See also: Stone Halls of the Dwarves

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The criteria the dwarves use to name a Paragon never cease to fascinate me. While a relatively rare distinction, it seems almost any achievement of significance warrants the title. Some Paragons are the victors of great battles. Others write books or songs. The only common thread is an act that betters or sustains the dwarven way of life in some notable fashion.

Aeducan is among the oldest and perhaps most famous Paragons. Not to be confused with his descendent, King Endrin Aeducan, this prior Aeducan was a humble member of the Warrior Caste whose brave leadership during the First Blight saved Orzammar. When other thaigs were lost, Aeducan claimed defeated—but his service made him a hero. History now remembers Aeducan as the quintessential Paragon.

Other Paragons have been more controversial. Caridin, a master smith, created the powerful golems who helped the dwarves immeasurably in their battle with the darkspawn. Caridin then disappeared amid much speculation, taking the secret of his craft with him.

There is also Astyth the Grey, a Paragon of the Warrior Caste. She was famous for her skills in unarmed combat and cut out her own tongue to focus on the art without distraction. An order of female dwarven warriors known as the Silent Sisters persists; they remove their tongues in her honor.

But these are the most well known of the dwarven Paragons. Others have earned the rank over the ages for far less noble pursuits. I've found references to Paragons who made their names writing particularly good rhymes or brewing stronger ales.

Then there's the Paragon named Varen, who separated from his legion and lost his way in the Deep Roads. Varen nearly starved to death before breaking down and eating a nug, believing at the time as appetizing to dwarves as a rat. Devouring the creature not only saved his life but opened his palate to a new world of flavor. When they finally found him, Varen was fatter than ever and raving about the miraculous subtleties of nug flesh. The creatures are now considered a dwarven delicacy.

—From Stone Halls of the Dwarves by Brother Genitivi, Chantry scholar

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