It was forged by the dwarves of the Primeval Thaig in ancient times. After the mysterious fall of the thaig, the idol was lost for millennia. It depicts two lovers, or a god mourning her sacrifice.
Dragon Age II
During Hawke's expedition into the Deep Roads in Act 1, the party comes across the lyrium idol on an altar inside the Primeval Thaig. It's composed of an unknown type of glowing red lyrium, and the dwarves of the thaig seemed to worship it. After inspecting the idol, Varric throws it to Bartrand who then locks them in the chamber with no apparent way out.
In Act 2, during Varric's companion quest Family Matter, it is revealed that the idol drove Bartrand insane. He began hearing voices and made his servants eat lyrium so that they could hear them too. Bartrand tells Hawke that he sold the idol but doesn't reveal to whom, only saying, "She glittered like the sun, but her heart was cold as ice."
In Act 3, another of Varric's quests, Haunted, reveals that Bartrand kept a shard of the idol at his estate, which eventually attracted evil spirits. After vanquishing the ghosts, Hawke recovers the shard and can give it either to Varric (at his insistence) or to Sandal. If given to Varric, he uses it to upgrade Bianca and promises to be careful with it; Sandal uses it to make the Primeval Lyrium Rune.
During the endgame quest The Last Straw, Knight-Commander Meredith is revealed to have been Bartrand's buyer. She reshaped it to be her sword, Certainty, which drove her insane like Bartrand. Meredith became increasingly paranoid, accusing all the mages in the Circle of using blood magic and going as far as to lock all mages in their quarters, execute all apostates and make Tranquil any mage who put a toe out of line. It also gave her unnatural powers, such as the ability to animate the statues in the Gallows, and even limited flight capabilities.During the final battle at the Gallows, Meredith overuses the lyrium sword, causing it to burst into dust and petrify her into a statue.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights
The Carta assassin claims that he retrieved the idol from Meredith's statue, using a potion that softens and weakens lyrium given by a Dalish elf. He heard music in the wind, and several of his fellow dwarves fell shaking and whispering. He says that templars then took the statue from them, and gave it away to a Tevinter-looking man, mentioning House Qintara. The idol was then presumably given to Gaius, an elven agent of Fen'Harel impersonating Magister Qintara. He traded it away to House Danarius for information, which isn't something Solas would have approved of.
The idol was then taken to Castellum Tenebris to be used as part of a ritual to empower Shirallas with red lyrium. After Castellum Tenebris fell to the Qunari, Cedric Marquette stole a horse in the confusion and escaped with the idol. He was intercepted by Tractus Danarius, who threatened to kill him if he didn't hand it over. As Tractus later made his way to the Venatori to offer them the idol, Solas spied on him via an Eluvian.
The Mortalitasi says that a Tevinter mage from House Danarius asked for their help with a ritual that would stop the Qunari invasion. He brought the lyrium idol with him, calling it an ancient elven artifact. During the ritual, a blade sprang from the base of the idol, which the Tevinter mage used to slash his own hand. In the Fade, the mages were attacked by the Dread Wolf, accusing them of using his idol carelessly and threatening all creation. After the failed ritual, a Mortalitasi noble stole the idol and took it to Tevinter.Solas claims that the idol ended up in an auction house in Llomerryn, where he retrieved it to further his plans.
Dragon Age 4
- The item code for the lyrium sword is: gen_im_npc_wep_two_mera.uti
The item was never intended to be looted; as such spawning it will only produce a nameless Red Steel Greatsword with no damage or stats.
- Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 94
- Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, The Dread Wolf Take You
- Dragon Age: Deception
- [Unofficial BSN. http://bsn.boards.net/thread/15233/new-comic-dragon-age-deception?page=17]
- Dragon Age: Dark Fortress