Forums: Index > Lore DiscussionRaces in the Eluvian - Qunari origins hinted?
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So, I know most of us are all busy with life or playing Inquisition, but I have a question for those of you who are willing to answer.

I played as a Qunari. When I went through the eluvian and into the crossroads everything seemed fine and dandy. I've seen this video on youtube of an elf going through. And it was the exact same experience for me, I think. My head filled up on theories by the time I finished the game and I've forgotten how that scene played out for me exactly.

Anyway, after that, I saw a video of a human going through. And by george that was interesting. That was very different to the elf one. And now its got me super curious as to what happens with dwarves. Does anyone have any videos of a qunari or a dwarf going through, or would you mind sharing your experience.

Now the reason I ask is because, if we combine the possibility that a qunari has the same effect in the crossroads as an elf, then we can assume the races share a similar heritage. Add on to this what Iron Bull says after you slay your first dragon. And then what the big bad says to a qunari inquisitor during the final battle....

We may well have a plausible origin for the qunari. Or Kossith. Whatever you wish to refer to the race by. If not, then I'm back to being stumped.

Oh, and I have absolutely no idea whether qunari origins have been confirmed or this topic has been discussed elsewhere at all. I've kinda been glued to inquisition for the past few weeks. DeakialSig1.png 21:49, December 4, 2014 (UTC)

I do not think that this has been discussed elsewhere and I do not know how different the races are (I have compared different youtube videos) inside the eluvian but to analyse your theory.

  • Outward traits: the qunari have pointy ears, like the elves but otherwise look quite different.
  • Geography: While the elves are the natives of Thedas the qunari come from... elsewere. It is possible that they are distantly related though.
  • Corypheous' statement "your race isn't a race, it is a mistake" did make me think too but I do not know the credibility of it, by the time the qunari arrive Corypheous has already... well... taken a nap. It is possible though that he had access to very ancient records from the time before humans arrived in Thedas (both the qunari and humans come from the north so it is plausible that they come from the same continent), but I would consider it improbable because of the lack of written record that seems to come from that time.

Caspoi (talk) 22:34, December 4, 2014 (UTC)

Qunari are said to come from elsewhere, but this is a little "sketchy", since all records before Koslun are a but rare. It is also possible that the original qunari race were exiled to elsewhere. Then came back. And Corypheus had access to those records, or heard that story.
Anyway, my idea is pretty much this. Elves and Qunari share the same lineage. They have the same genetics if you want to think of it like that. But, like in X-men, Qunari carry a mutant gene which makes them distinctly different from elves. This is caused by dragon blood. Be it Tevinter, or ancient Arlathan, or something else, a civilization who enslaved elves force fed them dragons blood. Doing this, made them better slaves, or so they thought. These slaves discovered their newfound reaver abilities and rebelled. The rebellion was quashed easily. The "infected" slaves were few in number, but the extent to which they bred was unclear. So they exiled all the slaves. Or killed them all and a handful escaped and fled.
Generations pass and these elves grow in size. They become physically stronger, taller, and less like the regular elves. More generations pass, and the horns begin to sprout. Then, they sail south and rediscover their homeland, unknowingly. Thus the qunari we know today are born. This is mostly inspired by what Iron Bull says, and the fact that he's a reaver. But, to be honest, ANYTHING is possible given the revelations in inquisition. But one thing does seem apparent, elves and qunari share some ancestry. DeakialSig1.png 22:50, December 4, 2014 (UTC)
I would not call it "apparent" but it is interesting, the idea that they are simply reavers does sound a little bit far-fetched though. Oh, and one thing that I meant to write before but forgot is that qunari, like the dwarves do not dream like elves and humans, just a thing of note. Caspoi (talk) 23:47, December 4, 2014 (UTC)
That whole bit about qunari being like dwarves, is totally unconfirmed. They may well be, but, unlike dwarves, they are capable of magic. And thus they must have ties to the fade, so they should, in theory, dream like elves and men. That said, they see the fade as the realm of the dead and their culture pretty much allows for a loophole regarding whether or not they dream. They probably just don't talk about it. And regarding reavers, it is pretty miraculous that Iron Bull just happens to be one right? And that Cole says he has dragon horns, and that most qunari look like they have dragon horns. To me it sounds pretty obvious, not far fetched at all. DeakialSig1.png 00:22, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
I had gotten the impression that qunari did not dream like humans and elves and just wanted to point it out. And the fact that the Iron Bull (one qunari) is a reaver does not make all qunari so. Yes they have horns but there is a large step to go between "qunari have horns" and "qunari are ancient elven reavers". Caspoi (talk) 01:28, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
Origins certainly did give that impression, but inquisition kind of throws that out the water with the banter Bull and Solas have, Bull is very much aware of the fade and dreaming. Now, I never said it did make all qunari ancient elven reavers. Legend says Calenhad drank dragon blood, but Alistair is not a reaver, by default anyway. Thus, just because dragon blood is there doesn't mean you will automatically be a reaver. It simply means they have the potential to be, more so than an ordinary person does to spontaneously develop reaver powers. My point is that I think Qunari are descended from ancient elven reavers. And due to inbreeding and what not, the occasional qunari will magically be a reaver, or cleaner bloodlines will be born with no horns. With Bull, there was absolutely zero explanation for him being a reaver. What was said about dragon blood, is part of what sparked my theory. DeakialSig1.png 01:47, December 5, 2014 (UTC)

