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On a cliff overlooking the dark waters of Lake Calenhad stands the tower fortress that is home to the Circle of Magi. This tower is the only place in Ferelden where mages may study their art among others of their kind. Within the high stone walls, the circle practices its magic and trains apprentices in the proper use of their powers. But the Circle Tower is as much a prison as a refuge; the ever-vigilant templars of the Chantry watch over all mages, constantly alert for any sign of corruption. This gilded cage is the only world you know. Found to be sensitive to magic at a young age, you were torn from your family and grafted here as an apprentice. Now, that apprenticeship is nearly over and all that remains is the final test: the Harrowing.

Gifted with a power considered dangerous by most, you have spent most of your life secluded in the remote tower of the Circle of Magi to be trained and watched closely by the dreaded templars. Now your final test is upon you -- succeed and prove your strength or be slain.

Note that unlike other origins, this one is based solely on the class. You can play as either a Human or Elven mage; the plot is the same for humans and elves, with a few minor conversational differences. You cannot play as a Dwarven Mage since Dwarves cannot use magic.


The Circle of Magi exists to protect mages from a world that fears them, or so the young apprentices that are brought there are told. In truth, it exists as much to protect the world from the mages themselves. A time once existed when mages ruled the known world, bringing down ruin upon their enemies until at last they were overthrown. Now they are watched carefully by the templars, mage-hunters aligned with the Chantry priests who would not hesitate to strike down any mage at the first sign of corruption.

For the temptations offered to mages are many. Their power draws demons to them from the Fade, demons that will attempt to wrest control of a mage's body and transform her into a vile abomination. What these demons cannot take by force, they will sometimes attempt to take through deceit, offering knowledge of forbidden blood magic that allows a mage to control the minds of others and use the victims' very life force to fuel her power, leading her down a dark and destructive path.

All apprentices are taught to resist these temptations in the Circle of Magi, and the day comes when they must pass their final test, the Harrowing. They are thrown to the wolves, given over to a demon to either summon the willpower needed to defeat it or be possessed and die at templar hands. If the apprentice refuses they are made Tranquil, cut off from all emotion and magic and rendered unable to be possessed – for their own good. There are no other options, save to flee and be branded an apostate and thus hunted by the templars forever.

Welcome to the Circle, and life as a mage in Thedas, where the power to command the forces of magic comes with a price.


"Your magic is a gift, but it's also a curse." (Knight-Commander Greagoir)

You assume control of a young mage about to undergo their Harrowing, the final test of their apprenticeship. After receiving warnings and advice from Knight-Commander Greagoir and First Enchanter Irving, the apprentice uses lyrium to enter the Fade and faces a demon with the help of Mouse, an apprentice who failed his Harrowing. After defeating the demon, Mouse attempts to trick the young mage into letting him into their body, and they realizes that he is actually a demon and the true arbiter of their worth. They then leave the Fade a true mage at last.

After the Harrowing, they meet the Grey Warden Duncan, who is recruiting mages to fight the impending Blight. Then, their friend Jowan and his lover, Chantry initiate Lily, approach them and explain that Jowan is to be made Tranquil on suspicion of being a blood mage; the two want to destroy Jowan's phylactery and flee the Circle. The new mage agrees to help them, and may optionally report their plan to Irving; if they do so, Irving orders them to play along in order to catch Lily so that the affair is just as embarrassing to the Chantry as it is to the Circle. Either way, the trio breaks into the Tower basement and successfully find and destroy Jowan's phylactery. When they return, the group is confronted by Irving and Greagoir, and Jowan uses blood magic to escape them. An enraged Greagoir demands that the PC be punished for aiding Jowan (whether or not they reported him to Irving), but Duncan intervenes and conscripts them into the Grey Wardens.


The Harrowing[]

Main article: The Harrowing

Your apprenticeship is over. You are sent into the Fade to defeat a demon, to prevail...or die.

A Mage of the Circle[]

Main article: A Mage of the Circle

Waking up after the Harrowing, your friend Jowan tells you that First Enchanter Irving requires your presence. In Irving's office, you are formally welcomed into the Circle and introduced to Duncan, one of the fabled Grey Wardens.

Bound in Blood and Magic[]

Main article: Bound in Blood and Magic

Jowan waylays you after you leave Duncan, and asks for your help. He introduces you to his love, Lily, who has made a very disturbing discovery. They want your help to break into the Tower basement and destroy Jowan's phylactery so he can escape from the Tower unpursued.

Infested Storerooms[]

Main article: Infested Storerooms

Senior Enchanter Leorah has been in a bad mood all day. Perhaps you can help her out and get a favour in return? (this quest is entirely optional if you can find another Senior Enchanter to help you complete Bound in Blood and Magic.)


"Harrowed" achievement trophy

Jowan and Lily are confronted as they return to the Apprentice Quarters level, and Jowan escapes using forbidden blood magic. Duncan recruits The Mage for the Grey Wardens, possibly sparing them punishment depending on their actions up to this point, and leaves with them for Ostagar. If it has not been unlocked in a previous playthrough, on arrival in Ostagar the Harrowed achievement will be awarded.

