Miner caste

The Mining caste, also called as Miner caste[1][2], is the caste of dwarven society responsible for mining and excavating ore and minerals, the most valuable and precious of which is lyrium.

Background Edit

According to legend, the mining caste was founded by Orzammar, one of seven brothers. Orzammar dug the mines that became the foundations of the great thaig of Orzammar. From his descendants formed the Mining caste.[3]

Orzammar is the ancestral home of the Mining and Smith castes[4][5] and as such has had a strategic and financial importance to the empire. Part of the reason was to protect these commercial interests, that King Endrin Stonehammer in ancient times decreed the move of the capital from Kal-Sharok to Orzammar.[5][6]

Miners in the city of Orzammar enjoy a great deal of wealth and power. They are organized into the Miner's Guild which decides on how to distribute the extracted minerals.[7] Rich veins of ore lie in the Frostback Mountains and thus the miners are important to the livelihood of the dwarven people, and they make the most of this esteem.

Dwarves of the mining caste are able to find lyrium veins by ear[8] and some of them claim that they hear the Stone sing.[9] Miners are also the most proficient in the usage of explosives and grenades.[10][11]

Lyrium trade Edit

Orzammar enjoys lucrative trade agreements with many surface organizations due to its control of the flow of lyrium to the surface and the mining caste is essential to this. The dwarves is the only known race which can mine lyrium safely and they tightly guard this secret.[12] They safely store lyrium within lead containers but further information on the exact specifications of these containers is also a secret.[13] The Chantry requires lyrium to enhance the anti-magical abilities of its Templars[14], the Circle of Magi requires lyrium to fuel its magic and to create runes, and the Tevinter Imperium requires enormous quantities to power its magocracy. This gives Orzammar immense influence on surface politics and trade negotiations and has facilitated a long-standing relationship between the dwarves and the Imperium, forged millennia ago by Paragons Garal and Stonehammer. In spite of this, smuggling can and does go on, as the Carta often sells illicit lyrium on the surface.

Known Mining houses Edit

Mining houses are listed in an alphabetical order and those whose status is unknown have their name italicized.

  • Keltarr: Members of this house are mining high grade lyrium in West Sink Mines of Orzammar.[14]
  • Valdasine[15]

Known members Edit

BioWare canon
The following characters, lore and events in this section are non-canon in Dragon Age and exist only within the Dragon Age tabletop RPG.

  • Grundrak[11]: He wrote a book named 'On Combustibles and Corrosives' which discusses the use of combustiles and corrosives for best effect and contains the formalae for both the Fire Bomb and Acid Flask. This book was written in the Trade tongue as he was certain that humans needed the advice most of all.

Notes Edit

  • The term "shaft-rats" is commonly used as a slur name for dwarves of the mining caste.[7]
  • Despite the Mining caste being the most experienced entity in Thedas when it comes to lyrium, they have never encountered Red lyrium or even knew its existence.[13]
BioWare canon
The following characters, lore and events in this section are non-canon in Dragon Age and exist only within the Dragon Age tabletop RPG.

  • If they chose, the miners could cripple the city by halting ore production, but rarely is this blackmail used.[2]
  • Unlike many other areas of dwarven life, women in the mining caste enjoy greater equality. They are also known to work some of the most productive veins and shafts of lyrium.[17]
  • While working in the mine shafts, the glowing slime is an animal which is considerably dangerous to the miners.[18]

See also Edit

Ico codex entry Codex entry: The Castes
Quest icon DAI A Crew of Ambassadors (Part V)
Quest icon DAI Deep Roads Expeditions: Bastion of the Pure Excavation
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: An Unsent Letter from a Miner
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Lyrium Blast Charges

References Edit

  1. Codex entry: Orzammar History: Chapter One
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG) Player's Guide, set 2, p. 15
  3. According to Shaper Czibor in Dragon Age: Origins.
  4. Codex entry: Orzammar History: Chapter One
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG) Player's Guide, set 2, p. 10
  6. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 37
  7. 7.0 7.1 Codex entry: Ancient Writings
  8. Codex entry: Lyrium
  9. Codex entry: The Crosscut Drifters
  10. Codex entry: House Aeducan, Shield of Orzammar
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, p. 89
  12. Mentioned by Solas in conversation with Varric Tethras. Further information unveiled by Varric in the Deep Roads in Trespasser DLC.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Mentioned in conversation with Varric Tethras.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Note: Lyrium Manifest
  15. Codex entry: Valdasine
  16. Codex entry: Heidrun Thaig
  17. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG) Player's Guide, set 2, p. 16
  18. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG) Game Master's Guide, set 2, p. 27
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