his head and he won't let it go.
Nug again for dinner. This day never ends.
Didot was on the ledge behind the pool. What was he doing? What does he know? If he disturbs it...
Nicco won't talk to Didot at all. He trades shifts so that they will not work together. I should do the same.
The boss says his boss in Val Firmin will be sending someone to check on operations. Suppose it's just routine. Didot speaks strangely now. Too much time at the door.
Nug again for dinner. Wonderful.
Maker forgive me, but Didot's absence is a weight lifted. Shame about the wife though.
A Note on Orzammar
As you've already heard, Orzammar has urgent need of our services. The underground earthquakes in the Deep Roads threaten to cave in countless lyrium mines. If this happens, it would all but cut off the supply of lyrium to the surface, I don't need to tell you how many former templars in the Inquisition rely on that lyrium.
It is imperative that we remain in Orzammar's good graces. Their politics may not require as much finesse as the Grand Game of Orlais, but dwarven society can be just as perilous. Orzammar is one of two remaining thaigs that once made up their empire, and its citizens are a proud people who are accustomed to hardship and lean heavily on tradition. A dwarf's caste means everything.
While you are not traveling to the capital itself, you will be dealing with a representative from its Shaperate. I am told her name is Valta and her father is a highly respected member of the Smith Caste. Leliana has discovered little else about her, which isn't surprising, considering how tightly Orzammar holds its secrets. I caution you to treat this representative with the utmost respect. We are dealing with a proud people with long memories. Once a grudge is held...well, I'm sure you've heard what they say about rocks and dwarven stubbornness.
A Page from a Journal, Edges Scorched
- Main article: Codex entry: A Page from a Journal, Edges Scorched
The templars were attacking the peasants we'd taken food from. They wanted to make certain that everyone fought to the death rather than help us. We took them by surprise with ice and lightning, and several were dead before they even saw us. So much for all that templar discipline—the brutes are off the leash just as much as we are now.
Still, there were enough of them to damp our magic, and the sellswords died fast when it came to blows. We've fallen back into the peasants' home. It's sturdy enough in here, and it looks like the peasants didn't give up all their food after all. The door's locked, and the templars gave up trying to force it after we killed the last fool who tried.
I can hear them out there, doing something out in the trees. Whatever they try, we'll be ready. We're never going back to any Circle. Even real templars couldn't stop us, and these glorified bandits are no better than we are.
—From a page, scorched around the edges, apparently torn from a journal
A Sand-Covered Note
I expected the wagon we sent out to the canyons to return to the watchtower by evening. It is now past noon. That it does not take a half-day to travel from camp to camp should be obvious, but if no one has the sense to be alarmed, look for them immediately upon finishing this letter.
Take archers with you. Those spiders in the canyons seem to fear nothing but that screeching monster to the east. I'll be by the Four Pillars.
A Supply List
- Main article: Codex entry: A Supply List
A meticulous list of necessary supplies found in a birdwatcher's journal:
Rope, several lengths
Sword (for show)
Tinder and flint
Something missing? Should be fine.
A Torn Diary
- Main article: Codex entry: A Torn Diary
A torn diary page:
It's not fair. I want to go outside. I can hear the guests downstairs. Another party. There's always another party. Mother and Father bought me a present to make me feel better. To make me better. They're just trying to shut me up.
Cook's scared of me. She still calls me my sweets, but she's scared. Still, she hasn't told Father or Mother. She's afraid of me more than she likes them. I don't think Cook likes herself much either, these days.
I have a new friend now.
She understands me.
She'll help make things fair again.
A torn diary page:
I showed them. We had such fun, we did! Dancing and partying until everyone fell down; it was glorious! The best party ever! Father and Mother went to their room when we were done. Mother was crying, she was so happy. I held out the present. It made me better, just like they said.
I have not left the house. I'm still scared of what's on the other side of the door. But... maybe I'll go out tomorrow.
A torn diary page:
I had to make myself breakfast this morning. It wasn't very good. When I saw Mother and Father, I couldn't stop crying. I don't know what to do.
My friend says there's a way to be less lonely. She says not to be afraid. There are other games we can try and I will feel better.
A Worn Diary
- Main article: Codex entry: A Worn Diary
This book appears to be a diary, with strange charts and illustrations drawn beside thin, cramped columns of text:
At first I thought the rocks that glow fell from the sky, but the spirits whisper that these shards have been here for ages "as you reckon them." Did the tear in the Veil reveal these stones? Is that why the strangely-dressed mages want them? Yesterday they were erecting skulls, of all things, on top of pillars! The spirits warned me to hide, and it was a good thing I listened. I saw one of the mages cut a man open with a dagger, and milk the power of his blood, and I am afraid of a man who could do that to another as if it's nothing.
I thought templars were supposed to stop blood mages, but the ones that came are strange, and red, and are working with the mages. The spirits agree - it's very alarming. They've been urging me to run further into the wastes, but my supplies are low. I'll go in a few days if hunting goes well.
Activity in the Winter Palace
- Main article: Codex entry: Activity in the Winter Palace
CM's intentions seem sincere. Agent in place at party tonight where CM is attending.
VP left notes at drop, as promised.
Servant in green livery seen leaving guest wing of palace at odd hours. Possible tryst?
Madame LV's "second cousin" is a bard in employ of Duke WM.
Lord WG plans to meet Lady GD tonight. Neither of their spouses know.
Lord RW plans to meet Lady SR tonight. Their spouses do know. Lord RW's wife encouraged RW to "step out" with SR so she could have "some peace and quiet" to herself.
An Unsent Letter from a Miner
- Main article: Codex entry: An Unsent Letter from a Miner
I shouldn't have to remind you of the Mining Caste's importance to Orzammar, but apparently not even the Ancestors can say when you last visited the Memories. The lyrium trade is the only reason our kingdom still stands. It is what keeps the king's coffers fat so that he may play a part in whatever little wars are raging on the surface. But lyrium is as dangerous as it is profitable. And when I write to you saying that earthquakes are threatening one of our most lucrative mines, I expect a faster response.
Something unnatural is afoot. The shaft-rats come out of their holes chanting nonsense. Even my own crew—men and women I've worked with since I was a child—claim to hear something in the tremors.
I don't care who or what you send to help us. Just do it quickly.
An Unsigned Letter
- Main article: Codex entry: An Unsigned Letter
If the inquisition has yet to choose a side in the Mage-Templar conflict...
The Inquisition's growing presence in the area represents a threat to the operation. Focus efforts on discouraging any further exploration in the area, particularly any efforts to give comfort to the refugees at the crossroads. We cannot have people putting down roots here.
If the inquisition recruits the Mages...
Whoever the red templars are, they have become very interested in the area. Their appearance suggests a familiarity with the product that cannot be coincidence. Focus efforts on eliminating them, ideally in such a way as to place blame on the growing Inquisition forces in the area. If we can get the two groups to kill each other, that should be less work for all of us.
If the inquisition recruits the Templars...
Whoever the Venatori are, they have become very interested in the area. Whether they are searching for artifacts in old ruins or actually after the product, they are too close to our operations and have proved too dangerous to negotiate with. Focus efforts on eliminating them, ideally in such a way as to place blame on the growing Inquisition forces in the area. If we can get the two groups to kill each other, that should be less work for all of us.
An Unsigned Letter in the Hinterlands
- Main article: Codex entry: An Unsigned Letter in the Hinterlands
- See also: Carta
Preliminary digs have been more than successful. It's extremely surprising to find such a high quantity of the product this close to the surface. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was growing.
On one hand, this gives us an advantage. Without having to work with the old families back in Orzammar, or even take this through official guild channels, our families stand to make a killing. On the other hand, the proximity to the surface and to the populated areas of Redcliffe raises an interesting challenge. The war between the mages and templars should keep people out of the area for now, but as soon as the humans are done trying to kill each other, any operation we start will be uncovered.
If we're going to take advantage of this opportunity, we need to keep people out of the area. I'd recommend manufacturing some bandits. This part of Ferelden is lousy with them, so they shouldn't attract much attention, and nobody will have trouble believing that bandits would stake out some territory. By the time anyone uncovers the operation, it'll either be tapped out, in which case we'll be gone, or we'll have the operation running smoothly, in which case we'll be wealthy enough to deny everything and throw some money at the throne by way of apology.
Talk to the families and make it happen. This is too good to pass up.
Ancient Document Protected in a Scroll Case
- Main article: Codex entry: Ancient Document Protected in a Scroll Case
Whosoever reads this message,
Let it be known that the bearer, Inquisitor Ameridan, Commander of the Seekers of Truth, travels to the Frostback Basin on the official request of His Divine Majesty Kordillus Drakon, Emperor of Orlais, upon business vital to the safety and security of this most holy empire, and that he and those who travel with him are to be afforded every service, rendered every assistance, and extended every courtesy in their effort to protect Orlesian lives from threats both magical and mundane.
Maker watch over him,
Kordillus Drakon I
Animal Handler's Logbook
- Main article: Codex entry: Animal Handler's Logbook
The first half of this logbook appears to be notes on the care and feeding of animals in a Free Marcher lord's manor. After that, it shifts into practice phrases in Qunlat. Later, it begins again with the following:
Beast presents chafing around limbs and tail, likely from attempts to use chains. While its natural strength remains, muscles are slack from confinement. Taardathras said she initially tried drugging the beast, but the amount required to keep it sedated changed the quality of its venom so that it was no longer useful in producing gaatlok. She says fire has kept it under control, while the heated panels keep it in a state of comfortable drowsiness.
Taardathras is not as good at deception as she thinks she is. She does not like what we are doing to the beast. She calls it Ataashi, which means something like "great thing," and she repeats sayings from the Qun to herself when she extracts the venom.
I do not disagree with her. I saw enough harm done to innocent beasts at my lord's sneering commands. The beast, the Ataashi, deserves better than the pry bars and needles we use upon it each time we drain its venom gland.
Taardathras says I may be needed at the Winter Palace. It is likely that some view elves with suspicion, thanks to these attacks by the agent of Fen'Harel, but a human woman may still pass unnoticed among the servants. She says I may be asked to deliver more gaatlok in different containers. She says that it could be dangerous, and that if I do not return, most will assume I am dead.
As I said, Taardathras is not as good at deception as she thinks she is.
But she is right. I did not join the Qun for this.
Apostate Widris's Journal
- Main article: Codex entry: Apostate Widris's Journal
This thick journal is half-undecipherable. The parts that can be read are splattered with ink, as if the author had written them in a hurry:
There were years of notes in that book. Years! Who could have taken it? Or deciphered it? Did someone follow me from the Circle? I bet it was Wernam or Clariss! They always were jealous little busybodies. If they saw what I've done, the demons I've harnessed, they'd be green with envy. Who's afraid of spirits now, you simpering ewes!
But I must have my book back. I will write down the cipher again, before I forget. Again. These demons are clever. I can't have them demanding a price for decrypting my own notes. The concoctions I can make with the plants here, in safe amounts, will open my mind to vistas past the Fade. The demons hint it is beyond me, because they wish to undermine me. It's so clear. It's so very clear.
- Main article: Codex entry: Arboreal Fort
A report from Agent Charter, received by the Inquisition's advisors and carrying their notes to each other on the matter:
Sheer cliffs and steep drops present obstacles to speedy travel within the Basin. As a temporary measure, rope ladders are being constructed and placed at strategic points chosen by Scout Harding. Continued presence in this area will require a permanent solution. Please advise.
(Charts and topographical information provided for your perusal.)
A series of comments follow:
Flatten the area? —Cullen
Of course the commander suggests hitting the hills until they forget they're hills. —L
We could look into getting the soldiers to cut steps into the cliffs or construct structures with some form of verticality. Scaffolding, perhaps? —Josephine
I was joking. Meanwhile, have you threatened to cut out anyone's tongue today? —Cullen
Thinking about it right now. —L
The roofer, Berinole, was talking to the foreman about drawing up plans for additions to Skyhold. Covered platforms connected with spiral staircases and suspended catwalks. We could apply this idea to Frostback Basin. —Josephine
I was there. Wasn't Berinole drunk? —Cullen
He didn't draw up the plans while drunk, I'm sure. We could have an engineer or Dagna look over them, to see if they're structurally sound. —Josephine
- Main article: Codex entry: Blood-Splattered Notes
These appear to be the scribbled notes of a scholar named Erwine Cavy. The elements have ruined most of the writing:
...ow many times have I sought information on the Dalish only to find that it is, once again, a tale told by "Keeper Gisharel of the Ralaferin clan"? We can't have one Keeper from years ago be our sole source of knowledge on the Dalish. There must be other voices in the Dalish clans. Other perspectives that...
