Line 18: Line 18:
|Totalstrength2 = Thousands
|Totalstrength2 = Thousands
|Strengthdetails1 = {{icon|da2circle|big}} [[Circle of Magi]] <br> {{icon|bloodmage|big}} [[Maleficar]]um <br> [[Apostate]]s <br> Venatori
|Strengthdetails1 = {{icon|da2circle|big}} [[Circle of Magi]] <br> {{icon|bloodmage|big}} [[Maleficar]]um <br> [[Apostate]]s <br> Venatori
|Strengthdetails2 = {{icon|seeker|big}} [[Seekers of Truth]] <br> {{icon|da2templar|big}} [[Templar Order]] <br> Loyalist Mages <br> Red Templars
|Strengthdetails2 = {{icon|seeker|big}} [[Seekers of Truth]] <br> {{icon|da2templar|big}} [[Templar Order]] (†)<br> Loyalist Mages <br> Red Templars
|Casualtydetails1 = Many mages and rebels
|Casualtydetails1 = Many mages and rebels
|Casualtydetails2 = Many Seekers, Templars, and Loyalist Mages
|Casualtydetails2 = Many Seekers, Templars, and Loyalist Mages

Revision as of 14:20, December 24, 2014

The Mage-Templar War broke out in 9:37[1] Dragon between the mages and the templars and escalated after the decision of the Fraternities conclave to separate the Circle of Magi from the Chantry in 9:40 following the revolt at the White Spire in Val Royeaux. Contributing earlier events include the 9:37 rebellion in Kirkwall, a city state in the southern Free Marches, and the dissolution of the College of Enchanters in 9:38 after the rejected motion to abolish the Circles.


Main article: Kirkwall Rebellion
Destruction Chantry

The destruction of Kirkwall's Chantry

Following the deaths of Viscount Marlowe Dumar and his son during the First Battle of Kirkwall in 9:34, Meredith Stannard, the knight-commander of Kirkwall's templars, assumed control of the city, inciting discontent amongst both the citizenry and the mages. Meredith's sanctions against the latter became increasingly harsh over the succeeding years, while members of the nobility began to object to her rule of the city, many wishing for Hawke, the city's Champion, to become Viscount.

Meredith's sanctions against the mages were strongly opposed by First Enchanter Orsino, who publicly declaimed the knight-commander and believed Meredith was losing her mind, seeing maleficarum where none existed. Grand Cleric Elthina attempted to moderate the clashes between the two and refused to pick a side in the conflict. The Divine took notice of the growing tensions and the Resolutionist presence in the city. She sent an agent to assess the danger and warn Elthina to leave Kirkwall, though the Grand Cleric was unwilling to abandon her flock.

Tensions reached a peak, and exploded into violence due to the actions of the apostate Anders in 9:37. During another confrontation between Meredith and Orsino in Lowtown, Anders declared that he would no longer allow the templars to persecute mages and caused an explosion that destroyed the Kirkwall Chantry and killed all those inside, the Grand Cleric included, thus removing the possibility of compromise. Claiming that the people would demand blood, Meredith immediately invoked the Right of Annulment and the Champion was forced to pick a side in the conflict. The city erupted into chaos as mages and templars clashed, some of the former resorting to blood magic, becoming abominations and unleashing demons onto the streets. The violence culminated in a confrontation at the Gallows, the city's Circle of Magi, ending with most of Kirkwall's Circle, including First Enchanter Orsino, dead. Meredith's Knight-Captain and the rest of her templars turned on her when she attempted to execute the Champion, revealing the extent of her instability as she accused them all of being blood mage thralls. Ultimately she became petrified when she attempted to draw too much power from her Red Lyrium sword.

While Templar reinforcements arrived at Kirkwall to suppress further resistance, news from escaping mages of what had occurred spread to other Circles. Outraged that the templars of Kirkwall would invoke the Right of Annulment to justify the extermination of an entire Circle for the crimes of one apostate, some Circles revolted, while others were close to doing so. In response, the Templar Order cracked down, further restricting mage freedoms in an attempt to quell further disturbance.

