The Fifth Blight occurred in 9:30 Dragon, in the nation of Ferelden. The Blight's origins began with the awakening of Urthemiel during a botched experiment by the Architect to make it into a disciple. The darkspawn rabble organized into an army under the Archdemon's banner and attempted to destroy an already-weakened and fractured Ferelden.

Hostilities began in southern Ferelden at the edge of the Korcari Wilds. The first major engagements of the war was at Ostagar where the king of Ferelden, Cailan Theirin, had assembled an army to fight organized forces of darkspawn. It was not known at this time whether an Archdemon was really at the heart of the hostilities, and the real threat was dismissed.

The Battle of Ostagar proved to be a turning point in the war, when the king, the Grey Wardens and the army were betrayed and left to die by Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir during a major assault on the fortress. Loghain fled the battlefield, usurped the throne, refused entry at the border for the Orlesian Warden reinforcements and sparked the Fereldan Civil War.

Ferelden would have been at the mercy of the darkspawn advance were it not for the survival of two Fereldan Grey Wardens and the infiltration of an Orlesian Grey Warden. The Fereldan Grey Wardens were able to evade assassination attempts and assemble a coalition of dwarves, elves, golems, humans and werewolves despite their own civil problems to sufficiently combat the Archdemon's forces. Additionally, the Grey Wardens supported the Fereldan royalists who eventually removed Loghain from power through diplomatic rather than military means.

The Blight culminated at the Battle of Denerim, where the Archdemon was slain at Fort Drakon. This Blight had been stopped before it had even begun to take on full momentum, which is in contrast to other Blights that have normally lasted for decades.


Awakening Urthemiel

The Architect, an intelligent darkspawn, found the Old God, Urthemiel, and attempted to convert it into a disciple. The experiment went wrong and Urthemiel was tainted and transformed into an Archdemon. With an Archdemon to lead and rally them, the darkspawn began massing into a substantial military force.

The land of southern Ferelden soon became the focal point of the darkspawn's surface invasion; the horde emerged from the Deep Roads within the forests of the Korcari Wilds. It is unclear whether it was a coincidence or a show of tactical skill by Urthemiel, but Ferelden was a convenient target for a number of reasons. The nation had recently driven the occupying Orlesians from its borders and its political structure was fractured at best, making united opposition unlikely. Most importantly, however, Grey Wardens had only recently been permitted to re-enter Ferelden and numbered in merely a few dozen.

Grey Warden involvement

Grey Wardens have long been entrusted with the task of slaying Archdemons during Blights. However, in Ferelden, their numbers were less than two dozen. With dwindling numbers of Grey Wardens, the Warden-Commander, Duncan, undertakes a search for new recruits. Prior to the first major engagements at Ostagar, Grey Warden candidates were searched for in Denerim, Highever, Orzammar, the Circle of Magi and the Brecilian forest. The small number of Grey Wardens available is in contrast with the 200 or so Grey Wardens that Orlais sent to reinforce Ferelden with. These Orlesian Grey Wardens, however, would not make it into Ferelden to assist the war effort due to the start of the Fereldan Civil War.


Main article: The Grey Wardens' Cache

Prior to the Battle of Ostagar, the Grey Warden Joining candidates including The Warden, led by Alistair, were tasked with retrieving ancient treaties from the Korcari Wilds as part of their initiation. Alistair and the Warden kept the ancient treaties despite the disastrous battle at Ostagar and acted independently to deliver them. The Grey Wardens have long-standing treaties with the Dalish elves, the Circle mages and the Orzammar dwarves compelling them to aid the Grey Wardens during a Blight.

Orzammar royal succession

Main article: A Paragon of Her Kind

Orzammar's assistance with the Blight was not automatically granted with the treaty. In 9:30, the dwarven city was fractured with the death of King Endrin Aeducan. There was a power struggle in Orzammar following this event, due to which Orzammar could not guarantee assistance for the Blight. Two serious contenders emerged during the political infighting: Lord Harrowmont and Bhelen Aeducan. However, the decision on who would accede to the throne would lie with the Paragons.

Dalish elf-Werewolf conflict

Main article: Nature of the Beast

The Dalish elf clan led by Keeper Zathrian in the Brecilian forest was one of the only clans encountered by the Grey Wardens during the Fifth Blight. The Dalish were unable to guarantee assistance for the Blight because clan members were afflicted with lycanthropy and were under attack from werewolves. Further Grey Warden investigation led to the discovery of the Lady of the Forest, the leader of the werewolves, and of the curse's origins with Zathrian.