The elves cannot all be as hostile as most would... a dark smear obscures the writing... conclude that is it our prejudice speaking, when we repeat these damaging untrut...
...remarkably difficult to locate. I'm walking in circles. But take heart, Erwine! This is all for a good cause. There must be someone in this forest who can point me to the Dalish. I'll ask the next person I come...
Blood-Spotted Venatori Diary
The entries in this diary alternate between an elegant, well-rounded script and a slanted scrawl:
I never expected to find such tranquility here. No nattering crowds, no drifts of refuse. I should have been born in the country. I am only disappointed to learn I am here to verify translations—a drudge's work. But in the evenings, there is time for my own studies without distraction or fear of being branded "apostate" for my reading.
It is time to rise to my capabilities.
What steps must a man take to become such a being?
It is an excellent question. To bask in His glory must be enough and yet... and yet, I cannot let the curiosity go.
Does the Elder One take power from demons? I've learned much about their summoning and binding. I was surprised to find so many I recognized from the Circle among the Venatori, but they talk freely of rites and rituals forbidden in the Imperium.
They offer such power, for so little blood.
But I must not rush. Tempting as it is.
For have I not grown in skill and measure?
Even though it would be so easy here, in a place where the Veil has grown so thin.
I am tired of this fear. Fear of harm I may do to myself. Fear of letting opportunity slip from me.
I must leave it behind me.
Binding a demon of higher power is dangerous...
Yet my skills have grown.
But what else will show the others what I'm capable of, what I can offer! I am a mage of the Imperium, and I will claim my birthright. The spirits through the Veil will see my power, and they will kneel—or I will make them.
- Main article: Codex entry: Blood-Stained Shrine
We took steps to avoid the Hakkonites and stayed out of their way for the most part. It would've gone uneventfully had Pryce's inexperience not caused him to leave visible prints in the dirt. The Jaws of Hakkon used them to track us, and even Falker cannot throw them off the trail. Persistent bastards. We ended hiding amidst the moldy corpses and sun-bleached bones that littered the ground around a strange shrine. It was carved of stone and capped with what looked to be a dragon skull. Thankfully, when the Hakkonites traced us to the shrine, the sight of it made them stop short. They whispered among themselves, and their leader seemed to make a small bow of obeisance to the skull. They then abandoned the chase.
We still don't know what it was about that shrine that made the Hakkonites balk. Perhaps we don't want to know.
—From reports sent to Scout Harding
Book of Butterflies
- Main article: Codex entry: Book of Butterflies
This "book" opens to reveal thin slats of wood and glass. Pinned to cushions inside the slats are a confusion of colorful butterflies, some as small as a copper, others with a wingspan as large as a hand. Engraved on the front are the words:
In celebration of your twentieth anniversary, with fondest well wishes.
This charred notebook contains accounts, details of shipping routes, cargo manifests, and lists of contacts, all shuffled together. The last entry reads:
Remember: C's people arriving tomorrow to discuss new shipment. Must bring up incident with last courier being branded. Losing profits to keep them quiet. Good customer, but she's bleeding me dry. Ask for compensation.
Remember: find bottle of good Ghislain red for meeting with Inquisitor. Should be memorable.
- Main article: Codex entry: Colette's Notes
A series of detailed drawings of the inscriptions, glass shards, and surrounding area follow a handful neatly written notes:
"Two stood. Felled sixty true before our triumph. A breath in the hunt and let rest the lowlanders, worthy of the Lady's care."
Inscription discovered in Tevinter ruin within Frostback Basin—not Tevinter in origin. Script style and surrounding symbolism mark text as Avvar. Writing not widespread in holds—place marked by a leader or augur? Few lowlanders known to be in area at time.
Glass in area likely means templar presence, long past. Samples prepared for Professor Kenric's opinion.
Conduct Becoming the Inquisition
- Main article: Codex entry: Conduct Becoming the Inquisition
To all members of the Inquisition:
It has come to my attention that I must remind everyone of the type of behavior expected from us during this Exalted Council. It is natural to wish to hold our heads high, but remember that we are guests of the Imperial Court. It is upon us to behave with good grace, propriety, and restraint.
If you are unsure of how to address someone of gentle birth, "my lord" or "my lady" will suffice.
If you are fearful that you have overstepped an unknown protocol, speak with your commanders. If they are not available, seek me out.
Over-imbibing is strongly discouraged at all times.
If you are steered into an argument about the Inquisition's politics, politely excuse yourself as quickly as possible. Please do not engage in these debates!
If all else fails, trust sense and common courtesy to guide your actions.
- Main article: Codex entry: Construction Orders
As you know from the terrible accidents of last week, many passages through the mountain are unstable and liable to collapse at any moment. I do not wish us to lose more brothers and sisters in the search for "lost cultist treasure."
We must seal all entrances into the mountain. The templars have done a careful sweep of the caves; everything of worth was collected. What remains of the Disciples of Andraste will be forgotten, buried in the earth. Once it is done, let us have no more talk of them. This is a new Haven, restored to life by the true Chantry, and Most Holy Justinia V.
- Main article: Codex entry: Crumpled Letter
A letter written by a quick hand:
From everything you've told me, you must get out of Crestwood as soon as you can. I know it's dangerous, but I fear you'll have no chance at all if you don't attempt the trip.
My father said that taking Dead Man's Pass will guide you safely past those filthy highwaymen. If you come at dusk, you should be able to avoid the wolves too.
Hurry, my love.
- Main article: Codex entry: Crumpled Missive
Did you hear? One of the recruits from Val Royeaux said he saw the "famous" Thom Rainier drinking at the Halberd, east of Val Royeaux. I thought you'd be interested, given your history. Although the lad's probably only seen him in sketches. Somehow I doubt the old captain's foolish enough to come within a hundred miles of the capital. I'll let you decide whether you believe it.
Anyway, I heard you might be relieved in a week or two. You could talk to Proulx, see if he'll let you take leave to follow the lead. He'll understand. He did allow you to enlist for our side even after what happened with Callier.
Built into the cliffs of the Storm Coast, the port at Daerwin's Mouth once connected the dwarven thaigs to the Waking Sea. In addition to increasing trade between the dwarves and their allies in the Tevinter Imperium, direct access to the Deep Roads meant diplomats from Orzammar could visit the port without fear of losing their "stone sense." The site thus became a popular meeting place for ambassadors of the two nations.
When darkspawn incursions forced the dwarves to retreat into Orzammar, the Deep Roads leading to Daerwin's Mouth were sealed and the port fell into disuse. At least, all reputable use of the port ceased—bandits, smugglers, and pirates are known to use the various caves along the Storm Coast, including Daerwin's Mouth itself, for their own gains.
—From The Storm Coast and Its History by Brother Vincent, Chantry scholar
Demons of the Stone
Until further notice: Do not tamper with the torches! Lighting them in wrong order summons demons. The inscriptions on the pillars indicate the correct order, but wait until we have confirmed the accuracy of our translations before proceeding.
I have made maps to the other tombs where there are similar structures. Let the same warning stay your hand there.
Below this, someone else has written complicated formulas and scribbled many notes:
- Study impossible with dormant demons. Ask Sephus and Urathus for help with binding.
Draft of Letter to Venatori Magisters
- Main article: Codex entry: Draft of Letter to Venatori Magisters
- See also: Quest: Sand and Ruin
If the Inquisitor sided with the mages...
We have been given a chance to redeem ourselves after one of our own failed Corypheus at Redcliffe. The dwarven relics in the tombs are instructions on recreating the masterpieces of one of their finest Paragons. They are to be excavated, replicated, and brought back for study. The Elder One is generous to let us prove our worth. We cannot disappoint Him.
If the Inquisitor sided with the Templars...
It shames me to notice bickering among some of you. We perform a great work here. The dwarven relics in the tombs are instructions on replicating the masterpieces of one of their finest Paragons. Lady Calpernia wishes us to retrieve them with all haste, and you know she speaks for the Elder One in all things. He remembers a time when this place was not a blasted wasteland, and if He desires its secrets brought up to the light, we shall obey. Gladly. Without strife that delays us.
I trust this will no longer be a concern.
- Main article: Codex entry: Emergency Measures
The order has been given: all known double agents within the Inquisition are being neutralized, and all suspect agents are being isolated from any information coming in or out of the Winter Palace.
We've received messenger birds back from multiple cities. The Inquisition is not the only organization compromised by Qunari spies. In Val Royeaux, gaatlok barrels were being put into position by low-placed servants in the Grand Cathedral and Council of Heralds. In Denerim, Qunari spies were revealed among low-ranking members of the City Watch. Starkhaven was seeded with spies among its own palace servants.
In light of our lack of oversight on this matter, I will understand if an agent better suited to the task is promoted in my place.
A reply below, in Leliana's hand:
The blame falls on me. I will not let anyone else appropriate it, no matter how well intended. Do not forget the lives we've saved by warning other cities about the gaatlok barrels.
Besides, my friend, I have enough scandalous gossip on you that I know I can trust you. Of how many other agents is this true?
The following line is in the original handwriting:
At least twenty-three, my lady, but your point is taken.
- Main article: Codex entry: Envy's Dogma
A whisper, followed out of dream. A beckoning thread of power. At the end of it a figure, crowned in imperial red, seen through a tear in the air. The Elder One, demanding servitude with an offer impossible to resist.
Weeks of studying, learning, imitating. The Lord Seeker reveals who he is, what he is, with every sharp-tongued reaction. Lucius Corin abandoned, hidden after taking his face, his armor, his templars. Easy as slipping into new skin.
The Herald of Andraste protests as the templars leave the city. Small. Unimportant. Beneath a Lord Seeker's notice, but for instructions from the Elder One.
Growing disbelief. The Herald, leading nobles, shining men and women whose power chokes a country. The Inquisition, rising larger than the templars. Unbearable envy. What is a Lord Seeker, compared to what the Herald will become?
Seething, consumed with want. Dreaming, wanting, needing to wear the Herald of Andraste's face when next meeting the Elder One.
Epitaphs for the Lost
- Main article: Codex entry: Epitaphs for the Lost
Neat, tight script preserves a final epitaph for the fallen:
Frail, faltering in the darkness,
Though imperfect, her voice a balm.
Andrale, Falon'Din enasal enaste.
Naught but blood and torn flesh,
But a mother knows her child.
Soran, Falon'Din enasal enaste.
Fire stirred, ever an impatient heart,
But she would not be moved.
Siona, Falon'Din enasal enaste.
Arrows along the spine. The child cried,
Sheltered by his form.
Talim, Falon'Din enasal enaste.
Two emerged within an eve.
As one they fought, as one fell.
Rin, Ilan, Falon'Din enasal enaste.
Fears of the Dreamers
I came to the Temple of Sacred Ashes with the faithful, ready to help at the Conclave. I prayed to the Maker for peace, but the mountains shook and fell and buried me. Alone in the darkness, my legs crushed, I cried in fear of a world with no Maker, fading in and out of dreams of monsters inside the black.
Light my final hours. Let me go to the Maker without the terrors of darkness confounding me.
I watched the Blight take my land. I had nowhere to go. I tended the fields as I had, even as my flock died and my family sickened. My body wracked by pains and chills, I saw too late the poison that had crept into the land. In my fever dreams, the sickness covered this whole world, and I wept in fear for the family I killed with my foolish pride.
Show me that this world survives. Show me that the poison does not take everything.
"The Grey Warden"
I joined the Wardens to serve in glory. No blade could touch me, nor any claw pierce my armor. Still, I was fated by Joining to die. Alone in the Deep Roads, the Calling in my mind, I sat by the last campfire I would see, allowing myself one last night of terror, and cursed the fate that brought me here.