Despite this, the College of Enchanters, meeting for the last time in Cumberland before being disbanded in 9:38, voted against secession from the Chantry at the urging of Senior Enchanter Wynne, in opposition to the motion tendered by its newly elected Grand Enchanter Fiona. Nonetheless, many of the Libertarian faction, who wished for independence, continued to encourage mages to rebel.

Fearing the possibility of a mage-templar conflict igniting within Orlais, Empress Celene I appealed to the Divine to take action and end the war before it began before she would be forced to utilize her own military to fight the conflict within her own empire.[2]

Among the White Spire Circle in Val Royeaux, tensions continued to mount throughout the following year. The Divine, Justinia V, sought to use her position to reform the Circle of Magi and thereby bring an end to the troubles, but was hindered by both the templars and the mages, culminating with Jeannot, one of the White Spire's senior enchanters, attempting to assassinate her in 9:39 Dragon, despite her mage-sympathetic views. In response, Lord Seeker Lambert took control of the White Spire Circle and its templar contingent in order to attempt to bring matters under control. [3]

Revolt at the White Spire

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

Circle of Magi disbanded

The Circle of Magi disbanded

Archmage Wynne, acting on Justinia V's personal orders, took her estranged son Rhys, a senior enchanter of the White Spire; his friend Adrian and the templar Knight-Captain Evangeline to the Adamant Fortress in order to save her friend, Pharamond, a Tranquil who had become an abomination. In freeing Pharamond, he told the party that he had managed to find a way to reverse the Rite of Tranquility. [4]

Presenting this information before Justinia V, it having already been sent to each of the fifteen Circles, and against strong objections from Lord Seeker Lambert, the Divine concluded that a conclave of first enchanters must meet, ostensibly to hear from Pharamond and to discuss the findings. Eleven of the fifteen first enchanters who could make the meeting in time arrived, along with the Grand Enchanter Fiona and Wynne, Rhys and Adrian. Watched by the templars, the Grand Enchanter nonetheless sought another vote to separate the Circle from the Chantry. Before the vote could be taken, the meeting was disrupted by Lord Seeker Lambert, who on presenting news that Pharamond had been murdered and the bloodstained knife found in the quarters of Rhys, attempted to disband the Conclave. Unknown to everyone, the murder was committed by Adrian, who knew that Wynne would've convinced the Circle to vote against independence once again, thus forcing Wynne to abandon her position of compromise for the sake of her son. Suspecting that Rhys was being framed, the mages refused to stand down, including Wynne, and the Lord Seeker ordered his templars to attack. [5]

At first the mages fought in defense, but when a templar killed a mage who tried to surrender, they attacked in fury and killed several templars. Several of the first enchanters were slain, most were imprisoned, including Rhys, and only Wynne and Knight-Captain Evangeline managed to escape. They returned to White Spire to rescue those imprisoned with the assistance of the golem, Shale, and Leliana, an agent of the Divine. The Divine herself ordered Lord Seeker Lambert and a number of his templars to meet with her, a ruse to try and ensure the rescue succeeded.

Evangeline, Wynne and Shale succeeded in destroying those phylacteries contained in the White Spire vault, including those of the surviving first enchanters, while Leliana led those imprisoned to safety. In an echo of the rebellion of the Kirkwall Circle, other mages of White Spire rose up and fought their templar jailers. By the time Lord Seeker Lambert returned to the White Spire, most of the templars had been slaughtered. [6]

Retreat to Andoral's Reach

The surviving first enchanters, the Grand Enchanter among them, retreated to the fortress of Andoral's Reach. Most of the fifteen Circles rose against the templars, with thousands of mages gathering at Andoral's Reach in the following months. It is predicted that with hundreds of mages manning the battlements, they could fend off an army ten times their size.

