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Nevarra is a kingdom located in central Thedas. The area now corresponding to Nevarra was first settled by the Planasene tribe. It was originally part of the Tevinter Imperium, then claimed its independence to become one of the larger Marcher city-states. From its now-capital of Nevarra City, Nevarra rapidly expanded to become a nation proper in the Exalted Age.[1] Thanks to enormous wealth and a strategic central location in Thedas, some claim Nevarra's power now rivals that of the Orlesian Empire.

Nevarra is best known for its unique approach to death. Unlike other Andrastian nations, they do not burn their dead but instead mummify them and have them placed in elaborate tombs. They also believe that dead souls displace Fade spirits when they cross the Veil, and as such allow these spirits to possess the dead under the supervision of a secretive order of mages known as the Mortalitasi. This has given the mages of Nevarra more political power than mages in most nations outside of Tevinter.[2] Nevarra is also renowned for its royal dynasties and its tradition of dragon-hunting.


Ancient history[]

Nevarra was originally settled by the Planasene, a farming people with a strong culture of animist worship.[3] Their earliest known ruler was King Damertes, a contemporary of King Antoridus of Neromenian and Archon Thalsian, who are said to have lived around -1595 Ancient. Damertes' struggle against Antoridus and his desperate turn to demon worship is described in Threnodies 6 of the Chant of Light. Although Damertes successfully defended his people from the Neromenian onslaught, the Planasene were ultimately conquered by rising Tevinter in the following centuries.

Nevarra remained part of the Tevinter Imperium until around -180 Ancient when Andraste and Maferath led their armies north. The Lord of Nevarra, Hector, was one of Andraste's most loyal followers. It was from his stronghold in the city that Andraste was captured by the Imperium following Maferath's betrayal.[4]

With Andraste gone, Maferath returned to rule over the Fereldan Valley. He dispersed the remaining lands among his three sons while giving the Dales to the elves, as promised by Andraste for their help against the Tevinters. Verald was given the lands surrounding Nevarra City. He constantly leveraged his father's name to secure his throne, building such strong ties between him and his father that when Maferath's betrayal of Andraste was revealed in -160 Ancient,[5][6] Verald was forced out of the city and all of his court was killed.[7]

Rise as an independent nation[]

By the Glory Age, rule of the city-state changed hands several times. As a result of inefficient leadership and infighting, Nevarra was lagging behind the other Marcher city-states. King Ionas, who had ruled Nevarra for decades, was in failing health and being taken advantage of by his advisors and friends. Many thought the best course of action would be to give Nevarra over to Orlais or one of the stronger city-states like Starkhaven. Caspar Pentaghast of Hunter Fell averted this course of action by deposing King Ionas in 2:46 Glory and seizing the throne for himself, founding the first Pentaghast dynasty. Under his leadership, Nevarra's fortunes turned around. This also marked the beginning of Nevarra's long history of royal dynasties.[8]

In 3:25 Towers, the armies of Orlais and the Tevinter Imperium joined with the Grey Wardens to end the Third Blight. However, the victorious armies proceeded to occupy the territories they had liberated from the darkspawn. Nevarra was taken by Orlais, except for Hunter Fell which went to the Imperium, and only regained its independence in 3:65 Towers.[9][10]

In 5:37 Exalted, Nevarran general Tylus Van Markham, who claimed descent from Emperor Kordillus Drakon I, successfully rallied the populace to overthrow King Nestor Pentaghast and claim the throne for himself. Being a hero of the recent Fourth Blight, Tylus was able to stir nationalistic feelings in the western Free Marches against the growing power of Orlais. He proved his military might by winning several major battles against the Orlesians, establishing Nevarra as a new, growing power and a full-fledged nation in its own right.

In 5:40 Exalted, a cadre of knights known as the Fallen held the line at the Fields of Ghislain against an Orlesian incursion, keeping King Tylus alive long enough for Nevarran forces to retreat. This act is credited as ensuring the survival of the newly carved out Nevarran nation.[11] The Van Markhams would produce three more kings. The last Van Markham king died in the Steel Age with no sons, but his daughter married a Pentaghast and the two families merged to solidify Nevarra's status as a significant power in Thedas. They have ruled Nevarra since then, under the Pentaghast name.

Military conflicts[]

In 7:82 Storm, Emperor Etienne Valmont of Orlais set aside his childless empress of seventeen years to wed Princess Sotiria Pentaghast, in the hopes of creating lasting peace and cooperation between the two nations. By 7:97 Storm, Sotiria was still childless, and the emperor sent her to a cloister so that he could marry his mistress, Marquise Yvette. The Nevarrans took this extremely poorly. After cartloads of angry letters failed to improve the situation, a small war party of Pentaghasts rode into Orlais and reclaimed their princess. They took no further military action until 8:46 Blessed, when the Orlesian army was still committed to a war in Ferelden. The Nevarrans declared war and promptly took a number of cities. The Orlesians eventually managed to rally a defense and drive the Nevarrans from Ghislain and Arlesans, but Perendale was lost and never recovered. It remains a Nevarran possession to this day.[12]