Let it be my choice to have served and died. Let it be nobility rather than the dread hand of fate. Destroy my destiny and let this be my decision.
When the darkspawn were new, when the magisters had just brought them to our world with their sin, I was among the first to call myself a Grey Warden and swear to end the Blight that threatened our world. We had seen the Archdemon die from mortal blows, only to rise again from the body of one of its servants. It could not die. I searched in vain for some way to kill the beast and save my world. I slept in fear, with no solution, knowing only that the Blight the magisters had brought would destroy everything because I could not save it.
Show me what must be done to slay the Archdemon. Show me what I need to save my world.
Haven is burned. Mama cries when I'm not looking. It's cold in the mountains, and my feet hurt, but Mama says to hush, that others have it worse. She says a monster named Corypheus came to Haven, and it was only the Maker's blessing that let us escape. I don't feel blessed. The monsters come every night when I sleep, and I don't want to wake Mama crying again.
I miss Ser Snort. Ser Snort always kept the monsters away in my dreams.
The work goes well, but we're bound to be followed sooner or later. I've set up a watch on higher ground, in the Sunstop Mountains. Obviously named by someone who never beheld a real mountain.
If you're looking for Harmmonum, he is looking for the tomb in the canyons to the west.
- Main article: Codex entry: Folded Note
I don't want grumbling in the lower ranks that our Lord Corypheus handpicked Grey Wardens to be part of His honor guard over His templars. Our charge is not to understand His will. It is only to obey it.
- Main article: Codex entry: Gardner Diary
"Property of Ira Gardner" is written in spidery handwriting on this collection of homemade recipes and remedies. The last entry reads:
First sign of the plague is coughing and going pale, like blood's run out of your skin. Elfroot soothes the cough, but doesn't cool the next day's fever. That's where the spindleweed helps. The ones I planted by the old shed came in quick. They seem to like where the soil's dry. I'll try making an ointment with it tomorrow.
The script is an ancient elven dialect. Upon further observation, it twists, the words becoming visible:
There are no gods. There is only the subject and the object, the actor and the acted upon. Those with will to earn dominance over others gain title not by nature but by deed.
I am Geldauran, and I refuse those who would exert will upon me. Let Andruil's bow crack, let June's fire grow cold. Let them build temples and lure the faithful with promises. Their pride will consume them, and I, forgotten, will claim power of my own, apart from them until I strike in mastery.
Healer's Notes at Redcliffe Crossroads
- Main article: Codex entry: Healer's Notes at Redcliffe Crossroads
Treated refugees. Illness and stomach trouble from eating spoiled food. Burn marks consistent with magic attacks. One elderly refugee had bone-sickness, made worse by fleeing village when apostates attacked.
Treated frost-cough at crossroads. Sent letter to Redcliffe asking for blankets. No response. Widow Taine passed in sleep.
Treated hunger shivers at crossroads. More refugees. Burns and contusions, severe bleeding. Caught in fighting between apostates and templars. Amputated arm to save girl. Will die without more elfroot anyway, but too dangerous to gather more.
Girl running high fever. Refugees found merchant wagon burning on way to crossroads. Matched Old Vinn's wagon. No bodies, but everything in wagon taken. No more supplies coming.
Think girl will make it. Used last of elfroot. Making poultices from whatever I can find. Telling refugees to boil anything they eat or drink. Too many sick. Giselle came, said Inquisition help is not far behind.
Fighting outside. Sounds like templars and mages both. Refugees scattered. Someone outside, screaming. Have to help.
—From a journal belonging to the old healer who lived at the Redcliffe crossroads and was believed to be killed in the fighting
Hunter's View of the Mage-Templar War
- Main article: Codex entry: Hunter's View of the Mage-Templar War
The words in this note have many misspellings and are scrawled in a clumsy hand:
Mother Valerie said things I saw won't get out my head 'less I put them somewhere else. She told me write it down. It's a long time since I did letters but I'll try.
I saw refugees in the hills. I was there to hunt. I saw them but did not say hello because I was on the trail. The refugees were going to Redcliffe. They were slow and bent over when they walked like old men.
Some templars killed the mages. The mages ran. The templars wanted to run after them. A refugee was still burning. His arm went up to a templar. The templar used his sword. It went up and down. Up and down. There were pieces of black.
He stayed while other templars ran after mages. He took things from bodies. One body was moving. It had long hair and burned dress. The templar started to take off his armor and I shot him.
I went down to the lady. She made little noises and her eyes looked at me. Then she died.
I want it to go out of my head please Maker. I been good, I want it to go out of my head.
"In war, victory. In peace, vigilance. In death, sacrifice."
My brothers and sisters in vigilance,
By drinking of the chalice, you are a Grey Warden.
Though you perished, you died with your blood joined
with mine. I honor your sacrifice, and carry your
memory into battle.
Meline of Arlesans, I remember you.
Leonide de Firmin, I remember you.
Audwen, I remember you.
Journal of Gurd Harofsen
- Main article: Codex entry: Journal of Gurd Harofsen
This appears to be scattered pages from an old journal. The handwriting is barely legible and filled with spelling mistakes:
They told me not to go, but I did. I had no love of mountains. Red-Lion Hold raids for goats and chickens. There are better fights in the lowlands. I am tall and strong, and they think me a great warrior. I bed many women with my tales. Why would I go back?
Several pages have been torn out or scratched over until the next legible section:
I curse the Lady. I curse Korth. I curse all the gods who let Red-Lion fall. The people did the rites, sang the songs. Why would the gods abandon Red-Lion?
I left the mercenaries I traveled with. They understood. Many have lost kin of their own to the Blight.
Several more pages are illegible, and then:
I have taken the survivors. I know how to travel better than they do. The thane is dead, but many warriors survive. Many people died from blight-sickness. Harof Talespinner was among them. Those who live say they asked the lowlanders for help, but they let Red-Lion die.
We must find a path. We have no need of Korth or the Lady, not if they would abandon my people like the lowlanders did. The only god I will forgive is Hakkon, for the tales say he was stolen by the lowlanders when the Jaws of Hakkon bound him to flesh and bone.
Red-Lion Hold is gone. We are the Jaws of Hakkon now. We will build no home, for homes can die. Instead, we will bring Hakkon back and teach the lowlanders to fear the Avvar again.
These appear to be somewhat recent pages from a journal:
We have searched for months and found nothing. The tales tell of this area, but the Stone-Bears, a hold of fishermen and chicken farmers, have lived here for generations and seen no sign. If we see nothing, we must keep moving. I will not let my hold falter. We will move on lest we die.
After several torn-out pages, another section is legible:
We have found it. Hakkon himself welcomed us. An ancient Tevinter fortress, sheathed in a wall of ice. It was untouched by lowlanders, who could find no way to breach the walls. Our mages alone, blessed by Silent Hakkon with the gifts of ice, could part the wall for a few heartbeats, giving our people time to climb inside.
The wall resists common fire, and even the flames from our mages did little to melt the magical ice. We are safe. The northerner markers lead to a shrine that our mages say reeks of magic. I have sent warriors to guard it, lest it hold some spirit who can part this wall with lowlander magic.
We have found Hakkon, bound in silence where the lowland warrior trapped him for ages uncounted. Our trials have not been in vain. They were a test.
Hakkon will come again.
These appear to be very recent pages from a journal:
The lowland warrior trapped our god in some strange magic the mages cannot understand. They say time is twisted upon itself, a knot inside a knot. They say it may be the old Tevinter magic of this place that made it possible, spirits and old Tevinter power like blood and wine.
The spirit of Hakkon remains in the dragon. That much is clear. In the tales, the Jaws of Hakkon tamed it like a hold-beast, then fed it demonweed and other herbs the healers use to bring spirits. We cannot unravel the magic binding the dragon, but perhaps we can bring forth Hakkon himself and bind him anew to some other worthy beast.
Red-Lion Hold's beast died with genlock blood in his jaws. It was a good death, but a death still. As Jaws of Hakkon, we have no hold-beast, but the soft-limbed fools at Stone-Bear Hold have one who is tamed and ready.
The next several pages are illegible, until:
The winter-cursed Inquisition has come. The bear is free and our wall of ice shattered by Tevinter magic. We have no time and no beast.
I will eat the herbs myself. The mages say I may not be strong enough to bear such a great spirit as Hakkon. I would rather die trying than fail. I will not abandon my people. I will bring death to the lowlands.
The Jaws of Hakkon will not fail again.
Journal of Professor Arberg
- Main article: Codex entry: Journal of Professor Arberg
I came expecting books worn from history's touch, their covers frayed and their spines exposed. But the Memories are not written on fragile pages. They are runes crafted from lyrium. The never-fading symbols glow as if alive and capable of speech. The Shapers tend to them with the deference of a grand cleric: a civilization's entire history catalogued and recorded for future generations.
Well, almost their entire history. My Shaper guide explained that I wouldn't find the names of surface houses, even prominent ones. The casteless are struck from the Memories because they have no position in Orzammar society and have turned their backs on the Stone. A bit much, if you ask me, but dwarves seem to be a people of extremes.
I was not permitted access to all of the Shaperate's records, only a select few. But I think I impressed them with my extensive knowledge of dwarven family trees.
Journal of Tog
I should have listened to Darya—kept my head down, focused on the drop. She warned me that Karshol doesn't like questions. But I'd heard stories of Orzammar my whole life, and if not for Mother's gambling, I'd have been raised there. The rift between our people is thicker than the ground that divides Orzammar from the surface. Our kin below think the're better than us 'cause they've still got their stone sense. Darya said they'd treat me different—even the dusters look down on a cloudgazer like me.
I didn't choose to be born on the surface. I never had Stone sense to lose. I just wanted to know what it was—what it felt like. Topside, people talk like it's magic. You hear rumors of the Stone guiding her children to lyrium veins, protecting them from cave-ins, or whispering to expecting mothers about their unborn infants' futures. According to Karshol, the reality of Stone sense is much more mundane. While miners can hear the distant song of lyrium, no one has conversations with the Stone. It's more of a connection. They can sense a passageway before reaching it and can navigate the Deep Roads without getting hopelessly lost.
My disappointment must've shown. Karshol asked if I had any other questions, then broke my nose for prying.
It's been a bad trip.
- Main article: Codex entry: Kolg's Journal
A torn page from a journal:
"Stone-blind Kolg," they chanted. Their grubby fingers pushed my face into the ground, scraped the flesh from my ear, spilled blood. Two thumbs made black spots in my vision. Their voices were loud. So loud. But I heard her the loudest. The Stone. When they left me in the quiet dark, she remained. Her soft lullaby told me of a way I could return: a song of my own.
Filled with Mother's love, I gathered singing stone by hand. They said it would poison me, but Mother would never do that. Not to her son. Within the melody are secrets meant only for me.
A blood-splattered page from a journal:
The song is soft, but hard to crack. I hear the words. I can even taste them. But I cannot say them. Maybe Mother needs me to remove my teeth.
A crumpled page from a journal:
Mother holds me when I sleep. Warm. So warm. Her rhythm flows through my throat, burning until the miners and their fat, cruel hands are a distant memory. Kolg is memory. I am the son. The words come in waves. I will drown in them. For her.
The last entry in a dirt-stained journal with several pages missing:
Mother's song leaks out of me. Liquid fire spills from my eyes, mouth, and ears. I give her everything and become a verse in her chorus. I am finally complete. It was never about the words, only the song.
Leather-Bound Hakkonite Journal
- Main article: Codex entry: Leather-Bound Hakkonite Journal
Thane Harofsen thinks he alone can work the words of lowlanders, as though the augurs had not learned the tale-drawing runes to study the old magic. He is blind, but the Jaws of Hakkon would not be here without him. A hold needs blind men with big blades sometimes.
In the old times, the first Jaws of Hakkon spoke with the great spirit himself. He opened their eyes that they might see the elfstones hidden across the world, and they entered the old cave and learned the mysteries of winter. Their working of cold let them slip through the ice-wall that wards the lowlander fortress, and we must now do the same if we are to take it as our own.