From what I understood, the Reaver specialization in Inquisition is pretty much a mix of the previous berserker and reaver specializations. I may be misinformed, but there is anywhere in Inquisition stating that you have to consume dragon blood to acquire that specialization? The Templar specialization in Inquisition is also named like a previous game but also works differently in mechanics and lore. And don't require the ingestion of lyrium. (Joao gabrielp (talk) 02:19, December 5, 2014 (UTC))

Not sure if it is related to the topic, but I think Iron Bull said the current Qunari had to leave their original homeland because something bad happened and that the "other" Qunari are very different from them. Tough that's the only thing he knows. I think that maybe the Qunari we know were a small faction of fanatics who tried to impose their philosophy on their homeland but failed and were forced into exile for political reasons. Maybe the majority of the Qunari aren't really very different from humans, elves and dwarves, but we don't know them yet. (Joao gabrielp (talk) 02:27, December 5, 2014 (UTC))

I played a mage so... but I looked up a vid, and the reaver specializaton requires you to conquer dragons mix up concoctions and drink some blood. Specifically dragon blood. So yeah, Reaver does require yo to drink dragon blood.
I didn't experience that line myself, but it may be true. It's also true that most qunari have horns, Bull says as much. Hornless qunari are rare which is why they're special. So my point about being of common descent with elves is still possible. Not to mention Elvhenaan had some 3000 odd years at least to play around with stuff. It's not difficult to believe they exiled a dragon cult or something like that. Or a shipwreck and they had to eat and drink dragons... DeakialSig1.png 02:52, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
Seems possible. I only played as a human mage yet so I didn't get that line from Corypheus, but it seems that line also implies the magisters might had something to do with the Qunari too. If they didn't he probably would formed that sentence differently. As it is, it's almost as if he is speaking from personal experience. (Joao gabrielp (talk) 03:11, December 5, 2014 (UTC))
I also got the same impression especially after seeing the whole eluvian thing. Furthemore many of the traits that are associated with a Qunari (like size and strength) could be explained by the many generations of selective breeding they have gone through under the Qun and the way Corypheus speaks also makes it seem like he actually knows something which could definitely help explain the dragon blood bit that is told by Bull and why dragons are considered "holy". It is just a theory yet but I think it is very plausible or that something similar will eventually be revealed. Alexskr (talk) 05:50, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
Well, if the Imperiums the source, I wouldn't be surprised if the qunari size and strength is explained by the imperiums attempts to breed a superior slave. The only thing left to explain would be the horns. Which the only explanation I can think of is a few generations of dragon blood being force fed to them, resulting in horn growth. DeakialSig1.png 13:42, December 5, 2014 (UTC)