About a month after the Battle of White Spire, a vote for independence was once again proposed by the Grand Enchanter. As several first enchanters were either killed or absent, the mages were represented in the conclave by their fraternities, while they vowed to whichever decision they were going to take, they were all going to abide by it, be it submission or rebellion. The Loyalists insisted on submitting to the Chantry, arguing that they cannot defeat the templars, an argument most of the smaller fraternities chose to side with. The larger fraternities, the Liberitarians and the Aequitarians, voted to fight, winning the vote, arguing that submission would impose harsher conditions for all Circle mages. [7]

While the vote passed, it did so by a very slim margin. The other half of the mages who voted against secession were soon forced to fight the rebel mages, and united under First Enchanter Vivienne de Fer of the Montsimmard Circle. They identified themselves as "Loyalist" mages, wishing to reinstate the Circles and end the war.

Templars and Seekers rebel

In 9:40 Dragon, in response to Justinia V's interference at the White Spire, Lord Seeker Lambert declared the Nevarran Accord, which had led to the Seekers and the Templars submitting to the Divine and establishing the Circle of Magi, to be null and void. The Seekers of Truth and the Templar Order they commanded would no longer be under the authority of the Chantry. At the time of this declaration, a large Templar host was about three days march from Andoral's Reach. The Lord Seeker predicted that once the mage rebellion was defeated, the Chantry would be forced to replace the Divine and reach a new agreement with the Seekers and Templars. Lambert vanished shortly after annulling the accord without a trace.

With neither side under the authority and regulations of the Chantry, the Circle of Magi and the Templar Order along with the Seekers prepared for all out war with each other. [8]


In Rivain, at the capital city of Dairsmuid, the Right of Annulment was invoked on the Circle of Dairsmuid with the Seekers citing that the mages freely interact with their families and training females mages as seers. First Enchanter Rivella led the defense, using the skills she learned from her father, Captain Revaud of the Felicisima Armada. The templars and Seekers slew all mages inside, but not without suffering heavy casualties. [9]

Chantry Mediation

By 9:40 Dragon, the Andrastian Chantry is crumbling, with over nine hundred years of relative stability shattered. All the Circles of Magi have separated from the Chantry. While some of the Seekers are known to remain loyal to the Chantry and the reigning Divine, others, as well as many of the Templars, have rebelled and left Chantry oversight to hunt and fight mages on their own terms.

Chantry Mage Templar Peace Summit

Templars and Mages marching to the Temple to attend the peace summit.

The Divine desperately seeks to put an end to the conflict, and assigned those Seekers remaining loyal to her to track down the only two people in all Thedas who might have the power and influence to put an end to the conflict and lead the Inquisition.[10] One of her agents, Leliana, was sent to track down one of them, the Warden-Commander of Ferelden. [11]

Meanwhile a Seeker still loyal to the Chantry, Cassandra Pentaghast was also sent to find Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall. She captured one of Hawke's companions, the dwarf Varric Tethras and brought him back to Kirkwall, interrogating him in the old Hawke Estate in an attempt to discover the Champion's current whereabouts and the true origins of the war. Varric said he knew nothing of the Champion's fate, but said he highly doubts that Hawke is dead. Satisfied, Cassandra then took her contingent of Seekers and departed Kirkwall. [12]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

In 9:41 Dragon, a peace summit was called by the Chantry in an attempt to end the bloodshed, located at the Temple of Sacred Ashes, which was rediscovered in the Frostback Mountains, a decade earlier. The leaders of both factions feared the possibility of a trap and sent emissaries in their place. During the summit, Corypheus, an ancient darkspawn magister, infiltrates the conclave. With enthralled Grey Warden mages restraining the Divine, Corypheus planned on using her as a sacrifice to power an elven orb he had acquired, which would open the Fade for him to return to the Black City and claim the Maker's throne. However, an unexpected attendant of the conclave interrupted the ritual and accidentally made contact with the orb, causing massive explosion that destroyed the temple, killing thousands, and sundering the Veil on an enormous scale, creating multiple rifts across Thedas, the largest being called The Breach, causing demons and spirits to tumble out .[13] The only survivor emerged out of a rift, with a mysterious magical mark granted by the orb that glowed with the same magic as the Breach, and was found by loyalist Chantry forces.