Hakkon has been silent all our lives. He cannot speak to us in dreams or open our eyes, and we remain blind to the elfstones. The lowlanders, though, have found a new way to see them. The skull of a dream-slain, set with the right magicks, can bring the elfstones to our sight.
We will regain the mystery of winter.
Letter About Lyrium
- Main article: Codex entry: Letter About Lyrium
If the Inquisitor sided with the mages...
I've seen the transformations. It's a horror to watch your soldiers' faces change, to realize they might not remember you day-to-day; it's a sword in the guts. But the ones who make it through are near invincible.
Feed elfroot to the soldiers hurting, as much as they want. Beyond that, it's just waiting until they stop feeling pain. Remind them they spread the lyrium. It grows at our touch; with the "materials" I've sent, they'll grow enough for a dozen armies. It's proof we're on the right path, that any suffering is worthwhile. Remind them.
If the Inquisitor sided with the Templars...
My fellow captains:
You know as well as I do that we can't cut back on the red lyrium we're feeding the soldiers. Considering how many knights we lost in our failure at Therinfal, we're lucky the Master still has a use for us. If He demands a small army of red templars, we will deliver.
Letter Found in a Redcliffe Home
- Main article: Codex entry: Letter Found in a Redcliffe Home
I'm going into the mountains to join the people up there. They're making sense right now, when the rest of the world is not. We can't tend the fields since Master Dennet and his wife sent us all away for safety, and I can't just stay here and watch the refugees starve outside our home.
You and Mother should come, Father. You'll be safe up there. The mages have no quarrel with the people in the mountains, and even the templars don't harass them. Nowhere else outside of Redcliffe is safe from this Maker-cursed war or the demons pouring out of the sky.
But you won't come, will you? You'd rather stay on our tiny bit of land, because it's ours. So be it. It's yours until those madmen catch you in their fight, and then you and Mother will just be two more charred corpses in a burned-out village.
I'm not staying to watch you die like a fool.
Letter Of Confession
- Main article: Codex entry: Letter Of Confession
It was not darkspawn that opened the dam and flooded Old Crestwood ten years ago. I did, in secret, the night they attacked. The undead you have been fighting are people I killed with my own hands.
We'd taken in refugees from the Blight. Many were ill. We moved the sick to the lower part of Crestwood, and the refugees into the caves, to stop the disease from spreading. It didn't work. One confessed he'd seen blight sickness before. It was always fatal. When the darkspawn attacked, I knew the only way the village would survive is if the blight-sick drowned with the monsters. I cannot bear the sight of Old Crestwood now that the water is gone. I cannot stay.
Mayor Gregory Dedrick
Letter of Confirmation
- Main article: Codex entry: Letter of Confirmation
If the Inquisitor sided with the mages...
To confirm: yes, I've heard the reports. The Inquisition is on the rise, but they'll be a toothless hound once our Master deals with them.
Sow the lyrium. Let it follow where we walk, take root where we settle. Never forget that your footsteps - yours - mark Corypheus's path to victory.
If the Inquisitor sided with the Templars...
Even "regular" raw lyrium hits mages hard. Raw red lyrium must be like sticking your head into a wasp nest.
Letter to Smugglers' Wagon Masters
Beware that red lyrium. Our mage claims it's much more potent than the blue. "Like serving brandy in an ale tankard," he said. Two nights later, he went crazy, frothing and screaming. We had to lock him in the warehouse. Looks like lyrium madness, but comes on faster.
It's not all bad. Our new client, Samson, has his agents buying anyone who gets sick--for gold. When they bought the mage, I asked why; Samson's people said, "To make something better of him." For what they're paying, he must have something bloody spectacular lined up.
Have the men be extra careful around the crates. Tell me if any comes down sick. Keep the why to yourselves.
Letter to a Slaver
Cancel that order for more field workers. Get me scribes, library slaves: the smartest you can find. They have to be able to read and write. Former runaways are fine, so long as they were clever about it. This Venatori leader, Calpernia, is paying a fortune for our best and brightest stock, delivered to her personally. Don't ask me why.
One thing: don't send any with brands or whip marks. We had a couple branded slaves in the last shipment; her people sent the couriers back with burns on their faces. They said Calpernia doesn't take kindly to damaged stock. Strange tick for a magister, but her gold's good enough.
Letters and Replies
- Main article: Codex entry: Letters and Replies
If the Iron Bull is Tal-Vashoth...
A letter with an Inquisition seal sits half buried in a pile of memos:
On behalf of the Inquisition, I must humbly inquire as to the hostile actions of your agents in Halamshiral. We can only view the attacks by Ben-Hassrath agents upon our officers and the infiltration and sabotage of the Exalted Council at Halamshiral as the prelude to a declaration of war. If the Qunari people do not wish to provoke retaliation from the Chantry, these hostilities must cease at once.
Respectfully, Ambassador Josephine Montilyet
Several incomprehensible messages in Qunlat follow. A letter in common with elegant script has been torn open and crumpled into a ball, but the writing is still legible:
To Ambassador Josephine Montilyet of the Inquisition,
The Triumvirate of the Qunari people wishes to assure you that despite the loss of the dreadnought Berethlok and its crew of one hundred souls in a failed joint mission with the Inquisition two years past, military action has not been approved against the Inquisition. No one in Par Vollen has authorized actions of any kind involving the Exalted Council. Nor will they.
We are seeking out the Ben-Hassrath priest who appears to be leading this operation without our consent. Once she is located, we assure you that these hostile actions will cease.
If the Iron Bull remains Qunari...
A letter with an Inquisition seal sits half buried in a pile of memos:
To the Honorable Salasari, Triumvirate of the Qun:
On behalf of the Inquisition, I must humbly inquire as to the hostile actions of your agents in Halamshiral. The Iron Bull has consulted his immediate superiors and contacts within the Ben-Hassrath to no avail. It was our understanding that the Inquisition and the Qunari nation were allies. Why, then, are our people being attacked by Ben-Hassrath agents, and why have we found Qunari gaatlok hidden around the Exalted Council? If your illustrious personages can offer an explanation, we would be glad to hear it. If not, we must consider these to be acts of war.
Respectfully, Ambassador Josephine Montilyet
Several incomprehensible messages in Qunlat follow. A letter written in common in elegant script has been torn open and crumpled into a ball, but the writing is still legible:
To Ambassador Josephine Montilyet of the Inquisition,
The Salasari have no knowledge of any operations occurring in Halamshiral, and are investigating your claims of gaatlok being used in the South. We regret that we are unable to divulge any information regarding current Ben-Hassrath activities at this time, but we hasten to assure you that our partnership with the Inquisition is one we value highly.
Logs of a Darvaarad Gatekeeper
- Main article: Codex entry: Logs of a Darvaarad Gatekeeper
The entries in this book are written in several different hands and occasionally even different languages. From the few entries in the common tongue, it appears to be a log filled in by the various guards who have watched the gates of the Darvaarad:
Morning: Artifacts brought in by Hissra Kith. Original location not on manifest. Asked Isskari, was told, "They're from ruins." Please remind agents that all relics must be properly catalogued, or the Taarbas will never stop complaining about it.
Afternoon: Three kiths deployed. Including Isskari of Hissra Kith. Told her to write down locations in her manifest this time.
Evening: Hissra Kith reported back. Isskari handed me manifest that just said, "Outside Darvaarad." Asking my sten for a knife.
Lord D'Onterre's Journal
- Main article: Codex entry: Lord D'Onterre's Journal
The journal entry is dated 9:27 Dragon:
That Circle templar is demanding another payment. Greedy bastard. Taking advantage of us all these years, because we wanted to preserve our good family name. He promised to silence the mage once returned to his Circle... but that doesn't protect us from the templar.
I wonder though. Was it enough? No. The mage was strong. Even I could sense it. It was terrifying. There is no way the child could break through. She doesn't even have training. So long as she stays inside, everything will be all right.
No one will ever know.
Lyrium Blast Charges
- Main article: Codex entry: Lyrium Blast Charges
Mining lyrium is not work for the fainthearted. The stuff is dangerous to handle safely and difficult to find, and its veins only ever seem to run through the hardest rock. Lyrium is nothing but trouble, but luckily it offers a solution to its own problem. Pack the right amount into a small drum, prime it with a short fuse, light the thing, and run as fast as you can. The blast will leave your ears ringing for days after, but it will also explode any number of obstacles. There's a saying among long-time lyrium miners: "When the going gets though, the tough get out a blast charge and blow a great sodding hole in the stone."
—An excerpt from Selected Wisdom of the Mining Caste, Forty-Ninth Edition
- Main article: Codex entry: Maliphant's Journals
Maliphant kept several journals. This one spans the time Maliphant spent as a sergeant in the Imperial Army:
I see Laurent's death in my mind all the time. The man who killed her—one of the usurper's soldiers—was familiar. I wouldn't be surprised if I once shared a drink with him. Isn't that how it is now? Brother against brother.
The priests tell me to remember Laurent's life, not her death. So I try to recall years past—the countless times she saved me. The day we first met, when I was a young recruit who almost pissed himself at her barked orders. Because of her, I learned discipline and control. She instilled in me pride in what we did. She taught me how to use a sword. More importantly, she taught me how to keep it sheathed.
She was fearless. Strong. Regal. And she was cut down like a common peasant by someone we may have once known. Will anyone remember her? Will Celene?
Some pages later:
There is a new soldier in our battalion: Gordian. He's an odd fellow, with an accent I can't place. Like he'd spent time in the Marches. It doesn't matter, in the end. He's been a comfort, listening to me talk about those who died. He also lost friends in Celene's war. And he's tired, like we are. He said a very wise thing: "There is no war without soldiers." The empress can't wage her war if we refuse to fight.
Orlais should belong to Orlesians.
Maliphant kept several journals. This one details the founding of the Freemen of the Dales:
Auguste and I have established outposts in the Emerald Graves. We are spreading the word to both armies. I'm sick of good Orlesian men and women dying for someone else's cause. It ends now. Orlais should belong to us: the people who defend her borders, who till her fields. If we're to fight and kill for something, let it be that.
Several pages later:
Templars approached us. They are not the Order I knew, but they have offered weapons and gold if we help bring their supplies through the Emerald Graves. If we are to free the Dales from the grasp of the nobility, we need what they have to offer. It's a deal with a demon, but our cause is worthwhile.
Maliphant kept several journals. This one appears recently written:
I don't know what we're doing anymore. Our hearts were pure when we started; I have to wonder if we've lost our way. The templars are... terrifying. When I speak to the knight-captain, I feel uneasy. There is something unsettling about his eyes and voice. They keep making offers: more shipments to guard, more men to be escorted to their keep... I just...
No more grousing. I can't let my doubt show. Others take their cue from me; they must stay strong. It's just for a little while longer, then we'll get what we want. We'll be free.
- Main article: Codex entry: Misplaced Notes
Notes written by one of the scholars responsible for restoring Haven. The notes have obviously come loose from a ledger of some sort:
It took weeks scrubbing bloodstains from the stone. One of two things is true: either stone is more porous than I thought, or Maker's beard, there must've been a lot of blood. How many people died? I'm so relieved I didn't have to deal with the altars of sacrifice the first arrivals found. Those were tossed off a cliff (I think), so now we just have to deal with the stains on the walls and floors. If this doesn't clean up in a day or two, I'm asking for some fresh plaster—maybe we can cover them up.
Still, it's not all bad. Haven is a beautiful place, and while working in the dungeons, we found scraps of paper with writing that looks like Brother Ferdinand Genitivi's. He was held here for weeks before the Hero of Ferelden found him.
- Main article: Codex entry: Moldy Journal
Mold and rot have eaten most of the pages of these books. The remaining vellum is covered in spiky handwriting with spelling that is either archaic, wildly idiosyncratic, or both:
...saw yht cross from the Volca, that which draggeth souls down to yhts larder in the brinedark. Hys beast preyth on humblewits and goldsworn even & the tower's keeper declares I will rest here if yht would ease me. The elvhen, which pulled me grip-up from my end, kends he is last of his kynde. I made it known elvhen live south-like, but he says yht would not be as yht was & I said that's evertrue & he laughed lark-like. Come dark he showed me a mirror deep strange, an "eluvian" sworne to beene in his family for...