At op, were you a mage? Because I went in as a human mage and I was expecting to go in with a headache (going off the background from TME), but everything was cool. It seems only elves and mages are unaffected by the Eluvian's wards. -- Soulofshezarr (talk) 14:41, December 5, 2014 (UTC)

I was a qunari mage yes. I'm still looking for videos to see if people have gone through as a qunari warrior and been unaffected. Did you get a line about the place decaying and that it will soon be gone? And from what I've seen, even elves don't make the place come to life like it was described in the TME. That's a shame really, I thought Weekes would have made sure they included that. DeakialSig1.png 14:59, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
Just checked, the video of a human I posted originally, was that of a human mage. There were flutters of "stuff" and the screen warps a bit. That didn't happen with the elf, and I don't remember it happening with my qunari. DeakialSig1.png 15:05, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
Update: Seems at least one other person on the BSN forums has experienced the Qunari not experiencing discomfort, or being given the option to say so. DeakialSig1.png 15:42, December 5, 2014 (UTC)


While I do not have much proof, I propose the following hypothesis...

First, in the book "The world of Thedas Vl. 1" it is written that there are ruins of pyramids on Par Vollen and Seheron which depict horned figures who reigned as kings and/or gods. While the timeline is far from certain I subscribe to the belief that the Elven Pantheon, Mythal, Fen'harel etc. imparted their knowledge to the humans of Seheron and Par Vollen as well as Elves. Why? I can't say for sure, my only evidence to back this belief up is that Flemeth/Mythal seems willing to help the protagonists of the series regardless of race.

Next, I find it interesting that Flemeth/Mythal is able to turn into a Dragon, that her hairstyle resembles Qunari/Kossith horns, and that the well of sorrows has ties to dragons, either the guardian or Morrigan's transformation. My hypothesis is that the Qunari are in fact descendants/heirs of the Elven pantheon. As Arlathan fell, we know from patchwork lore elements that the Elven pantheon was betrayed. While it remains unclear what truly happened, whether the elves perpetrated their own downfall, or whether Tevinter is responsible, I propose the inhabitants of Par Vollen and Seheron sought to avoid the same fate as the Elven capital.

Perhaps the Qunari/Kossith are the descendants of the high priests and dreamers of Arlathan. As their gods fell silent, the humans of the islands may have undertaken blood magic rituals to transform themselves into gods. Why make this assumption? Corypheus seeks god hood when faced with the silence/absence of the old gods and the maker. It seems human nature to strive for greater power, especially when one's gods go silent.

The rituals produce the Kossith/Qunari, horned Giants who seek to rule the islands, however they are driven out at some point by unknown means and for unknown reasons. Most likely they are driven out by The Imperium as the conquer Seheron. The Kossith depart for another land, develop in isolation, and develop the Qun.

I'll add more as I can. Just wanted to get the bare bones of my thoughts out there for discussion. -Saurumn Saurumn (talk) 17:07, December 5, 2014 (UTC)

I could be wrong about this, but I remember reading something about a Kossith colony on the edge of the Korcari Wilds that was obliterated by Darkspawn during the First Blight and that's how the Darkspawn obtained Ogres. So maybe Corypheus had prior knowledge of the Qunari before the first Blight. Since the Qunari came to Par Vollen from the North of Thedas 300yrs ago, the fact the had a settlement 1000yrs ago far to the South in Korcari Wilds is a bit strange. To get there they must've travelled through many areas of "Pre-Chanty" Thedas, maybe that's the first form of Contact the Imperium had with the Kossith who would later become the Qunari. Just a thought, but I hope it helps. JoshofBlades (talk) 03:22, December 6, 2014 (UTC)JoshofBlades