Rebirth of the Inquisition

Three days later, the survivor regained consciousness and was accused by the Hands of the Divine to be the perpetrator behind the Breach. Though Chancellor Roderick wanted the survivor to be taken back to Val Royeaux for trial and execution, Cassandra gave the survivor a chance to prove their innocence by using the mark to seal the Breach. The attempt almost succeeded, stopping the Breach from growing, but not sealing it.

In the intervening three days, the people of Haven begin to hear of a mysterious woman seen in the rift from which the survivor emerged, and thus assumed the figure was the prophet Andraste, and labeled the survivor her Herald. When the Herald awoke, Roderick was still convinced of their guilt, but Cassandra believed the Herald was sent by the Maker. She and Leliana then involve the late Justinia's writ to restore the Inquisition, independent of Chantry control, for the purpose of finding the true perpetrators behind the Breach. In response, Roderick used his influence in the Chantry to denounce the Inquisition, claiming them heretics for harbouring the Herald, which the surviving clerics declared blasphemy.

The renewed Inquisition seeks allies to help in sealing the Breach. Its high echelon are conflicted about seeking help from the mage rebellion or the Templar Order.

Renewed Conflict

The Monarchy offered the rebel Mages sanctuary in Ferelden, in the Arling of Redcliffe. The mages gratefully accepted the offer however the Templar host pursued them across the border.

With the best attempt at a peaceful resolution destroyed at the Temple of Sacred Ashes in the breach, the war continues to rage across Thedas. The Hinterlands region particularly became a site of fierce conflict with heavy collateral damage caused by both sides.[14] Deserters from both sides actively fight each other in the Hinterlands, attacking anything that moves until the Inquisition purged the extremists.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Following the disappearance of Lambert van Reeves, Lucius Corin succeeded him as Lord Seeker and led the Templar Order in the Mage-Templar War.

Lord Seeker Lucius, replaced by an Envy demon pawn by Corypheus, introduced Red Lyrium to the templars, claiming that it was superior to Chantry lyrium. Thinking that red lyrium was just another tool, the templars followed the Lord Seeker's order. The commanders of the Templar Order became corrupted and began corrupting the rest of their subordinates, by force if necessary. Soon, physical changes began to emerge and red lyrium veins appear to manifest on the skin of those exposed. Thus the Red Templar order was born under Corypheus' control.

As the brutality of the Mage-Templar War escalated, many hunted rebel mages and apostates congregated to Fiona's refuge in Redcliffe. Some of these mage refugees were Tevinter infiltrators who encouraged an alliance with the Tevinter Imperium as the situation with the mage rebellion grew dire. Grand Enchanter Fiona conceded to agree to the alliance and Magister Gereon Alexius used time warping magic to officialize it in a timely manner. Alexius however was also a Venatori agent and usurped Redcliffe Castle, alienating the mage rebellion's sole benefactor. With the mage rebellion's survival now dependent on their alliance with the Tevinter Imperium, Alexius changed the terms of the alliance and conscripted the southern mages into indentured servitude. He then orders his forces to displace the people of Redcliffe from their homes.

The Inquisition later journeyed to Val Royeaux to address the clerics on the advice of Mother Giselle to place doubt in the clerics' minds of their biased perception of the Herald. Upon arrival, an Inquisition scout reported that a large contingent of Templars were in the city and the populace assumed they had arrived to protect them from the Inquisition. The meeting quickly went sour as Revered Mother Hevara accused the Herald of murdering the Divine. The Herald rebuffed her accusations before Cassandra insisted that the Inquisition wanted to restore order. Lucius and his Templars then approached the stage, at which Hevara assumed they were returning to the Chantry to put an end to the Inquisition, only to be humiliated as Lucius declares Val Royeaux unworthy of the Order's protection and departs.

Inquisitor recruits the Templars: At Therinfal Redoubt, the templars' use of red lyrium is revealed, in addition to the fact that Lucius Corin had been supplanted by an Envy demon. The Inquisitor defeats the demon with Cole's help, and can choose to either ally the Inquisition with the surviving templars or disband the Order itself and conscript them; either outcome prevents the templars from continuing to use red lyrium. The Venatori, bolstered by brainwashed rebel mages, then replace the Red Templars as Corypheus' army during the attack on Haven.