Numbers are fantastic, ser. Trade's booming with all this lyrium showing up. Maybe it's red instead of blue, but people are still buying. That mage we picked up can look into what the color means; he needs to start earning his keep.
We have more coin on hand, too. No need to pay off some greasy dwarf since the red stuff isn't from the Deep Roads. Must be killing them; someone struck lyrium up here and they're not getting a piece.
Mouth of Echoes
- Main article: Codex entry: Mouth of Echoes
The savages speak to their gods in the cave passage. They call it the Mouth of Echoes. They light fires and feed them with green spruce and shout their questions into the deep. They say answers come to them on the last whispered echo. Superstition, we laughed. And now Razikale is silent and madness descends. I can only think, what if? What if there are irregularities in the Veil here? What if we could secure the Avvar cave and bend it to our purposes?
The slaves are gathering materials. We will build a shrine to the Dragon of Mystery—implant foci into the walls, cut sacred designs into the stone, the better to hear her with. We will hear her voice again, or we will die.
—Scribbled in blood-red ink on parchment found in the Mouth of Echoes
Mysteries of the Frostback Basin
- Main article: Codex entry: Mysteries of the Frostback Basin
A voluminous pile of notes and observations. Half diary and half research notes, these parchments have no clear order, if they ever did. At the top, someone has written "Observations of the Mysteries of the Frostback Basin, and their Hidden Connection to great secrets buried by the Ages."
The Mystery of the Aqueducts (located on top of the aqueduct, near the shard found through the ocularum near Runa's first climbing marker in "Up and Away")
After much reading, I know the Tevinter walls by the lakes were called "Aqueducts," which were Roads that carried water to their Forts of Stone. These aqueducts Drained water from the lower regions, but that is not the Whole Reason the Tevinters changed the land. Parts of the Basin have been Altered in the past, which one can see if they are of the right mind for it. There is only one explanation: paths of Mystic Resonance, or Mystic Lines, or "Ley Lines" run through the land!
The mages in the hold deny "Ley Lines" exist, but they are Protecting Secrets of Fraternity, or else are ignorant of secret lowlander rites. As proof, Professor Whalen Vankin maps Lines of Power Across the Basin in his book "Ode to the Ordo Templis Royalis." He does not SAY so in the book to a Casual Reader, but certain secret signs left by the Professor to befuddle his Enemies point to it very Clearly, if one reads the text eight times.
Secret Prisoners of Tevinter (located behind a locked cell door in the cave where Storvacker is held prisoner in "Storvacker Caged".)
Long ago, this would have been under the water, until Tevinter drained much of Swamp Kuldsdotten to build this prison. Why make a jail so remote? For Prisoners they wished to Hide. Tevinter has Made War on Orlais many times, but I now believe there is also Secret War between them that the Common People are not allowed to see. This prison is a Remainder of this Secret War that continues in our time.
I speak of Orlais' attempts to rouse the Snake Kings of the Earth against Tevinter's alliance with the Moon Men.
This is explained in Ser Ycke's Pamphlets, of which I have read many, which explain things such as why the snake appears in Tevinter drawings, and how the Snake-Kings came to exist. (Crystals.) Did Moon Men have their Tevinter Allies keep the Reptilian Ones here, so they could interrogate them at their Leisure? None can say, but I will say yes as that would Fit My Theories.
Secret of the Rockspit (located to the right of the trail marker while facing the lever.)
The Rockspit is an island of Great Significance. Its sides are steep, but the top is flat, and there are pillars and a Dragon's Statue perched Proudly for all to see. Would Tevinters put these items here for no reason? Nay! I believe they were meant to be seen from a great height, for river and island would make a good landmark for a bird's eye. This island is obviously the place where Tevinter first Contacted the Moon Men.
This would explain why the River was Clearly Diverted from its original path in the past, as one can see if they follow the old river banks! Did Tevinter use the Ley Lines to do this? Did the Moon Men fly? Do they look like us, only greyer? Much remains to be Discovered!
The True Purpose of the Crater (after closing the rift at the Fortress Gate, circle around atop the ruin to your left. Jump down to the tent and collect the notes)
Lord L'Rouche of Montsimmard once was Witness to "tremors that collapsed an old Chantry, along with a meadow, into a deep and giant depression." He blamed it on "the Fereldan Crown" using "dark magic to disrespect Orlais' superiority." The Orlesian was only half right, for I know now this was the work of the Serpent-Folk instead.
If one looks keenly, once can see the Frostback Basin must have been manipulated by the hand of some Vast Thing. The crater in the Lowland Fortress was not the natural settling of mountains, but came to exist after the shifting of Something Below Ground! The Snake-Kings must be vast, and their movements powerful to cause the Earth to Quake with their moving. It is Clear as the Sky that Ancient Tevinter, along with the Moon Men, came here to make an Attempt to kill a buried Snake-King under the crater!!! Too many Signs and Portents are aligned to think anything else.
Someone has sketched landmarks on the back of the papers: a crumbling Tevinter wall standing in a shallow marsh, an island in the middle of a river, something that looks like a Tevinter prison, and a small Tevinter outpost with a terrace on one side and a metal sculpture in the courtyard.
- Main article: Codex entry: Mysterious Book
A page from a charred book:
You offer a sip of water while they provide a feast.
Know they speak of the same wickedness, but place it in you.
I have heard them speak, and I have listened.
I hear the whispers of all.
Let them offer silver while you give gold.
Let them think themselves your betters and know nothing more.
Would you not purge the world of wickedness—of those who speak against you?
Would they not do the same?
If we do not have an agreement, then I shall depart.
When I am through, none shall speak of treachery.
When all have given word, then all shall be appeased.
Written in the margins:
Must remember the words. The right materials on the flame in the right order. Earth, the vine, the phial, then the blood. The blood comes last. No missteps. One wrong move, and the binding will not work. But if it does—oh, my enemies will quake.
To Master Kells:
The new client wants double the red lyrium shipped last time. The contact said it was for someone called Samson. I met him during the last trip. Got a templar feel off him. Although the armor he wears doesn't look Chantry. Still, his coin's good, and he doesn't preach.
- Main article: Codex entry: New Orders
Maddox needs twice the usual red lyrium to modify my armor properly; taking over as the Vessel means it has to be perfect. Have the amount ready in three days, and you and your squad will get a chance to serve as Corypheus's honor guard.
My own proving goes on. When I first donned the armor, I thought I was drowning in fire. Without Corypheus to stop me, I'd have torn my own skin off. Now the armor's settled, I can march for days without rest, break a man like kindling. I'm finally fit to be the Vessel.
Maddox may come to you to work on my armor's modifications. If he gives you instructions about the lyrium, follow them to the letter. Treat Maddox like you'd treat me.
- Main article: Codex entry: Nigel's Point
I absolutely cannot wait to survey and explore Nigel's Point. This was one of the ruins the explorer Ser Nigel visited on his travels through the Frostbacks. So much of what I've learned of this region comes from his notes and sketches. It's appalling to me how little recognition he's received, compared to that Brother Genitivi or even that peddler of pabulum, Philliam, a Bard!
I wonder if I could discover the original purpose of Nigel's Point. Its ancient Tevinter name, of course, has been lost, but I am certain it was built and dedicated to an Old God. I wonder which one. If I could learn this... of course, Harding gives me a severe look every time I suggest I could just stroll over one morning. She insists it's too dangerous. She worries too much.
—From Colette's research journal
Note From the Silent Quarter
- Main article: Codex entry: Note From the Silent Quarter
There are eyes on me when the rest of the camp is asleep, or during the day when the animals rest. The ancient dwarves who inhabited this place could not have known, as they are deaf to the song of the Fade, but the Veil in the Wastes must have been thin even before the Elder One sundered open the sky.
To that end, watch Corix. Your cousin has grown suspiciously quiet since we arrived. He's also been seen leaving the overseer's camp at night. Say nothing, but follow him the next time he wanders, and report to me.
Notes Found in a Mage's Hut
- Main article: Codex entry: Notes Found in a Mage's Hut
An excerpt from a manifesto on mage rights. The page is worn and creased, as though read many times:
Andraste suffered at the hands of magisters. Thus, she feared the influence of magic. But if the Maker blamed magic for the magisters' actions in the Black City, why would He still gift us with it? The oppression of mages stems from the fears of men, not the will of the Maker.
A few personal thoughts are scrawled below:
The fears of men? If they stay away, there will be no fear. This place is remote enough.
Strange to hear no one talking in the other room, to feel no eyes watching me. I miss it sometimes. But if that was not the will of the Maker, then perhaps this is.
Notes on Methods of Enchantment
- Main article: Codex entry: Notes on Methods of Enchantment
The writing on these papers aches to be looked at, shimmering slightly as if under an enchantment. The notes are handwritten, but each letter is as perfectly uniform as from a printing press:
Notes on the first attempt: Improper valences on the bindings woven into the materials led to a catastrophic unraveling. The first batch is lost, but I will have supplies brought in from the same stock to illuminate whether the imperfection is within the materials or the enchantment.
Notes on the second attempt: Elegance eludes me. The aim is to improve the coordination of the body and sharpen the perception of the heart, but grafts do not live long enough to plumb their worth. The current process is ruin. This batch is lost. Begin again.
Notes on the third attempt: Two enchantments whose matrices should have meshed, caught. The combustion caused such damage it broke several previously forged pieces. There is now a resonance between them, however, and light on my thoughts: an enchantment linked in tandem, as the neck turns the head or the wrist twists the hand?
Notes on the fourth attempt: The weave goes smoothly: bound tightly between many items, the stress on the energy produces finer results than a singular enchantment. Using up the last of the stock was well worth it, as I explained to it as a courtesy before final work began. Adjustments to the underlay were a great success, and will allow the recipe to be made with material taken from lesser animals, if the need arises.
Below the letters, possibly in lieu of a signature, is the stamp of a stylized halla head.
Taken together, diagrams and ratios carefully inked at the bottom of the last of these notes could be turned into a schematic that replicates the creation of these artifacts.
Notes on Palace Guests
- Main article: Codex entry: Notes on Palace Guests
A collection of servants' notes on the guests attending the Winter Palace:
Countess D'Avorrie: Wants a stateroom set aside from three to five in the afternoon for her daughters' harp practice. Must have windows on one side and a balcony. If she proposes a recital, refer her to the seneschal.
Duke Pierpone: Wants to entertain Fereldan relatives. A barrel of whiskey and three wheels of cheese to be delivered to his quarters this evening.
Bann Worton: His bed should be made up with linens, not silks.
Ser Litstone: Complains an old wound in her left leg is making itself felt. Move her to the ground floor.
Lady Galetee: A duelist. Has requested a sparring partner and a suitable practice ground.
Lord Gilderay: To be woken at eight by a main on even days, a pageboy on odd days (don't ask) with a fresh pitcher of water and twelve sprigs of lavender on a peach-colored towel (don't ask), carrying these items in silently, without making eye contact with his lordship, placing them on the divan, clapping twice, then leaving without a word. (Do. Not. Ask.)
Notes on the Stars
- Main article: Codex entry: Notes on the Stars
A collection of quickly jotted notes, written in a blocky hand:
- Moon rose a few minutes later today than it did a week ago. I don't think it moves like stars do. Is it because it's closer?
- Wilton pointed out another star in the south quarter of the sky, by one of the Tevinter constellations. Real faint. Boy has good eyes. Have him help me spot next week.
- Notes in book I found not a chart of the air as I thought. Looks like different sky. Stars different in the north than they are here?
The blocky writing of this note looks shaky:
Watching the sky when I heard screams from the old castle. Went to the gate and saw horned figures in the mist. Tell everyone who hasn't got the plague to go. Meet me on the south path. I have a cousin in King's Crossing we can stay with.
- Main article: Codex entry: Official-looking Letter
If the Inquisitor sided with the mages...
To all captains of the red templars:
We're not stopping to deal with these elven fanatics. Press forward, post more guards, and handle the ambushes as they come. Finding the Temple of Mythal is our first and only task. Once I become the Vessel, our Master can finally claim the power waiting for him; no elves, no city, no nation will be a match for a living god.