A revolt on the Circle Tower

Main article: Broken Circle

A chaotic situation occurred at the Circle of Magi shortly after the Battle of Ostagar, thereby precluding the assistance of the mages against the Blight. Uldred, one of the senior mages present at the Battle of Ostagar, had somehow survived the battle and managed to return to the Circle. He initially attempted to persuade the Circle to support Loghain, but when Wynne, another senior enchanter who also survived the battle, revealed Loghain's treachery, the Circle withdrew support. Uldred then attempted to stage a coup and became possessed by a pride demon. The Circle Tower was subsequently overrun by abominations and demons, which the Grey Wardens had to deal with before either the templars or mages could offer their assistance in the upcoming war.

Conflicts of the Fifth Blight

Battle of Ostagar

Main article: Battle of Ostagar

The army of Ferelden assembled at Ostagar under the command of King Cailan in an attempt to stem the Blight before it truly took momentum. A plan was made in which the King's army would draw the darkspawn horde in a skirmish and at a pre-arranged signal, Teyrn Loghain would flank the horde. When the moment arrived for the plan to be put in motion, several things went awry. Most notable of these was the Teyrn's retreat from the battlefield along with his contingent of troops that resulted in the destruction of the king's army including the king himself. With the exception of two Grey Wardens, all of Ferelden's Grey Wardens including the Commander of the Grey, Duncan, were also slain at the Battle of Ostagar.

Fereldan Civil War

Main article: Fereldan Civil War

Despite the looming Blight, Teyrn Loghain usurps the throne and announces himself Regent after King Cailan's death at Ostagar. This causes an upheaval in Ferelden that sparked the Fereldan Civil War. As part of his propaganda, Loghain blames the Grey Wardens for the king's defeat at Ostagar and branded them as outlaws. He then hires an Antivan Crows assassin to kill the last two remaining Wardens in Ferelden. Meanwhile, his closest ally, Arl Rendon Howe, usurps the Arling of Denerim, after having previously usurped the Teyrnir of Highever, and begins practices of torture and imprisonment on subversive nobles and other intrigues during Loghain's brief reign. The war was resolved with Arl Eamon, the Teyrn's most major political opponent, calling for a Landsmeet and consequently reuniting Ferelden under the crown.

Battle of Redcliffe

The Grey Warden allies gathered at Redcliffe before marching to Denerim. However, Redcliffe village was under attack from the darkspawn just before the march to Denerim. Several ogres and emissaries along with numerous darkspawn troops overran the entire village until the Warden arrived to confront them. After a brief siege at the fortress's gates, the attacking force was pushed back. However, the attack on Redcliffe was actually a strategic feint, and that the bulk of the horde was marching on Denerim, with the Archdemon finally revealing itself at the head of the horde. After the Warden annihilated the enemy, the Fereldan army set off to meet the Archdemon's main force advancing on Denerim.

Battle of Denerim

Main article: Battle of Denerim (conflict)

The darkspawn horde, led by the Archdemon, marched onwards to Denerim and attacked before the reinforcements from Redcliffe could reach them. Oghren estimated the darkspawn horde was 3 times bigger than army of Grey Wardens' allies. The city gates, the elven alienage and the market district saw the fiercest fighting until the hurlock commanders were slain by the Warden. Fort Drakon was captured by the darkspawn, and was reinforced following the downing of the Archdemon, who had been forced by its injuries to land on top of the fortress. A small team led by the Warden secured the fortress and the injured Archdemon was soon defeated.


See also: Epilogue (Origins) and Darkspawn Civil War

With the death of the Archdemon, the darkspawn horde fell back to the Deep Roads where they plagued the dwarven kingdoms once more, but would leave the surface world alone for some time. They would later emerge again under the command of two new intelligent darkspawn, the Mother and the Architect, who were engaged in a civil war over ideology.

The Grey Wardens began the process of rebuilding their numbers in Ferelden with the assistance of Orlais. They were granted Vigil's Keep and the surrounding lands of Amaranthine for this purpose.

During the Blight, many Fereldans fled north to the Free Marches, where many would stay for years to come.

Notable veterans

See also

Storyline for Dragon Age: Origins

Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: A Study of the Fifth Blight, Vol. One
Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: A Study of the Fifth Blight, Vol. Two

Template:Darkspawn lore

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