—From Codex entry: Fen'Harel: The Dread Wolf
Fen'Harel, the elven god of betrayal (or god of rebellion ) is also known as the Dread Wolf, He Who Hunts Alone, Lord of Tricksters, The Great Wolf, Roamer of the Beyond, the old wolf, and Bringer of Nightmares. He was known as kin to both the Creators and the Forgotten Ones. His supposed betrayal of both clans of gods by sealing them away in their respective realms, never again to interact with the mortal world, is sometimes used to explain why the elven gods—particularly the benevolent Creators—did not intervene to prevent the fall of Arlathan. Indeed, Fen'Harel has allegedly never been fond of the elven people and is said to have spent centuries in a far corner of the earth after his great deception, hugging himself and giggling madly in glee.
- 1 The Betrayal
- 2 Relationship with mortals
- 3 Fables of the Dread Wolf
- 4 Codex entries
- 5 Note texts
- 6 Trivia
- 7 See also
- 8 References
The Betrayal[edit | edit source]
The deceit of Fen'Harel itself—known as the Great Betrayal—is sometimes described as a truce suggested by the Dread Wolf, and other times as a hunt by the Creators and Forgotten Ones in the Heavens and the Abyss, respectively, for a blade Fen'Harel promised would stop a war. It may even have been a bid by Fen'Harel to rule the Fade—or even Elvhenan itself—without the interference of the other elven gods.
Some evidence suggests the Betrayal was a much more complicated situation than originally believed. Cryptic conversations between Cole and Solas do not deny that Fen'Harel sealed away the other gods. However, they seem to imply that the Dread Wolf may have felt he had no choice in doing so, that in fact it was a decision made with great regret in order to save them and the elven people from internal war and civil strife, and that he expected the future to be better for the elves and was shocked to find it otherwise.Abelas also indicates that Mythal was murdered, not sealed away, and that the Dread Wolf was not responsible for what happened to her.
Relationship with mortals[edit | edit source]
Dalish elves generally consider Fen'Harel an evil god. In the past, however, it is said that the Dread Wolf was called upon by elves for aid and advice in various matters, but always with a price. In spite of this, offerings of thanks were often given for Fen'Harel's help as he did follow through on promises of aid, if in an unorthodox manner. Since the fall of Arlathan, however, this practice has understandably fallen out of favor as a rule. In the modern day, statues of Fen'Harel are set facing away from any Dalish camp, as a reminder that the Dalish must always be wary, or else to protect against evil spirits. Furthermore, Keepers wear rings of sylvanwood depicting Fen'Harel's betrayal of the elven gods as a reminder of their duty to protect their clan from him.
Despite this wariness, Fen'Harel is reputed by the Dalish to continue to interact with elves in their dreams, sporting with them or dispensing dark knowledge at his whim. He is also said to gleefully patrol the Fade, feasting on the souls of the dead.
In spite of Fen’Harel’s reputation, however, he has been known to be invoked by Dalish elves to express dismay at unexpected events ("By the Dread Wolf!"), to demand the annihilation of an enemy (“Dread Wolf take you!”), when all seems lost, and as a wary farewell (“May the Dread Wolf never hear your steps”). Furthermore, some Dalish elves still erect shrines to him and make offerings; perhaps as a form of appeasement, but still a sign that the fearful wariness in which the Dread Wolf is held by modern-day elves is not absolute.
Dalish elves do still honor Fen'Harel in their own way; it is simply not the same as how the other gods are worshipped. Dalish elves do not bring statues of him with them as they might do with those of the Creators, as his always remain outside elven camps and nevertheless remain a way to honor him no matter where they are. Therefore, Fen'Harel's statues remain common in the Dales at large in any place outside of a Dalish settlement, explaining their comparative ubiquity.
Fen'Harel is mentioned as well in the uncommon text The Emergent Compendium.
Dragon Age: Inquisition[edit | edit source]
In the aftermath of the Breach, it is revealed during a conversation between Solas and Flemeth that the Orb of Destruction Corypheus had been using was given to him by Solas, who is known to Flemeth as "Dread Wolf". Solas claims that he had given the orb to Corypheus seeking to unlock its true power—something he could not accomplish on his own, as he was too weak after awakening from his long slumber. Solas seems remorseful for his actions, recognizing that he deserves punishment. He claims, however, that while "[he] should pay the price," he cannot face this punishment yet, as the People still need him. He apologizes to Flemeth, which she answers with an embrace and an apology of her own. Following this exchange, Solas seems to affect Flemeth in some way and strands of light emerge from her body. She then collapses in his arms, petrified and devoid of color. When Solas raises his head, his eyes glow with the same light that had emanated from Flemeth.Flemeth/Mythal intended to sacrifice her power to him, knowing Solas/Fen'Harel's drive to restore the elven people, so long as she can pass her god-hood to Morrigan.
