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Codex text

Thedas is bounded to the east by the Amaranthine Ocean, to the west by Tirashan Forest and the Hunterhorn Mountains, to the south by the snowy wastes that lie beyond the Orkney Mountains,[note] and to the north by Donark Forest.

The word "Thedas" is Tevinter in origin, originally used to refer to lands that bordered the Imperium. As the Imperium lost its stranglehold on conquered nations, more and more lands became Thedas, until finally people applied the name to the entire continent.

The northern part of Thedas is divided amongst the Anderfels, the Tevinter Imperium, Antiva, and Rivain, with the islands held by the Qunari just off the coast. Central Thedas consists of the Free Marches, Nevarra, and Orlais, with Ferelden to the south.

What lies beyond the snowy wastes is a mystery. The freezing temperatures and barren land have kept even the most intrepid cartographers at bay. Similarly, the western reaches of the Anderfels have never been fully explored, even by the Anders themselves. We do not know if the dry steppes are shadowed by mountains, or if they extend all the way to a nameless sea.

There must be other lands, continents or islands, perhaps across the Amaranthine or north of Par Vollen, for the Qunari arrived in Thedas from somewhere, but beyond that deduction, we know nothing.

—From In Pursuit of Knowledge: The Travels of a Chantry Scholar, by Brother Genitivi


  • The Orkney Mountains are not marked on any of the official maps. Traveler's Guide section of the Dragon Age: Origins: Prima Official Game Guide, Ultimate Edition provides the following description: "The Orkney Mountains, a rugged chain of mountains that stretches from the icy wastelands of the southeast deep into the continent's center, dominate the southern lands of Thedas." They are distinguished from the southern range of the Frostback Mountains, which are described in the following way "A smaller mountain chain called the Frostback Mountains juts between Ferelden and Orlais and holds the dwarven city of Orzammar (thought to be the last until the rediscovery of Kal-Sharok)." The status of the Orkney Mountains (including their supposed existence and location) remains unclear, as they were not mentioned in any other Dragon Age media.
  • Strangely, the version of this codex entry that appears in the aforementioned Prima Guide doesn't reference the Orkney Mountains, instead describing "the south by the snowy wastes that lie beyond the Korcari Wilds". This matches other sources that delineate geography of Thedas (such as Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 131), since the "snowy wastes" known as the Sunless Lands are said to be located south of the Korcari Wilds.