The Korcari Wilds actually stretch to the southeastern coast of Ferelden, or very close to it. It's feasible that these early kossith settlers took a much more southerly course across the ocean to Thedas than the Qunari, bypassing Par Vollen completely and making landfall somewhere on Ferelden, probably even further south than where Gwaren is. Why did they go so far out of the way? Explorer's luck. After all, Columbus didn't first land in New England even though it's directly west from Spain. The main thing is I don't think the Imperium was aware of the kossith colony until much later, if at all, because they would likely have tried to enslave the kossith or wipe them out if they had arrived near their doorstep. (talk) 08:22, December 10, 2014 (UTC)

Just to add a little detail : when you're a reaver and you speak with Cassandra, she tells you that some Pentaghast consumed far too much Dragon's blood and ended with claws and scales ! And they were humans without a breeding program, only crazed dragon hunters. So, my guess is that Bull is right when he says that the qunari may have Dragon's blood in them, which is further confirmed by his reaction when you become a reaver, when he says that the player smell good, almost "dragon-like", and if you're a Qunari (that was my case) he explains that you already smell good but took it to another level with the Dragon blood.

So, what we know about the Kossith's forebears of the Qunari is that they were already horned when they landed in Korcari prior to the First Blight. So, I don't think that they were part of Arlathann, but possibly groups of elves disfranchised with their society who migrated to the North millennia before known history. Or, maybe that the elves also took some dragon's blood in them, hence why some similar features with the qunari (the ears, notably) without drinking it as much as the Kossith did.

On the topic of the Eluvian, my Qunari warrior didn't feel bad in there, only impressed by its magnificence.--Urthan (talk) 11:18, December 8, 2014 (UTC)

This is actually some good proof for this theory. I take back what I said, there might be some truth to it after all. Caspoi (talk) 15:09, December 8, 2014 (UTC)

This is awesome. Regardless of whether Bioware meant for this sort of speculation about the origins, its certainly been interesting.

So far, what I've accumulated for my theory is that the Kossith were a dragon cult from Arlathan/Elvenhan, based in par vollen/Seheron. Because of their dragon slaying and dragon blood drinking habits, they were cast out of the ancient elven society. Considered abominations and outcasts. The basis for that is what Yavana says about dragons in the comics, and my own personal theory about Dragons being worshiped by the ancient ancient elves, and being the source of the story about Elgar'nan and the Sun. These Reaver elves were exiled, but they continued their habit, taking with them a huge stockpile of dragon blood. Forcing generation after generation of their offspring to become reavers. After a few hundred years in exile and having inbred to a ridiculous degree, the Kossith are born. But because of disasters across the distant lands, they moved a lot, they became nomads and lost all of their history. Save one piece, the story of thedas, the land they came from, the land that is rightfully theirs. More years pass, and the Kossith begin venturing back, the Darkspawn ogres are born, then the Qunari prophet is born. The Qun forms, and the Qunari are brought into existence. With the tale of a distant land across the ocean they begin the invasion. The timelines join up. Also, in Par Vollen they made statues in honor of Dragons, which turned out similar to the statues of Mythal. Winged beings with a crown of sorts... anyway, thats all i have so far. But I bet Bioware have something along the same lines planned, I'm guessing DA4 will involve a qunari invasion... DeakialSig1.png 01:53, December 9, 2014 (UTC)

I think it all comes down to a struggle between dragons and humans. Perhaps in ancient times lost to history, there were just those two species. Prolonged contact between them caused physiological changes in dragons (as human contact with elves changed them)- Some dragons became more humanoid, leading to the dwarves and elves and kossith (and nugs?). The kossith were dragons who had the least contact. Humans remained unchanged (their mojo was stronger?) unless they ingested dragon blood. In time, all of these races, including dragons, were separated, putting a halt to further homogenization. The dwarves adapted to life underground, the elves retained immortality and pointed ears, the kossith stayed in their far away lands, and humans did whatever wherever. Dragons were now fewer in number, and so spent some eras in hibernation. Fast forward to modern times. All of the races are back in contact. Elves lose their immortality. Interspecies mating with humans yields predominately human-looking offspring. Dragons return. Some kossith, now Qunari, lose their horns, a rare trait seen as desirable but also is obviously more human-like. Homogenization picks up where it left off. The big question is, if my theory is the least bit true, then what's the purpose of it all? Why are humans having such an effect? Something to do with god(s)? Even if it is all garbage, I am certain that dragons have a much more underpinning role in the Dragon Age universe than any of us realize. Dragons could be the answer to everything. (talk) 08:22, December 10, 2014 (UTC)