This is the day we've bled for. The Inquisition and Orlesians are snapping at our heels, and you've sacrificed more than anyone should ask, but if we fall here, the deaths of your brothers and sisters meant nothing. I won't let that happen. I know none of you will, either.
If the Inquisitor sided with the Templars...
The elves we fight are not Dalish. They are far more dangerous. The last of the red templars will form a bulwark against them. Head to the temple of Mythal; do not engage the Inquisition's soldiers. More important work lies ahead.
When our Master stood in the Golden City, He saw an absence requiring the hand of a true god. I will be the Vessel of His ascension, for the sake of our homeland. Remember that when the Elder One rises, so too will rise Tevinter, returned to the glory it squandered so long ago. This is why we are called together under His will; this is what we must seize or lose forever.
Hold yourselves high, Venatori. Today we are the hope of the Imperium; we will kindle a blazing fire in this dark and savage age.
- Main article: Codex entry: Old Journal
An old journal, clearly much beloved:
I weep at what the armies have done. Ditches scar the landscape. There's fire everywhere; all around is the smell of bitter smoke and spilled blood. I remember coming here as a boy. It was late summer and the plains were bright and golden. The earth was warm and felt like home.
All that's gone.
My mother said my father was from these parts. She never told anyone but me that he was an elf. Maybe part of me, the elf-blooded part, feels what the Dalish felt for centuries. This is my home; I would give anything to preserve it.
I'll go now with the others, but when the war is over. I will return. It will be beautiful again.
Orders Posted in the Factory
- Main article: Codex entry: Orders Posted in the Factory
Portions of this are in indecipherable Qunlat, with what might be formulas in an unfamiliar number system. One section has been translated for viddathari workers in the factory, then circled, repeatedly underlined, with arrows drawn around it by someone who was clearly very insistent that it be read:
For primers, combine NO MORE THAN ONE PART Ataashi venom with an equal amount of deathroot auxin and THREE PARTS powdered silverite. Adding more venom WILL DISSOLVE THE CASING ON THE PRIMERS HERE IN THE FACTORY AND FILL THE ROOM WITH DEADLY GAS. Whoever keeps getting the formula wrong needs to see me immediately! We have a great many primers to make on a tight schedule and cannot afford any more delays due to mistakes!
Pages near an Old Campfire
- Main article: Codex entry: Pages near an Old Campfire
An ancient fire has pages from an old book torn next to it, likely used for kindling. The ice has kept a few pages legible:
Haron and Orinna drew the Avvar away, but when Telana and I breached the Tevinter frost-ward and entered the fortress, we found to our chagrin that this is their main base. Their mastery of ice magic allowed them to slip through the ward without melting it. Instead of luring the dragon into a trap of our making, we have had a brutal fight in the home of our foes.
The dragon's power is like none I have ever seen. Possessed by this Avvar god-spirit, it rivals the legendary Archdemon Dumat in its fury. I pray the legends of another Archdemon leading the Blight in the Anderfels are just foolish stories, but if they are true, then I understand why Emperor Drakon asked me to come here. Drakon's new "Orlais" cannot face two god-dragons at once.
Telana was injured in the last battle. She says that she can still fight, but she is limping badly, even after our healing magicks. Once we are warm again, I will send her back to the surface. The spell that will seal away the dragon offers little chance for escape, and in her current state, she cannot hope to outrun the magic. With luck, she will reach Orinna and Haron, and they can get back to civilization and bring reinforcements.
I can feel my fingers again. It is time to go.
Parson's Battered Notebook
- Main article: Codex entry: Parson's Battered Notebook
Beyond Andraste's Mercy, a hundred steps to revelation:
I don't know what it means. Is it allegory? I don't even know where father got this... mess of rambling. He spent his whole life figuring out that it pointed to objects in the Emerald Graves, and now I have to finish the job. This is going to kill me. Why would his dying wish be that I figure it out? What sort of father asks that of a son?
- Here is my soul, trapped in a cage of bone.
- Here is my past, forgotten in the bleak winds.
- Arching above outstretched wings. Even stone can rise.
- But the sky is a cruel mistress, and wants for my life.
- A goblet of my blood, on a table of ashes. Where can eye stand?
- Turn around, face the shadows. Do not blink.
- Halls of whispers carry secrets even the moon does not know.
- Roses and daisies for her love. Where he stands, no one can fall.
- Dragonslayers, four at the northwest, two from the northeast, three from the southeast.
- They begged mercy from the woman crowned with grace and stars.
- Cannons at her head, mountains at her feet; she is the Mother of Faith.
- Beyond Andraste's Mercy, a hundred steps to revelation.
- Cradle the cat on a sling of silk, and say "Never will the dove call more."
- An upward pointing finger, there your heart lies.
- But the spear pierces the eye of the tiger, and the prey is the hunter.
- Blades of glass beneath my feet; I walk the path of the flame.
- Beneath the stones of sacrifice, find the truth.
- On the back of the wind.
- In the palm of fortune.
- At the first breath of sighs.
- Main article: Codex entry: Patient Observations
Vain hope: Someone better at this than me takes over before the survivor expires. Notes in case.
Pulse normal, breathing normal.
Still unresponsive; careful drop-feed of prep. elfroot extract to hasten his/her recovery.
A lot of thrashing. Mutters about too many eyes. Something about "the grey." Encouraging?
Less thrashing. Some response to stimulus. Vitals seem solid.
Two attempts so far by locals to break into the chantry to kill my patient.
All this work to save his/her life, and will they just execute him/her?
Will inform Lady Cassandra I expect him/her to wake before the morn.
Plan of Attack
- Main article: Codex entry: Plan of Attack
This letter is written in both Qunlat and the common tongue:
I have read your reports. Station your people in the abandoned elven towers by the lake. It is a short distance from its entrance to the mirror that connects to Halamshiral. We will need the space to lodge our people after infiltration is complete.
Questions of Accuracy
...that moved against them were halted by the light from her most-assured hands. It was then she took her own counsel, in ways best not set forth here, and led the party away.
Did Ameridan's eyes seek hers among those assembled as he relayed the events which led them there? If she stood among us, I did not know her. Yet his hand moved slightly at his side, as my own does when my wife is near and I seek wordless comfort in the touch of her fingers. We had all heard the whispers.
Did he say her name in the telling? Would he have dared? Times were different, but have they changed so much?
—Excerpt from the writings of Lord Bescond, first put to page in 1:48 Divine
A letter follows:
This is a precise copy. The preceding pages were lost—or removed—ages ago. Bescond makes no further references to this woman, although Ameridan comes up several times later on. Bescond's writings, as they pertain to Inquisitor Ameridan, are not entirely unknown, although you're unlikely to find them among Chantry records. Their validity is largely dismissed. Some have questioned whether the so-called "light" and "counsel" reference magic or holy insight. And of course, Bescond wrote down his impressions many years after the fact. The author's own wife brought accuracy into question when she admitted her husband was recalling his youth in the Orlesian capital through nostalgia and age-distorted memory. I believe her admission is part of official Chantry record.
Best of luck,
- Main article: Codex entry: Razikale's Reach
The fog came on swiftly, cloaking the world in shadow and turning the stones beneath our feet into a treacherous slick. I knew we had to find shelter before we lost even that faint light. We stumbled on, following Ragnarr's broad painted back, and arrived at an ancient Tevinter temple just as the last of daylight left us. Ragnarr instructed us to pitch our shelters beneath the entrance passageway and warned us not to wander too deep into the ruin. His voice was an uneasy whisper, and I knew at once he was afraid. Wary of alarming the rest of our expedition, I took Ragnarr aside and spoke to him. Some of the Avvar, he said, believed the temple to be the haunt of old, vengeful spirits. The Tevinter had come here long ago and built their great temples and then one day, without warning, they had abandoned them all. Ragnarr was convinced they had done something terrible here, though he could not tell me what it was. Whatever the reason, he found the temple deeply disturbing and had brought us to it only out of desperation.
I slept fitfully that night. Once, I opened my eyes to see a pulsating amber light from beyond a second doorway. I blinked and it was gone. In the morning, the fog had lifted, and I wasn't sure if I had really seen the light, or dreamed it.
—From the travel journals of Ser Nigel, explorer and knight
Reports to Calpernia
- Main article: Codex entry: Reports to Calpernia
These papers are dull at first glance: herbal recipes, trade manifests, droning descriptions of local wildlife. Leliana's code breakers deciphered their true purpose: these are messages from Calpernia's spies, hidden behind a cipher:
Managed to slip out another tome, copy the page, and return it before Lord Geresque was any the wiser. Corypheus's vestments definitely match the drawings of ancient Tevinter magisters, my lady. That much of his history seems true. —Veska.
We followed Corypheus and his trusted escort as far as we could, but again the traps defeated us. The shrine cannot be breached, my lady, not without alerting Corypheus. We will try other means. —Serapin.
From she whom you freed: greetings. Corypheus may have seen our faces on the last mission. It might be wise to send a new agent. We have a recruit from Vicinius's stock who could prove useful. —Rhiannon
You were correct, Lady Calpernia; without Samson to lead the templars, Corypheus relies even more on his Venatori. You are well placed. Again: we are not mages, but we stand with you if the moment comes. You are proof of what a slave can become. —Serapin
- Main article: Codex entry: Scandalous Gossip
This unsigned note is creased as if it had been secreted away in someone's pocket:
If Briala was supported during Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts: Marquise Briala has, of course, stayed out of sight, but do not believe for a second that the rabbit is not meddling when none can can see her. The Inquisition gave her that title, but she would not hesitate to wind them so tightly around her, they'll choke.
If Gaspard was supported during Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts:
Gaspard rode out ten days ago to inspect his chevaliers on the border, while "placing full trust in the Exalted Council." Even after all these years, the court hasn't accepted that our emperor's tactics are as simple as they seem. If Ferelden takes the day, he will attempt to deflect the blame without upsetting their alliance. If the Inquisition yields to us, Gaspard will celebrate having an even closer ally to himself.
If he is in the mood, our emperor may cap either outcome with a beheading or two. He has been eyeing a few lords sideways lately.
If Celene survived Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts:
Empress Celene has stayed in Val Royeaux to appease a delegation of Nevarrans, or so her messengers say. It is obvious the empress stays away to dodge the demands that she bring the Inquisition to heel. One would almost think that Celene believes they will find a way out of their bind. So strangely naïve, at her age!
If Celene reconciled with Briala during Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts:
Empress Celene came out for the first ceremonies, then retired into her chambers for the rest of the talks. A day later, Marquise Briala came visiting "on important matters of state." Suffice to say, I do not think we will see them at the Council—Celene and the rabbit cavort like lovers half their age. Of course, the foolish assume our empress is so distracted that they might safely overreach themselves, an idea even more disastrous than the new carpeting in the north wing. (That shade of lime? Really?)
Amazing creatures, dragons. Every one I've encountered has had a unique personality. This one, for example, enjoys being around water. Saw her splashing about. A remarkable sight. I would joined in her revels had Kalev not held me back. Ah, Kalev. A good porter, but timid. I told Kalev and the others: dragons much prefer to eat beasts of the wilds rather than humans.
Unfortunately, I was proven wrong, a day later; the creature turned away from a gurgut to go after poor Kalev. I hope the brave little soul got to see the magnificent dome of her gullet. I'm certain it's like the inside of the Grand Cathedral.
—The observations of Stephan D'Eroin
Scrap of Paper
- Main article: Codex entry: Scrap of Paper
There once was a Sister from Sud
Begging alms, as a chantry girl should.
Though she would take gold
Or clothes for the cold
She looked first for offers of w—
It seems the logger was unable to finish his poem
- Main article: Codex entry: Spiral Mine
We are in agreement that the incident that took place last week in the Spiral Mine was an unfortunate accident. Condolences will be sent to Didot's wife, along with pay owed.
—Official statement, posted by the mine overseer, name illegible
Stronghold of the Apostate Mages
Are you tired of letting the witless fools bind you with their fear? Come to the Witchwood. Follow the signs. We will be free to work our craft, free to become the new gods we have always known we truly are.