Trespasser[edit | edit source]
Notes the Inquisitor finds reveal Fen'Harel led a rebellion against the other elven gods known as the Evanuris. His original name, however, was Solas. Though meant to be an insult, Solas took the name "Dread Wolf" as a badge of pride, as it inspired hope in his friends and fear in his enemies as he fought against the false gods of the pantheon - in reality, mortal mages - called the Evanuris.
In their lust for more power, the other Evanuris murdered Mythal, whom Fen'Harel saw as the best of "the first of [his] people," a voice of reason and one of the only decent beings among the elven pantheon. As punishment, Fen'Harel was driven to create the Veil, banishing the Evanuris forever in torment and causing the legend of his supposed betrayal. Furthermore, Solas claims that had he not banished the Evanuris, they were sure to destroy the world.
During the height of the Evanuris' power, Fen'Harel fought as a powerful protector and rebel who worked to free slaves bound by vallaslin and granted them sanctuary from their tyrannical masters. His people defended the valley in which the sanctuary sat, and he protected them all. Many the Dread Wolf freed joined him in his fight for freedom from the gods.
In contemporary times, Solas' unswerving dedication to restore the elves' glory has amassed him many followers among the elven populace across Thedas. None can guess how vast the agents of Fen'Harel are, but many of them span across Thedas and some were even embedded in the Inquisition. Fen'Harel hopes to restore the People and the world to what it was—the world of the ancient elves—even if it means destroying Thedas and its people, including modern day elves. This had in fact been his initial plan: to use the Orb of Fen'Harel, as well as the Inquisitor's mark (which would not kill him), to remove the Veil and restore the People after Corypheus died unlocking its power.
Fen'Harel has vowed to walk the solitary path of the Din'Anshiral in order to restore the elven people at any cost. Following the Exalted Council's final events, it is revealed that some elves have begun to leave the Inquisition, and others from their roles as servants throughout the land, seemingly to join the Rebel God's cause.Prior to this fateful decision, Fen'Harel had made use of his agent, Felassan, to take control of the eluvian network in order to further his plans to restore the People. When Felassan betrayed him to aid Briala, the Dread Wolf killed his old friend and personally wrested control of the mirrors from her, as well as the Dragon's Breath conspiracy.
Dragon Age: Deception[edit | edit source]
During the events of Dragon Age: Deception #3, an elven servant named Gaius is revealed to be impersonating a Magister in Ventus while reporting to Solas. A Red lyrium "weapon" from was traded for information by Gaius's order. According to writer Nunzio De Filippis this was not something Solas would have approved of.Gaius is slain by invading Qunari.
Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights[edit | edit source]
So-called Fen'Harel cultists have been causing mayhem in their zeal to restore Elvhenan, while several factions, including the remnants of the Inquisition and the Qunari led by Rasaan, are actively looking for ways to stop him.
A demon of Regret manifests from the fresco that Solas painted for the Inquisitor. The demon is three-armed and multi-eyed and looks like a wolf that has absorbed a dragon. It claims to be an echo that has breached the Fade, the regret of a god, drawn by a very ancient regret. As Sutherland and Company destroy it, Regret shows a glimpse that it might have become Contemplation, or Introspection instead, if it had been allowed a particular thought: "There might have been a better a choice."
Genitivi Dies in the End
Rasaan, in search of Fen'Harel's true name, says that Solas is the name of a self-styled martyr, and that Fen'Harel is a name given by his enemies that has been incorrectly translated into "Dread Wolf".
The Dread Wolf Take You
A Mortalitasi mage recounts her encounter with the Dread Wolf in the Fade. She describes him as a six-eyed lupine beast the size of a High dragon, carried on wings of flame that resolved into a horde of spirits. He accuses her of misusing his idol and threatening all of creation and warns that her life will be forfeit if she binds any more spirits.
Fables of the Dread Wolf[edit | edit source]
The Courser and the Wolf[edit | edit source]
- "You know what the Dalish say to their dogs? “Take the Dread Wolf by the ear if he comes.""
- "Long ago, a clan lived on the Silent Plains. It was a terrible, lonely place where the sun was forbidden to shine. Their Keeper had a coursing hound. They had run down deer and hares and wolves together when they were young. But they had grown old together, Keeper and hound, and now only dozed before the campfire, dreaming of hunts."
- "But then the Dread Wolf came, for the Keeper was wise and kind—the things Fen’Harel hates above all else. At night, he tried to steal into the Keeper’s dreams, to twist his mind and turn him against the People. But even in dreams, the courser guarded his master. He caught the Dread Wolf’s scent and gave chase across the Fade."
- "Fen’Harel tried to shake his pursuer, but the hound ran as coursers can only run in their dreams. Even the wind couldn’t have fled that hound. He ran the Dread Wolf down and grabbed him by the tail! Fen’Harel howled, so loud that the Veil shook and even the stars scattered in fear. But the hound wouldn’t let go."
- "Neither hound nor Wolf gave in. Finally, Fen’Harel bit off his own tail to escape, and away he fled. Ever since, the Dread Wolf thinks twice about playing his tricks when dogs are on guard."