Would it not be far more logical to have elves as the original species? They were at least the original inhabitants of Thedas and I can not see how fighting dragons would suddenly create completely new races. We do not know if it was the sudden interaction with humans that caused the qunari to loose their horns, it seems rather as if it is due to natural mutation. Caspoi (talk) 09:34, December 10, 2014 (UTC)
I agree, that is a bit far fetched. And given what cassandra says about reavers occasionally developing scales and what not, it's much more likely Kossith were born from elven reavers. And that elves were the "original" race of Thedas. Surface race anyway. do agree about the dragons being a lot more important than we all realize though. DeakialSig1.png 13:30, December 10, 2014 (UTC)
The elves predated the dwarves too, or at least according to Felassan (I think it was he who said it). Caspoi (talk) 15:25, December 10, 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, was just thinking about the possibility that the dwarves didn't hit the surface for a long, long time. Like they were totally subterranean once upon a time, then *clink* they dig up to the surface and are all like "AHHHHH THERE'S NO CEILING! WE'RE GONNA FALL INTO THE SKY!" DeakialSig1.png 16:08, December 10, 2014 (UTC)
I would like to see that! Caspoi (talk) 00:07, December 11, 2014 (UTC)

I believe the Kossith/Qunari are in fact descended from the ancient elves. Let me break it down, this will be long so apologies. This also contains SPOILERS.

1. What is the physical feature of the Qunari that is shared with no other race aside from horns? Pointed ears. Since DA2 all the Kossith/Qunari have been shown to possess pointed ears, Even Sten himself is shown to have pointed ears in the comic Those who speak, in fact hornless Qunari/Kossith in DA: I really just look like bulky muscular elves.

2. The elves and Qunari/Kossith share the practice of marking the face with Vitaar and Vallaslin respectively (This one I admit is tenuous but fits with the overall theory). In DA: Inquisition while romancing Solas, He offers to remove the Fem Dalish Inqisies Vallaslin remarking that they were the mark of a slave in ancient Elvhenan. The Dalish still practice this branding as a misinterpretation of Ancient elven culture, a cultural relic. Qunari brands from DA2 and to extent DA: I range from simple marks to incredibly intricate geometric shapes, I believe this to be a cultural relic from the Kossith's original slave origins.

3. The codex entry states that the ancient ruins of Par Vollen that predate Qunari occuptation have carvings of horned beings in positions of authority. Similarly the codex entry has an interesting line about old tales of heroes learning at the feet of Elves, as they are old tales this implies the ancient Elvhenan.

4. Dragon's blood is shown to have a mutagenic effect, Cassandra describes how the Nevarran Dragon hunters would consume the blood of their prey, over time and excessive consumption they would go mad and deformed, growing scales ( Iron Bull also speculates about why the Qunari have horns, stating the Ben-Hassreth breed Qunari for different jobs and he wonders if they used dragon's blood at some point, The Ben-Hassreth's breeding practices I believe our also a cultural relic. Iron bull can use reaver abilities despite stating he's never consumed dragon's blood ( Sten's specialistion in the DA:O dlc the Darkspawn chronicles is also reaver despite canonically never drinking dragons blood implying the reaver abilities are a genetic heritage of Qunari.