—An unsigned letter written in a large and excited hand
Let the fools in Redcliffe play the good mage, as they always do. We know the truth. This world is ours to conquer, and every worthless peasant who threw a stone, every templar who glared in disappointment at our Harrowing, deserves to know it. Follow the trail to the Witchwood and find your brothers.
—An unsigned letter, the scratched handwriting almost too sloppy to read.
They did not want us to dream because they knew we would dream of the truth, of power, of the weakness in the world that will let us break it and forge it anew. We are the chosen ones, we who have the power to enact change in this world and the will to see it through. We have conquered the Circles. We will conquer the templars. Come with us to the Witchwood. None who have the power of the Fade at their hands will be turned away.
—An unsigned letter, the edge of the page partially burned
Suledin Keep Documents
Do we know anything about that Imshael fellow? Where did he come from? Why are we to defer to him? He's not from the Order, so far as I know, and there's something about him that makes me uneasy.
Everyone makes you uneasy. Calm down. What I hear is: Imshael was sent to help oversee red lyrium growth in the quarry. He supports the cause, and that's all that matters.
Keep your nose down, do your job, and don't antagonize him.
Excerpt from the journal of a red templar:
Writing has become difficult. There is a sharp pain in my hands when I move them, like shards of glass in my knuckles. When I look in the mirror, I don't recognize myself. I remember when Lieutenant Erasmus got this way. He looked like a living corpse, his complexion a facsimile of the blush of life. Instead of blood, it was pulsing red lyrium. It killed him and kept him alive at the same time.
I don't want this anymore. It gave me power, but it goes against everything I was taught. Sometimes I am swept along with the fervor, but in quiet, I remember what I was, and what I believed.
Some say Imshael can cure us. He can pull the red lyrium from our bodies, if we ask him. But there's a price. No price would be too high. I just want to be myself again.
From the writings of Knight-Captain Fornier:
We arrived in the Highlands at night. I was immediately given the task of overseeing the acquisition and staffing of the Sahrnia quarry. I asked the general why we needed a quarry, if the crystals will grow anywhere. Apparently the Elder One believes the composition of the earth here will ensure that it grows more rapidly and abundantly. I didn't ask why he believes this. The general doesn't like questions. He probably doesn't know.
Some of my men feel we should take the quarry by force. The general did not specify how I was to secure the land, so I am considering a more subtle approach. Any suspicions we raise will increase the chance of a military investigation, perhaps even the newly formed Inquisition. We must operate in secret as long as possible.
I scouted the quarry yesterday. It is quiet. With the war raging, I expect demand for luxury granite has decreased significantly. A thought occurs to me: so much is gained through commerce. Why not exploit that?
Someone has made notes about the red lyrium in Emprise du Lion: I was in Kirkwall when Meredith died. She drew upon the red lyrium in her sword, and was consumed by it. Yet here we are, taking power from the lyrium and still alive. Fornier says in the early days, many were lost to the madness too quickly. We must use it enough so that it changes us, but not so much that it destroys us. He thinks Imshael is the key. He knows something about red lyrium; with his help, we can keep the corruption at bay longer.
He called himself a gardener. Is that how he sees it? He tends the red lyrium, keeping it well-fed and growing. Not too quickly, not too slowly.
My lord Imshael,
Demon? What a frightful thing to call someone.
No. Leave Michel alone. He made his choice; I look forward to his attempts to follow through... although I suspect he'll trip on his good intentions and fall down a well inside a week.
- Main article: Codex entry: Superstitions
A book of superstitions. Several of the pages have been bookmarked:
How to Prevent Magic Formation in the Earliest Stages
Should mage blood run through your line, no matter how distant the relation, avoid conceiving in winter. While with child, sleep with dried embrium beneath your pillow to ensure good health.
Infants and most small children will show no signs of magic. However, you can purge the body of unwanted elements before they take hold. Place leeches on each of the child's limbs. When done, burn the leeches. Be sure not to inhale the smoke. Afterwards, wrap the child's limbs in cloth blessed by a Chantry sister.
A child showing signs of magic may be submerged in water until the breath is nearly lost. If magic is still weak within them, it will die before the child. Should the trouble persist beyond reason, certain talismans may suppress the child's skill.
Brothers, we must listen to the call of the Maker Himself, who has given us the duty to destroy these mages. By their rebellion, they have forfeited their right to live. They are not people, and any order that asks us to end this just and righteous battle is a lie, a test sent by Him to separate the faithful from the foolish. Join us off the West Road and fight for a worthy cause.
—A letter written in a crisp and educated hand
When the Tevinter Imperium said that mages should rule over man, the Just rebelled against the unrighteous decree. When the Circle said that mages should be allowed to consort with unholy spirits without care or consequence, the Just rebelled against the unrighteous decree. Now the Lord Seeker tells us to withdraw to Val Royeaux. My brothers, I tell you, we are the Just, and we must rebel against this unrighteous decree. Our battle must continue until no mage draws breath. Cast aside these cowardly shackles and join us along the river off the West Road.
—A letter written in a crisp and educated hand
We must be ready to fight not only the mages, but those who sympathize with them. Have not the mages blood magic to trick the minds of the unwary? Are not most people as we know them sheep, ready to be led by those who speak with authority? The people must be protected from the mages. It is our right and our duty. But those who supply them with lyrium? Those who offer them comfort and food? Those who shirk their duty to supply us for our worthy fight? They are sympathizers, who have lain with demons and can breed only abominations, and they must be slain as such. We will wage our war from our camp off the West Road, and we will not stop until this world is clean.
—A letter written in a crisp and educated hand
The Conversion of Hessarian
- Main article: Codex entry: The Conversion of Hessarian
As she was my enemy, I heeded the word of the Betrayer and so sentenced her to die. Thus she was bound upon the pyre so that all might bear witness.
But as the Prophet burned, a silence fell. For though flame licked mortal flesh, she would not cry. The hearts of the people filled with shame, and all were silent with her.
I thought it defiance and, though I marveled at her strength, my heart was yet unmoved.
It was then the Prophet raised her eyes, her visage wreathed with sacred flame. It was then I saw her sorrow and her acceptance. I felt the flame eat mine own flesh. I felt its slow death upon me and knew her suffering.
Through flame I walked and drove the sword into her heart. And so the Prophet was released. The Maker whispered in my ear and knew I had become the instrument of His will.
- Main article: Codex entry: The Death
An elaborate group of veilfire glyphs flicker to life. There is an impression of a great battle in the distant past. A spirit protectively watches over Avvar from Stone-Bear Hold as they corner a rival group of Avvar in a forest. They join in battle, and the spirit turns aside blades to protect the Stone-Bear warriors.
There is the snap of arrows, a lash of magic. The rival Avvar fall, but so does the spirit. The sensations fade.
The Diary of Troilus Hertubise
- Main article: Codex entry: The Diary of Troilus Hertubise
The Great Mission: Day 1
Arrived in the Emerald Graves and located the first instance of the Menace. Set up an observation area close by. This will allow for undisrupted study of the phenomenon.
The Great Mission: Day 2
This particular example of the Menace seems far less active than the one in Lydes. It pulsates at a rate of a mere 427 times per hour. The sound of it here is a nagging drone, as opposed to the frantic whistling of the first one in town. As I recall, Sister Euphorbia described the noise as similar to one heard when "forcing air from a leaky bellows."
The Great Mission: Day 5
Ran out of Sister Euphorbia's honey loaves. Still have cheese, but spent yesterday foraging. Spotted another Menace through the trees by the river. I can only describe it as "stormy." It must be investigated further. For the Mission to succeed, I must learn all I can.
The Great Mission: Day 6
The "stormy" Menace makes noises like a provoked cat at intervals of one hour fifteen minutes. It is surrounded by four swirling wraith-like demons. I have named them Primus, Secundus, Tertius, and Dummy. The first three orbit the Menace like patrolling guards. Dummy follows, but often pauses and heads in a different direction. Very occasionally, he twirls around, like a lost man trying to find his bearings.
The Great Mission: Day 8
Must be careful; a passing deer drew the attention of Dummy. For once, he demonstrated a tremendous purpose. Felt almost proud. That pride was quickly replaced by great distress, observing what followed. Deer should not bend that way.
The Great Mission: Day 10
Another Menace seen farther down the river. It seems in its infancy. No demons. I believe I have enough knowledge of the behavior of the Menaces to attempt to destroy one. I will attempt this with the nascent Menace. Caution is key.
A final, blood-smeared entry, written in a shaky scrawl:
The Great Mission: Final Test
Learned so much since that first day on that ridge. Thought I knew enough to try to interact with a Menace, to touch it. This didn't go well. Instruments did nothing. Didn't affect Menace at all. We are all doomed.
Just going to lie here for a while.
The Eternal Battle: Darkspawn
- Main article: Codex entry: The Eternal Battle: Darkspawn
Unless there's a Blight, surfacers reserve the darkspawn for cautionary religious lessons and bedtime stories. That is a luxury Orzammar cannot afford. Without the Legion of the Dead's continuous efforts, our great thaig would have undoubtedly been lost to the blighters long ago. Still, the question remains: where did these monsters come from? It's a given that the Chantry's beliefs about the darkspawn's origins are nonsense. They were not cast down from a fabled city—they crawled up from the deep recesses of the earth. We know that darkspawn come from broodmothers. Perhaps at the very heart of our world sits a queen—the first mother. Instead of focusing on her children, we should target broodmothers and ensure that future reinforcements will never be born.
Chopping off their heads should do the trick.
Write in one of my books again, and it's your head at risk, Lieutenant.
The Frozen Gate
- Main article: Codex entry: The Frozen Gate
The gate remains frozen, even at the height of summer. A piece of ice chiseled from the whole remained unmelted in a bucket of warm water, even withstanding the heat of burning embers. I have never seen such magic. Our Avvar guide, Ragnar, will tell me nothing about what lies beyond the frozen wall. I have exhausted all possibilities and shall have to accept that I will never pass beyond that gate.
I have retained the piece of ice for my own use. Its properties make it perfect for chilling my cider on hot days. I shall take pleasure in this and try not to fixate on my unsated curiosity.
—From the travel journals of Ser Nigel, explorer and knight
- Main article: Codex entry: The Marker
The sand stretched for miles, broken occasionally by a stony outcrop. The monotony was wearing, and the longer we traveled, the more I feared we would never escape it.
Suddenly, my guide pointed, and I caught sight of two distant pillars. As we rode toward them, a statue of a man became visible. Despite his stern countenance—and the fact that he held the head of some vanquished enemy—I have never seen so welcoming a face.
The oasis itself lies within a canyon. From a distance, one might see only more desert. The rocky hills surrounding it look the same as any other rocky hills. Were it not for the pillars and man, the place would not appear remarkable at all. When I expressed these thoughts to my guide, she laughed and said she could find the spot even without them. I conceded the point, not wishing to insult her skill. Still, I am grateful to the bygone sculptor who placed his statue here.
—Excerpt from the journal of Henri Ducette, Envers Mining Company representative and amateur historian
- Main article: Codex entry: The Mourning
The veilfire ignites a complicated tangle of glyphs. There is an impression of mourning. Avvar from Stone-Bear Hold pray and sacrifice to the spirit destroyed in the last battle. There is the sensation of months passing. The prayers are not forgotten. The vision fades.
- Main article: Codex entry: The Return
As the last group of glyphs light with veilfire, there is a sensation of excitement and anticipation. An Avvar hold celebrates a night festival around an altar piled high with food and drink. The thane begins a song. The hold joins in. The song grows louder and faster. It goes for hours.
As the sun rises, a blazing spirit appears above the altar. It has the name of the spirit that fell in battle. It is both the same spirit and a different one at the same time.
There is a ear-splitting roar of—triumph? Welcome? Something more?—from the gathered Avvar. The vision fades.
The Rotunda and the Fresco
As per your request, I have made a thorough examination of the fresco adorning the rotunda. I first attempted to clarify its intent with Messere Solas. Forgive me, I know he is not titled within the structure of the Inquisition, but the more I learn of his experience, the more awkward I feel not using a formal honorific.