The Slow Arrow[edit | edit source]
- The god Fen'Harel was asked by a village to kill a great beast. He came to the beast at dawn, and saw its strength, and knew it would slay him if he fought it. So instead, he shot an arrow up into the sky. The villagers asked Fen'Harel how he would save them, and he said to them, 'When did I say that I would save you?' And he left, and the great beast came into the village that night and killed the warriors, and the women, and the elders. It came to the children and opened its great maw, but then the arrow that Fen'Harel had loosed fell from the sky into the great beast's mouth, and killed it. The children of the village wept for their parents and elders, but still they made an offering to Fen'Harel of thanks, for he had done what the villagers had asked. He had killed the beast, with his cunning, and a slow arrow that the beast never noticed.
The Noble and the Dread Wolf[edit | edit source]
- Felassan: "There was a young noble in fair Arlathan, and it happened that the elven king lost one of his two daughters to a serpent's bite. At the ceremony to commemorate her life, the young noble saw an elven lady so fair and perfect that his heart broke—but by the laws of ancient Arlathan, he was forbidden to speak with her during the ceremony, and he did not learn who she was, so he could not ask her family to court her. The young noble prayed to the gods that he might meet the elven lady again. He prayed to Mythal for love, and Dirthamen for the secret of the elven lady's name, and to Andruil for luck in the hunt for this woman. And finally, he made an offering to Fen'Harel...and the Dread Wolf was the only one who answered. In a dream that night, he told the noble what he needed to do to see his heart's love again. Do you know what he said?"
Fen'Harel and the Tree[edit | edit source]
- "In the story, Fen'Harel was captured by the hunting goddess, Andruil. He had angered her by hunting the halla without her blessing, and she tied him to a tree and declared that he would have to serve in her bed for a year and a day to pay her back. But as she made camp that night, the dark god Anaris found them, and Anaris swore that he would kill Fen'Harel for crimes against the Forgotten Ones. Andruil and Anaris decided that they would duel for the right to claim Fen'Harel.
- He called out to Anaris during the fight and told him of a flaw in Andruil's armor just above the hip, and Anaris stabbed Andruil in the side, and she fell. Then Fen'Harel told Anaris that he owed the Dread Wolf for the victory and ought to get his freedom. Anaris was so affronted by Fen'Harel's audacity that he turned and shouted insults at the prisoner, and so he did not see Andruil, injured but alive, rise behind him and attack with her great bow. Anaris fell with a golden arrow in his back, badly injured, and while both gods slumbered to heal their wounds, Fen'Harel chewed through his ropes and escaped."
- —Felassan, to Briala
The Betrayal[edit | edit source]
- The carvings tell the story of the Betrayal. The Dread Wolf tricking all the gods away from the world. Long ago, there were two clans of gods. The Creators looked after the People. The Forgotten Ones preyed upon us. And one god who was neither. Fen'Harel, the Dread Wolf. He was kin to the Creators, and in the old days, often helped them in their endless war against the Forgotten Ones. We barely even remember all their names, let alone who struck the first blow, who was wrong...
- Fen'Harel was clever. He could walk among both clans of gods without fear, and both believed he was one of them. He went to each side, and told them the other had forged a terrible weapon, a blade that would end the war. He told the Creators it was forged in the heavens, and the Forgotten Ones, that it was hidden in the abyss. And when the gods went seeking it, he sealed them both in their realms forever. Now he alone is left in the world.
Where Willows Wail (Roughly Translated)[edit | edit source]
We/it lost eternity or the ruined tree of the People,
Time won’t help when the land of dreams is no longer our journey.
We try to lead despite the eventual failing of our markings.
To the inevitable and troubling freedom we are committed.
When we could no longer believe, we lost glory to war.
When the Wolf failed/won, we lost the People to war.
Codex entries[edit | edit source]
- Codex entry: Fen'Harel: The Dread Wolf
- Codex entry: The Rebel God
- Codex entry: Constellation: Fenrir
Note texts[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Michel is told that Clan Virnehn sometimes practiced a savage game with human prisoners called "Fen'Harel's Teeth", wherein a prisoner's clothes are taken and their hands lashed together. The prisoner is given hard leather leggings with small nails driven into them to cause pain, and given a hundred-count head start before the clan gives chase. This is in contradiction to the Dalish first verse of the Vir Assan, the Way of the Arrow, that governs the rule: "Strike true; do not waiver. And let not your prey suffer."  The contradiction may exist because the story about "Fen'Harel's Teeth" was only intended to intimidate Michel.
- The Emprise Du Lion region is a part of the Dales, and so retains a few elven artifacts, including two statues of wolves, to which passing Dalish clans make offerings of flowers.
- Though his current persona of Solas is a mage, the tale of "The Slow Arrow" appears to portray the Dread Wolf as an archer. Ancient elven folktales also tell, provocatively, of a trickster warrior leading a rebellion against tyrants.
- Mythal and The Wolf were close friends and had greetings among their agents to recognize each other.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]