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First contact in Thedas
The humans are said to have first appeared in the north as a single tribe known as the Neromenians. Their place of origin, and reasons why they left this place, are unknown. These human settlers came into contact with the elves who ruled the land. This contact is believed to have caused elves to age and die in a human fashion, a loss of what elven lore holds as their immortality known as "quickening." As a result, elves drew away from human settlements to protect themselves and humans gained the land to grow and expand rapidly.
The Neromenians divided into various tribes to become the progenitors of many nations in Thedas. This tribe settled the entire coast along the Nocen Sea and subdivided into separate kingdoms: Qarinus, Tevinter, and Barindur.
One of these tribes, Tevinter, gradually became the massive Tevinter Imperium, and rose to power through lucrative trade with the dwarves. Elves remained contentious with this early tribe and this conflict lead to the Tevinter destruction of the first elven homeland, Arlathan. This crushing blow to the elven race allowed humans to become the most influential race in Thedas, a mantle they have held to modern day.
Early human tribes
- Barindur: Little is known of this tribe. Legend holds they and their kingdom disappeared entirely after losing the favor of the Old God Dumat.
- Neromenian: The remaining Neromenians existed in their own kingdom until the formation of the Tevinter Imperium.
- Qarinus: An eastern pre-Imperium kingdom settled in what is now the city of Qarinus, which eventually became part of the Imperium.
- Tevinter: The most powerful off-shoot human tribe which absorbed Neromenian and Qarinus to form the sprawling Tevinter Imperium.
- Alamarri: This ancient people occupied the land now called Ferelden as members of various tribes, primarily Clayne, Chasind and Avvar.
- Avvar: Avvar resisted unification. Now primarily residing in the Frostback Mountains they retain their own unique customs and lifestyles.
- Chasind: Members of the Alamarri tribe that resisted Calenhad's unification like the Avvars and continue to live as nomads in the Korcari Wilds.
- Clayne: A tribe that joined Calenhad to help unite the tribes to form the nation of Ferelden.
Orlais and Nevarra
- Ciriane: A tribe loosely defined but rich in culture, this tribe flourished in the rich lands of what would become Orlais. With less pressure from the northern Neromenians, the tribe remained isolated and strong until the founding of Orlais after the First Blight.
- Inghirsh: Once the largest cohesive culture in what is now Orlais, it gradually divided into increasingly small groups. After losing disastrously to the Neromenian tribe, they were eventually almost entirely absorbed into the Ciriane and Planasene tribes.
- Planasene: A farming tribe with an animist culture and a written history. They formed the basis of most humanity in Nevarra and Free Marches.
- Solas claims to have seen the lost city of Barindur. According to him, the city's ruins are buried under the wasteland found at the city's site in the modern day, encased within volcanic ash. All of the city's inhabitants had been "seared and smothered" in an instant, and their remains had formed hollow molds in the ash. The fate of Barindur and its people parallels that of Pompeii.