5. In the temple of Mythal, the codex entry for Ghilan'nain states she created monsters of all kinds that were hunted by Andruil, eventually she was offered Godhood in exchange for destroying them. This implies some level of DA' equivelent of genetic engineering/selective breeding.(

From Abalas we learn that the Ancient elves destroyed them selves from infighting, I believe the Kossith were created by Ghilan'nain to be shock troops for her war against the other elven gods through selective breeding, each generation being fed a limited amount Dragon's blood creating a small genetic change. Then being forced bred, over time each successive generation of slave elves would become more Draconic, stronger, more physically resilient and have the inbuilt powers of a Reaver. They were simply tools to be used in war and symbols of her power to rule over lesser races such as the ancient humans of Par Vollen. When Fen'Harel seals away the gods in whatever fashion, the Kossith soldier slaves are freed from Ghilan'nain and migrate, they were never meant to be a race in and of themselves. Which is why I believe Corypheus refers to them as a mistake, him knowing some of the ancient elven lore.

- unsigned

Some very interesting theories here. Haven't had a chance to play DAI myself yet unfortunately but I'm glad to hear that the origins of the kossith have been made at least slightly clearer than they were before. Vampire Damian (talk) 22:16, January 12, 2015 (UTC)

I don't have any strong theories considering the Qunari, other than they're fairly obviously connected with dragons in some way - though I wouldn't be surprised if they were actually the remnants of some sort of breeding experiments or type of slaves; *maybe* something created by Ghilan'nain. However, I'm not entirely sure that the dragon 'speaking' to Iron Bull is the result of mixing in dragon blood or maybe it's more of an elven thing - after all, if we take Sera on dragon hunt, her Codex will update with an information that dragons 'enthrall' her and that battling them 'speaks to her in a way she was not prepared'. I'm not sure if there's a connection, but I find it interesting that it was mentioned.

There's also other thing that might or might not be connected - we might take into consideration that at least ancient elven form is/was probably more fluid, to not outright say that they might have been shapeshifters, or something close to that. We do know that shapeshifters exist after all - and there are pictures showing naked elven warriors as well as strange reptilian or winged creatures, painted in the same style as those naked warriors. Halla I don't even mention or the implication that they're not mere animals, but 'brothers and sisters' to the elves. Then there's Ancient Elven Writing, which claims that somebody, likely an ancient elf, "took on a form reserved for the gods and their chosen, and dared to fly in the shape of the divine." (which, I HIGHLY suspect were dragons). And then there's a comment from Kieran who - if the Inquisitor is an elf - says that he doesn't know 'why his/her people want to look like that'. I'd say that this is highly interesting, not just in the context of origin of Qunari or perhaps even other races on Thedas. -User:MidnightTea7

I'm sorry, I must be as thick as Varric's chest hairs, because I don't see any difference between the human and elf crossing the eluvian. What am I looking for, again? User signature henioo.png henioo (da talk page) 07:29, January 22, 2015 (UTC)

Its a minor thing and easily missable, but the dialogue options are different for a Qunari and Elf inquisitor. From what I've seen, they don't mention the "unstable-ness" of the crossroads. I still don't know what happens when a dwarf goes through. And I haven't seen every dialogue choice done. DeakialSig1.png 22:48, January 22, 2015 (UTC)
Ehh, just checked all the races going through. There isn't really any difference. Only thing that changes is dependent on your dialogue choices, so my original assumption was wrong. But there is still some compelling evidence about Qunari having elven roots. DeakialSig1.png 23:00, January 22, 2015 (UTC)

Just wanted to add that there is this video of Keiran meeting a Qunari Inquisitor for the first time. MabariChariot (talk) 22:03, January 22, 2015 (UTC)

I may be wrong, but I think the Human version of the crossroads has more optical distortions than the elven one (and my qunari one as well, if I recall correctly). -- SarthesArai Talk 14:46, January 23, 2015 (UTC)

Did anyone notice the second link in the original post at about 4:41 in the video you can see Merrill's Eluvian? Also I do support the theory that the Kossith may be some sort of twisted or mutated elves. It is interesting and I hope that bioware will continue with this theory and explore the Kossith origins more.--Thedosian Godfather (talk) 05:39, January 24, 2015 (UTC)

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