A fool trusts his eyes. A wise man fears every rock is a deepstalker.―Dwarven saying[1]


Deepstalkers, called tezpadam by the dwarves, are small lizardlike creatures found throughout the Deep Roads and underground caverns. They are vicious predators of the dark that carve small tunnels through the stone in search of prey, usually nugs.[1][3][4]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Scaled like a lizard but with the head and frightful maw of a worm, the deepstalker is able to curl up into a ball that will be indistinguishable from the stone around it.[4]

Behavior[edit | edit source]

Deepstalkers hunt in packs, generally by burrowing underground and then striking when their prey is in their midst.[1] Another common way is to camouflage themselves and when the bait is close to launch a surprise attack.[5][6] They run and jump at their victims, attacking with razor claws and lamprey-like mouths full of serrated teeth. If they encounter a group, deepstalkers do not attack unless they have a major numerical advantage, but instead they wait until someone from the group is separated.[6] Although a single deepstalker poses little threat to any experienced explorer, packs can be quite lethal.[3]

Deepstalkers are sometimes domesticated.[7]

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The following characters, lore and events in this section are non-canon in Dragon Age and exist only within the Dragon Age tabletop RPG.

The deepstalker walks and leaps on two powerful hind legs and uses the extended tail to stay balanced. Some of them are capable of spitting either acid or paralytic poison from venom glands.[8]

Tales[edit | edit source]

Many dwarven tales for children involve deepstalkers. They are intended to instruct the young dwarves or simply make them laugh.

How the Deepstalker Came to Be[edit | edit source]

In a time only the Stone remembers, a warrior named Gason won honor and glory for his house. He won a dozen Provings and defended his thaig against a legion of darkspawn. But though he was bold, Gason was also selfish and unkind, with a temper like spitting magma. He would rant and rage, mock and malign, until eventually Gason's friends turned their backs on him, his house crumbled, and he was cast into the Deep Roads.

Cover image of the tale

There in the great darkness, Gason's anger roared up so bright it blinded him. He snatched up his sword and began to attack the carvings honoring noble Paragons that lined the walls. One! Two! With each blow of his sword, he cursed the Paragons and the Stone Herself in a voice that echoed from one end of the Deep Roads to the other.

But the Stone always hears the voices of Her children, for good or for ill. As the carvings fell in ruins at Gason's feet, each chunk of rock uncoiled, becoming a horrid creature with a maw full of teeth. One! Two! Hundreds rose and surrounded Gason in a pack, devouring him bite by bite before scattering into the dark.

The creatures, which we call tezpadam, stalk the Deep Roads to this day. They can curl up like tiny stones, waiting to pounce upon trespassers as they pounced upon Gason so long ago. And that's why you're not to play noisy games near the entrance to the Deep Roads. They just might gobble you up too.

—A common tale said to be originally told by Paragon Ebryan[9]

Veata Tezpadam![edit | edit source]

Veata tezpadam translates to "Stop, deepstalker!" in the common tongue.

Mindless he wanders, all unwary,
Where small dwarven should not tarry.
Veata tezpadam!
Your eyes are shining, bright and merry.

The quarters' light distant and dim,
Here in the cave he's wandered in.
Veata tezpadam!
How quick you are on silent limb.

Small hands collide with cavern wall.
Upon the ground, a missing ball.
Veata tezpadam!
Your brothers hear the high-pitched call.

He turns to see they've circled round,
All grinning at his winning sound.
Veata tezpadam!
What becomes of who you found?

Within the quarter, heard no more
Are songs behind the nursery door.
Veata tezpadam!
Asleep upon the cavern floor.

—A dwarven nursery rhyme, this poem is performed in singsong style for dwarven toddlers[10]

Types[edit | edit source]

Stalkers come in several types. Spitters have venom glands and can spit secretions that slow or injure their prey. Jumpers hurl themselves at their targets, knocking them down and making the kill easier. The most common variety scares and distracts its prey, allowing the rest of the pack to close in.[1][4]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Dragon Age: Origins[edit | edit source]

Overwhelm Overwhelm
Scare Scare
Acid Spit Acid Spit
Slowing Spit Slowing Spit

Dragon Age: Inquisition[edit | edit source]

  • Cold Vulnerability
  • Electricity Vulnerability

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Codex entry: Deepstalker (Origins) Codex entry: Deepstalker (Origins)
Codex entry: Deepstalker Codex entry: Deepstalker
Tezpadam's Bane Tezpadam's Bane

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Codex entry: Deepstalker (Origins)
  2. Encountered but not fought in the Deep Roads Grotto.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Codex entry: Deepstalker
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 163, 177, 182
  5. Dragon Age: Origins: Prima Official Game Guide, p. 146
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dragon Age: The Calling, pp. 230-231
  7. Tame deepstalkers may be encountered in Carta Hideout.
  8. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Game Master's Guide, set 2, p. 24
  9. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 209
  10. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 211
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