Initial statistics[]

Cg ico origin mage.png

In addition to those selected by the player at character creation, a Magi Warden automatically begins with the following:


Combat Tactics Combat TacticsHerbalism Herbalism


Arcane Arcane Bolt Arcane Bolt


Clothing Apprentice Robes Apprentice Robes
Armor Leather Boots Leather Boots


Plot Items:

Rod of Fire Rod of Fire

Rod of Fire Request Form Rod of Fire Request Form

Signed Rod of Fire Request Form Signed Rod of Fire Request Form

Laboratory Storage Key Laboratory Storage Key

The Fade:

Valor's Staff Valor's Staff

Shimmering Orb of Light Shimmering Orb of Light

Circle Tower:

Mage Robes Mage Robes

Magic Staff Magic Staff

Ring of Study Ring of Study


Fade Striders Fade Striders

Spirit Charm Spirit Charm

Charm of Still Waters Charm of Still Waters


Apprentice's Amulet Apprentice's Amulet

Blackened Heartwood Staff Blackened Heartwood Staff

Ephemeralist's Belt Ephemeralist's Belt

Note: Random loot during this origin includes items from the Circle of Magi treasure list.


  • Cullen: A young templar who attends the Warden mage's Harrowing and who appears later in the campaign in the halls of the Tower. He has romantic feelings for a female mage warden, whether elven or human. He also appears in the Broken Circle questline.
  • Duncan: The Commander of the Grey in Ferelden.
  • Eadric: An elven mage apprentice doing research into his heritage.
  • Eleni Zinovia: A petrified woman/statue stored in the tower basement.
  • First Enchanter Irving: The First Enchanter of the Circle Tower in Ferelden.
  • Jowan (temporary companion): An apprentice mage and best friend of the character.
  • Keili: A troubled and deeply religious mage apprentice.
  • Knight-Commander Greagoir: Leader of the Templar Order in Kinloch Hold.
  • Lily (temporary companion): A Chantry initiate who is involved with Jowan.
  • Mouse (temporary companion): A being encountered in the Fade who claims to be a failed apprentice.
  • Niall: An Isolationist mage seen conversing with Senior Enchanter Torrin.
  • Owain: The Tranquil manager of the stockroom. He appears in the origin story and in the later Broken Circle questline.
  • Senior Enchanter Leorah: A mage in charge of the laboratory and the Storage Caves.
  • Senior Enchanter Sweeney: An elderly, possibly senile, mage with tales to tell of the Circle Tower.
  • Senior Enchanter Torrin: An older mage who will discuss the Fraternities of magi with Niall and the Warden.
  • Spirit of Valor: A benevolent Fade spirit that will offer the Warden a staff for use during the Harrowing.
  • Bran: a templar who guards the main doors of the Tower.


  • If the Magi is human, their mother is Revka Amell, a member of the noble Amell family of Kirkwall, and thus a cousin of Hawke.
    • Dialogue in Dragon Age II implies that the Human Magi has siblings, as Leandra says that they are only "one of [her] cousin Revka's children" and that "the Circle took them all". They would likely have been sent to other circles in Thedas, since the Chantry avoids keeping relatives in the same Circles. World of Thedas Vol. 2 confirms that Amell is one of five siblings, all of whom are mages.
  • If the Magi is elven, their background is more ambiguous. Through dialogue with Eadric, Surana can clarify their history prior to joining the Circle of Magi. Outside of this there is nothing known about the Surana family.
    • Potential answers include the Elven Magi having come from the Denerim Alienage, Lothering, or the Elven Magi can say that they do not remember where they come from, Eadric states that the templars must have taken them at a very early age.
  • If the Warden is human, there is no indication that Surana is present in the circle, while if the Warden is elven, there is no indication that Amell is present in the Circle. This is at odds with the other origins, where it is implied that all potential Wardens existed and experienced the same events sans Duncan's intervention.


  • In Dragon Age II, when Hawke speaks to Knight-Captain Cullen, Cullen will remark on Hawke's new role as scion of the Amell family, and will remark on his relationship with the Warden (if the Human Warden was female he will comment on the crush he once had on this "remarkable woman").
  • The Magi Origin was written by Sheryl Chee.[2]


Note: All bugs listed in this section can be solved for pcpcusers by downloading and installing this mod.

  • During the Harrowing, if you have acquired your staff and you talk to Bear Mouse, he will prematurely shout, out of context, "And there is a spirit of rage". Then, when you actually get near the spirit of rage, he'll initiate a casual conversation, again quite out of context.
  • When speaking to Niall in the Senior Mage Quarters, the camera oddly focuses on a silent Torrin while Niall is speaking. Also, if you do not ask Niall about apostates the first time the option appears, you will never get the opportunity again.
  • If you talk to the seated elf Eadric in the Senior Mage Quarters, after the conversation he will no longer be in the chair and will instead be sitting on empty air.
  • It is possible that the "Signed Rod of Fire Request Form" will not be removed from your plot items when you give it to Owain. This can be avoided by saving and then loading your game after obtaining the signed form but before giving it to Owain.
  • Enchanter Sweeney will act as if he signed your Rod of Fire Request Form even if someone else did so.
  • When Greagoir and Irving confront the player, Jowan and Lily, as they leave the basement, if the player worked undercover for Irving, Irving tells Greagoir that the player was following his orders. If the player is female, Jowan realizes you betrayed him and curses you, but will then forget that you betrayed him in all future conversations. If the player is male, that entire bit of dialogue is simply skipped.
  • During the final cutscene, after Jowan escapes, the templars will take Lily away to Aeonar. You will see Lily walk away, but in a birds eye view of the conversation between Irving, Greagoir and the Warden, you will see Lily standing in the corner.


See also[]