On the mural, all messere would say is, "Skyhold is his/her fortress (meaning of course the Inquisitor). These are his/her actions." He is, of course, correct; the subject of each addition is self-evident.
On the medium and method, it is elven fresco, pigment and plaster, and it is grand. I have rarely been privileged to observe such skill as it is applied. It is considered, with long periods of study before the image emerges, whole cloth and with certainty. It speaks of how I imagine elves view the world, and the measured nature of their step.
I should expect such competence form messere, given his probable years of study. But it is still an amazing work, demonstrating an art with few living practitioners, even among the Dalish.
The Very Private Diary of Sandal Feddic, DO NOT READ!!!!
- Main article: Codex entry: The Very Private Diary of Sandal Feddic, DO NOT READ!!!!
- See also: Sandal Feddic
2 Kingsway, 9:41
19 Harvestmere, 9:41
11 Firstfall, 9:41
15 Haring, 9:41
7 Wintermarch, 9:42
30 Wintermarch, 9:42
5 Guardian, 9:42
21 Drakonis, 9:42
16 Cloudreach, 9:42
Enchantment! Enchantment. Enchantment?
The Weight of War
- Main article: Codex entry: The Weight of War
Sketches of the statue from various angles occupy several pages of the journal:
I have seen the pose before. Often it represents the burdens carried by those who die by the sword. Usually the man—or the head of his enemy—bears some identifying mark, but I can find none here. Perhaps there is some message in their uniformity. No claims to personal glory, only stern acceptance of duty. Given the Approach's association with the Wardens, it is a fitting sentiment.
—Excerpt from the journal of Henri Ducette, Envers Mining Company representative and amateur historian
Torn Notebook in the Deep Roads, Section 1
- Main article: Codex entry: Torn Notebook in the Deep Roads, Section 1
Ebost: You all are
Ebadim: They all are
Ebasaam: We all are
If Fen'Harel truly has agents working against us, then the Dread Wolf must be laughing at me. The Blight takes my clan, so I go to Kirkwall. Kirkwall goes to ruin, so I flee to the Qun. Now the Qunari bring me down into the lightless depths, and for what? Because the nursery rhymes I remember from childhood make me an expert on ancient elves.
These statues are old. Better shape than anything I've seen on the surface. Many of them are for Mythal, though. And Fen'Harel. Not in a spot of honor, but guarding, attending.
Protector and All-Mother, why are you honored here, so far from the light of the sun? And why was the Dread Wolf at your side?
Torn Notebook in the Deep Roads, Section 2
- Main article: Codex entry: Torn Notebook in the Deep Roads, Section 2
Mine is not to question. I have chosen the Qun. The Qun will protect me.
Rethost: You all protect
Rethadim: They all protect
Rethsaam: We all protect
These statues are older than anything I saw in my days with the clan. The area's dwarven, though. What were the ancient elves doing down here? Mining? Where were the dwarves? Easier to have them mine it. Not a trading post. You don't go into a friend's home, knock over their gods, and put up your own.
War? I don't remember any legends about our people fighting the dwarves. Though I remember my Keeper telling a story about how the dwarves fear the sun because of Elgar'nan's fire. A metaphor for the elves of Arlathan driving the dwarves underground? The Qunari like metaphors. I should share that.
Torn Notebook in the Deep Roads, Section 3
- Main article: Codex entry: Torn Notebook in the Deep Roads, Section 3
Ir sa tel'nal,
Mythal las ma theneras.
Ir san'a emma.
Him solas evanuris.
Banal malas elgara.
Written beside each elven line is a corresponding phrase, likely a translation:
I am empty, filled with nothing(?),
Mythal gives you dreams.
It fills you, within you(?),
Making our leaders proud.
My little stones,
Never yours the sun.
Something's wrong. The lights in the walls are fading. Going to find help. It's not safe. Without light...
Itwa-ost: You all fall
Itwa-adim: They all fall
Itwasaam: We all fall
Tracing from Temple Doors
An inscription taken at the temple doors in the Forbidden Oasis, followed by a translation. The writing is shaky and uneven, as though the writer labored to complete the task:
Emma solas him var din'an. Tel garas solasan. Melana en athim las enaste.
Arrogance became our end. Come not to a prideful place. Now let humility grant favor.
- Main article: Codex entry: Unfallen Shack
Many explorers in ancient ruins report finding homes, furniture, or even tools that look a few years old at most. Before the more learned study of spirits and the Fade made available by the Circles, scholars often assumed that such structures must be new contamination of an older site, leading to much misinformation and misunderstanding regarding the movement of various peoples in ancient Tevinter and even earlier.
Our brothers and sisters in the Circle of Magi have given us a more likely answer. In areas where the Veil is thin, spirits engrossed by a particular event may endeavor to preserve the "feeling" of the area by preserving, in their own imperfect way, some or all of the area itself. The hut of a legendary apostate may appear to have been abandoned for a few decades, with crumbling walls and dust, when it is in fact from a previous age or even older. Spirits scratching at the edges of the Veil have scared away the vermin that would have chewed through the beams and the plants whose snaking tendrils would have reclaimed the stones for the forest.
It is the recommendation of the committee that all university-sanctioned historical expeditions include a mage for consultation upon such matters. Only in this way can we avoid the embarrassing missteps of our forebears and bring Orlais the true knowledge it deserves.
Because of the entrance's size, the Wardens feared darkspawn would find a way through despite their efforts. Senior Warden Valeska recommended they build a fort over the collapsed tunnel, so Wardens could always guard it; they did so for centuries.
The Grey Wardens' disappearance means Valeska's Watch is now unguarded. If the seal over the entrance has degraded, darkspawn may infest it. Be wary when entering this area. The blight is a slow death, and one I would save you all from suffering.
Vir Tanadhal: The Way of Three Trees
"Be swift and silent."
—Vir Assan: The Way of the Arrow
"As the sapling bends, so must you."
—Vir Bor'assan: The Way of the Bow
"Receive the gifts of the hunt with mindfulness."
—Vir Adahlen: The Way of the Wood
- Main article: Codex entry: Wager Notes
Notes carried back and forth by runners, covered in different handwriting:
Nonsense, Marcel, Ferelden is here for blood. A day before they either demand it outright or threaten war on us if they don't get it. --L
The Divine will intercede. She must. Victoria and the Inquisition are too closely connected in everyone's eyes for her not to interfere. --A
You have great confidence in the Chantry, Allain? --M
A thousand royals' worth of confidence from each of you if the Divine settles the fate of the Inquisition. --A
Done! A thousand from each of you once the Inquisition accedes sovereignty to Orlais and the Council of Heralds. --M
You two will beggar me. --L
Leonard! Are you out? --M
Don't be ridiculous. A thousand royals on the Fereldans getting their way after all. --L
Have you seen Ambassador Montilyet trying to cool everyone's tempers after the inquisitor ran out of the Exalted Council? --M
The Gall! (Inquisitor's Last Name) has some nerve. --L
Have you noticed the runners at the Divine's quarters? Everyone is demanding the Most Holy address the affront. --A
If anything, the Inquisitor's actions strengthened Ferelden's position. Arl Teagan is fuming. --L
Lord Cyril won't let him push. This is as good as sealed, my friends. --M
We'll see. --A
If so many royals weren't in jeopardy, Leonard, I'd say we should let the chevaliers throw the Inquisition out of the Winter Palace. --M
We're in accord. Their puffed-up soldiers are everywhere. One challenged me at the gate because the fool confused my house's mask with a family not even invited! Why do they think they are in charge if they can't master even basic courtesies? --L
Disgusting. I caught an Inquisition soldier and a palace guard in a fistfight. --A
What happened? --M
I stopped the fight, of course. We don't need this Exalted Council further out of hand. --A
A terrible thought occurs. What if nothing gets decided? What happens to our wager, gentlemen? --L
Maker forbid! If that comes to pass, we can give the royals to that farm your sister runs for retired chargers, Leonard. At least the old warhorses won't be left out in the cold. --M
Warden Ailsa's Diary
I've never had a diary before. The Wardens kept me too busy. But now I'm dying, and there's no one to talk to. I'm alone with the music in my head growing louder. I always wondered how Wardens knew when they heard the Calling. I asked Lyam once after too many drinks. "You'll know," he said. And I did.
At first, it was just a whisper. A creak in the door hinge I could put off oiling. But soon, all I could hear was the music. It was there when I swung my staff and wiped the sweat from my brow. It lingered in Lyam's laughter and stalked my dreams. I can't explain the sound—the song—but I knew. It's a poison that grows in the mind, then consumes the body.
I came here to die. "In death, sacrifice." But I won't go quietly.
I cut through the darkspawn horde, expecting to find only more of them the deeper I traveled. But nothing has matched my expectations. "Deep Roads" brought to mind darkspawn, dwarven ruins, caverns, and death—but there's an entire underground world here. Just today, I came across plants with lyrium-streaked veins. I took a bath in a lake that held crisp, fresh water and cautious animals, large and small, that I'd never seen before. I can't be the first Warden to witness such wonders.
I was distracted by the curiosities yesterday. Was it yesterday? I let my guard down, got comfortable. Easy to do when you know death is inevitable. But then I stumbled across something horrible. I smelled it before I saw it: bodies. Hurlocks, genlocks, creatures I didn't recognize—hundreds of them, mutilated, tortured, and thrown into pits.
I ran. Didn't see the hole. Can't move my legs. They look like they should hurt, but I can't feel it. The music is too loud, the hunger too strong.
I can still crawl. I don't want to die like this.
- Main article: Codex entry: Waterlogged Diary
A diary found in the Fallow Mire. One water-soaked entry, dated 10 days ago, is still legible:
The dammed roof leaks, and I've been eating boiled roots for a week. I'm squatting in a bog no one's so much as spit in for ten years. Still better than the alienage, thank Andraste. That's the last time I visit the city for a while.
I'm worried about the Gardners. They weren't sick when I left, and now they're all down with a fever and their little boy is at death's door. Nigel Marsh said we should lock them in their home, the sour codger. Maybe I can bring back something to help. Is it deathroot that cures a fever, or elfroot? It can't be deathroot. Can it?
Ask Ira which is right.
When It's Quiet
- Main article: Codex entry: When It's Quiet
This will never reach you. None of my letters will. But writing helps me cope with having joined the Legion. For all the death I have already seen, there are wonders down here, and I wish you could see them. When it's quiet, there are still hints of what the Deep Roads used to be. Right now, I'm sitting under the crumbling statue of a Paragon. I asked Ansa if she knew who it was, but the face is cracked. I like to think it's Endrin Stonehammer or Moroc the Maul, though I know you favor Astyth the Grey.
Back home, I never cared about history. Remember old Osteg shouting about Orzammar's former glory? Naming thaigs he'd never visited and people he'd only read about? I laughed at him. But down here, seeing what we've lost... These are more than roads, Iora. They connected our empire, let our culture flourish. The Stone accepted us, and we lived and moved within her. Now we cling to her like someone drowning.
Forgive me. All my letters end the same.
Written Instructions for New Workers
- Main article: Codex entry: Written Instructions for New Workers
While some of this letter is written in Qunlat, most is in the common tongue, the letters blocky and simple but tidy:
The Dragon's Breath must continue regardless of concerns at the Winter Palace. Many are new to the Qun and have not yet learned to trust. Your worry is understandable. The rest of the world has betrayed you.
All who have been to the Darvaarad know the difficulty of maintaining the specimen for extraction for as long as we have. If we delayed Dragon's Breath, we would have to dispose of the specimen. Creating gaatlok is normally a slow process requiring much mining and careful alchemy. Venom extraction offers the only means to deliver the Dragon's Breath quickly and in large quantities. To delay the Dragon's Breath is to lose any chance of bringing peace to the South without needless suffering. The Qun demands we save the workers of the South from a bloody war and deliver them into our teaching before corruption further overtakes the land.
Others have voiced concern over the specimen. The Qun does not demand cruelty to any living being, but all creatures have a place and a duty under the Qun. The specimen serves as it must. When Dragon's Breath is complete, it will be extinguished quickly and painlessly, as when we slaughter animals for food.
Allow your superiors to deal with the agents of Fen'Harel, and remember your role in service to the Qun.