Inquisitor recruits the Mages: The Inquisitor encounters Fiona in Val Royeaux, following a debacle involving the Chantry's denouncement of their title as the Herald of Andraste and the templars' refusal to return to the Chantry. Fiona asks that the Inquisitor go to Redcliffe to discuss a possible alliance.

Should the Inquisitor choose to meet with Fiona, strangely, she claims to not have met them, hinting the person they met was an impostor. She then reveals that she feared her peoples' annihilation and had relinquished her role as Grand Enchanter after trading the rebel mages' services to the Tevinter Imperium in desperation. A magister named Gereon Alexius is the rebel mages' handler, as the rebel mages are considered indentured since they require ten years of service to be considered an Imperial citizen. The Inquisitor discovers the truth about Alexius being a Venatori agent from a rebel Tevinter named Dorian Pavus and Alexius' son Felix Alexius.

With Dorian's help, the Inquisition infiltrates Castle Redcliffe and reclaims it. Alexius pulls out the time amulet to attempt to go back before the Inquisitor interfered with the Elder One's ritual at the Temple of Sacred Ashes, but Dorian interrupts him, accidentally sending both himself and the Inquisitor one year into the future. In the future, their absence has resulted in the growth of the Breach and the Elder One taking over southern Thedas. They find the Inquisitor's companions jailed and being subjected to red lyrium and Fiona in a cell filled with red lyrium, used to transform her body into that substance for the Venatori to mine. The Inquisitor and Dorian were able to use the future Alexius' time amulet to return to the present where they capture and subdue the present Alexius. The Fereldan monarch(s) (Alistair and/or Anora, depending on who was made sovereign) arrive and order the rebel mages to leave Ferelden. The Inquisitor can then either take the mages on as full-fledged allies or conscripted prisoners. The Red Templars then replace the Venatori as Corypheus' army during the attack on Haven.

Battle of Haven

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

The Inquisition was forced to seek the aid of one of these factions in order to close the Breach. Recruiting one side, the Herald is able to seal the Breach. But the celebrations were cut short as Corypheus attacks Haven. During the battle, the Herald uses a trebuchet to cause an avalanche, burying a portion of the darkspawn's army. Commander Cullen considered causing another avalanche to bury Haven and the Inquisition with it. Luckily, a mortally wounded Roderick shows the Inquisition a secret passage out of Haven.

While the evacuation was underway, the Herald manned a surviving trebuchet. But just as the siege weapon is aligned, the Herald is cornered by Corypheus and his red lyrium dragon. Corypheus attempted to remove the mark, referring to it as the Anchor, from the Herald, only to discover that it is permanent. But before he could kill his potential rival, the Herald sees the signal from the Inquisition that the village had been evacuated, and thus set off the avalanche, forcing Corypheus' dragon to fly him to safety. The Herald survived by escaping into an underground cavern.


The Herald regroups with the Inquisition and leads them to the fortress of Skyhold. After arrival, everyone acknowledges the Herald's leadership and thus elevate them to the rank of Inquisitor to lead them against Corypheus.

What becomes of the Inquisition's allies is explained in the Epilogue.


  1. Dragon Age Inquisition - The-mage-templar-war-begins - Official EA Site
  2. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, Chapter 1
  3. Dragon Age: Asunder Ch 2-3.
  4. Dragon Age: Asunder Ch 5.
  5. Dragon Age: Asunder Ch 18.
  6. Dragon Age: Asunder Ch 19-21.
  7. Dragon Age: Asunder Ch 22.
  8. Dragon Age: Asunder Epilogue.
  9. Dragon Age: Asunder Ch 22, Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 102.
  10. Dragon Age: Inquisition. Hawke cameo.
  11. Dragon Age II
  12. Dragon Age II
  13. Cameron Lee interview
  14. Dragon Age Official Site.
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