The Mortalitasi are a group of mages in Nevarra who wield considerable political power and influence. Popularly referred to as "Death Mages", they are responsible for the mummification of the bodies of the Nevarran elite.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

The order was founded by a Tevinter mage named Vitus Fabria, who was a personal adviser of Caspar Pentaghast.

The Mortalitasi are linked to the royal family by blood, and it is common for Nevarran nobility to employ members of this order as advisers. Even though Mortalitasi are well-respected within the kingdom, mages outside Nevarra fear them and there are beliefs that they are actually a death cult performing macabre rituals in the Grand Necropolis.[2]

Markus Pentaghast, the current ruler of Nevarra, is an aged man of weak health and uncertain sanity.[3] His rule has been condemned by those who claim his Mortalitasi advisers are ruling through him, much as Ionas, whom the Pentaghast family deposed, did long ago.

Beliefs and practices[edit | edit source]

The Mortalitasi believe that when a soul of the dead crosses the Fade, it displaces a spirit. In exchange, they invite those spirits to house themselves in the empty bodies left behind.[4] They believe that mummified corpses provide a safe host for these displaced Fade spirits.[5] This school of thought is prominent in modern-day Nevarra, but viewed as barbaric by other nations in Thedas.[1] Less commonly known is the fact that more vigorous spirits may become emmeshed in their host's unfinished business.[4]

There are differing beliefs within the order as well. Some Mortalitasi believe that the "higher dead," more complete entities, hold fast to their mortal souls, while others believe that it is impossible.[4]

The order studies death extensively, and its members are known to experiment with necromancy.[2] Some Mortalitasi keep animated skeletons as assistants or use skeletal horses as a means of transportation. Such beings also serve as guardians of the Grand Necropolis.[4] Drawing wisps across the Veil is also a Mortalitasi practice.[6]

Organization[edit | edit source]

The Mourn Watch

There are different orders amongst the Mortalitasi who attend to certain tasks within the Grand Necropolis. There are the Guides of the Path who shepherd the corpses and the fraternity of the Mourn Watch.[7] The Mourn Watch serve as the elite guardians and keepers of the Grand Necropolis and its sacred repository of the dead. They also deal with magic that has gone awry, especially as related to Nevarran funerary rights and corpse possession. The Mourn Watchers have absolute authority over funerary dead.[4]

In the formative years of the Nevarran fascination with death, there was a Mortalitasi sect known as "The First" whose motto was "Ever forward, ever deathward."[8]

Involvement[edit | edit source]

Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights[edit | edit source]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights.

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

Down Among the Dead Men
The Mourn Watch investigates the premature possession of Lord Penrick Karn's corpse during his funeral procession. The Watcher Myrna takes Audric Felhausen, one of the guards present during the funeral, to the Grand Necropolis. Together, they destroy the pride demon that had taken possession of the corpse. With Myrna's help, Audric comes to the realization that he's actually a spirit, the "real" Audric having died of wounds sustained during the funeral. He agrees to work under Myrna's control, and is given charge of the library.

Murder by Death Mages
The Mortalitasi mage Antonia devises a plot to strengthen Mortalitasi influence over the king and the general population by exposing the lengths the nobility will go to to gain power. She is killed by Sidony after revealing her plot to her.

The Dread Wolf Take You
An unnamed Mortalitasi mage attends a meeting of Thedas's best spies called by Charter to discuss Fen'Harel. She says that she was attacked by the Dread Wolf in the Fade while using the lyrium idol as part of a ritual with a Tevinter mage. The Dread Wolf accused her of threatening all of creation with her careless use of his idol, and that her life would be forfeit if she bound any more spirits.

She used a wisp to stir her tea for her during the meeting with Charter and the other spies. Solas freed the wisp after killing the Mortalitasi.

Known Mortalitasi[edit | edit source]

Viuus Anaxas, a trainer of the Necromancer specialization for the Inquisitor
Antonia [9]
Earnest Artelli, prelate of the Order of Mortalitasi in 7:45 Storm [10]
Rodomonte van Heigl, senior member of the Mortalitasi [11]
Lord Henrik [9]
Myrna, a Mourn Watcher [4]
Vestalus Pentaghast, prelate of the Mortalitasi (9:12 Dragon), uncle to Anthony & Cassandra Pentaghast
Professor Emmrich Volkahrin, a Mourn Watcher [4]

Mortalitasi affiliates[edit | edit source]

Sidony, a mage raised in secret by a Mortalitasi mage and trained in their arcane techniques but not a member herself

Codex entries[edit | edit source]

Codex entry: Exhuming Bodies by Moonlight Codex entry: Exhuming Bodies by Moonlight

See also[edit | edit source]

Walking Death Walking Death
Deathward Deathward

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 53, 56
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 104
  3. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 53
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, Down Among the Dead Men
  5. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 56
  6. According to Solas in a dialogue about the Necromancer specialization.
  7. Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, The Dread Wolf Take You
  8. Deathward
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, Murder by Death Mages
  10. According to the description of Earnest Reprisal.
  11. Codex entry: Spellbinder

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