In 8:60, Aurelian Pentaghast attempted to assume the Nevarran throne. When it was revealed that he was not a Pentaghast by blood (he was in fact Princess Sotiria's stepson from her second marriage to Orlesian nobleman Gustav LaFleur) he joined the dwarven Legion of the Dead, the only human ever to do so.[13] In 8:70 Blessed, a war between Nevarra and Orlais over the control of the western hills around Perendale resulted in Nevarran victory. However, Orlais proceeded to sow dissent and rebellion among the locals in Perendale, who resented Nevarran rule.[14]

Orlesian invasion

War with Orlais

In 8:82 Blessed, Nevarra began a bloody campaign of conquest within the Free Marches, encouraged by their taking of Perendale. They were stopped by Cade Arvale from Rivain, who was named Champion of Tantervale for his deed.[15]

In 8:99 Blessed, dragons devastated the countrysides in Orlais and Nevarra, and all attempts to slay them ended in disaster. In response, Divine Faustine II abruptly named the Dragon Age, saying that it would be an age of violence and upheaval.[14]


Nevarra is bordered by Orlais and the Hunterhorn Mountains to the west, the Free Marches to the east, Tevinter to the north, and the Waking Sea to the south. The Minanter river crosses Nevarra, making its central plains a very fertile region.

Nevarra 1 wotv1

A derelict Nevarran crypt[16]


Nevarra City WoT2

Nevarra City as sketched by Brother Genitivi[17]



  • Cumber River
  • Minanter River – crosses most of the Free Marches, making them one of the most fertile regions of Thedas; in ancient times, it was known as Pnemoix[18] and was considered a sacred river by the people of the Planasene (the water was used for anointment[19])


  • The Imperial Highway crosses Nevarra by starting from the Silent Plains in the north, then crosses the Minanter River until it reaches Cumberland, then turns west to Orlais.

Culture and society[]

Nevarra Crypt

A wealthy Nevarran's crypt

Nevarra is renowned for its art. The whole country is filled with artistry, from the statues of heroes that litter the streets in even the meanest villages to the glittering golden College of Magi in Cumberland.[20] Nevarran gardens are also very beautiful; they are rich, colorful pieces of art in and of themselves.[21]

Nevarra City in particular engages in numerous cultural events and contests throughout the year.[22] In summer the nobility participate in the "Duchess's Games" at the Anaxas estate, in which scholars from Cumberland test their wit against denizens of the Free Marches in debates of philosophy and rhetoric, usually taking place over tea with the Duchess Ravria Anaxas.

In autumn, the residents of Nevarra City hold ancestral pageants.[22] Lanterns are lit on the streets to illuminate the statues of ancestors and families drape their statues in colorful cloth and hire actors to stand by them at night to enact momentous events from their lives. The actors are paid in copper coins. The best pageantry takes place on the boulevard leading to the Castrum Draconis, in which statues of kings and queens are prominent. Pentaghasts and Van Markhams compete to outdo one another in extravagant pageantry here. Rumor holds that Mortalitasi of the Grand Necropolis perform autumn rites at this time as well.[22]

In winter, skating takes place on the Minanter, fueled by roasted chestnuts and hot spiced tea.[22] As winter was also historically the time of dragon hunting, due to the sluggishness of the dragons in the cold weather, hunt balls are still held in winter despite the scarcity of such dragon hunts in recent times.[22] Some homes keep dragon's hearts or heads as gruesome centerpieces. The hunt balls have become more of a metaphor for the hunt itself, with couples dressing in armor and flowing red cloth as they dance together.

In spring, Nevarra holds Wintersend tournaments to great acclaim.[22] These days there is less jousting and more tests of arms in archery and sword fighting.

Beetles are prized in Nevarra, and many households keep them in small cages for good luck.[23] They also use encrusted beetle wings for decorative purposes.[24]


Nevarran people view food as something that should be both a beautiful scene and a delicious meal. Care is taken in the plating and presentation of food so as to create aesthetically pleasing scenes. For example, blood orange salad is a Nevarran dish in which blood oranges are flawlessly cut into slices and then artistically arranged upon a bed of bitter greens.[25] Flat bread originates in Nevarra and is often served there as a side to several dishes. It is a no-rise bread that takes only a few minutes to be made from dough, and is eaten unaccompanied or with dips such as yogurt dip or brushed with oil.[26] Flat bread from Nevarra is also served in Tevinter, for example as a side accompanying a strange and unrecognizable meat dish known as "unidentified meat" that is commonly available in Tevinter taverns.[27]

Burial practices[]

Nevarran Tomb

Unlike most other Andrastians, Nevarrans do not burn their dead but instead carefully preserve the bodies and seal them in elaborate tombs. Some of the wealthiest Nevarrans start building their own tombs while still young, spending decades overseeing their construction. These become incredible palaces, with gardens, bathhouses, and ballrooms, kept only for the dead.[20] These crypts are often decorated with their most prized possessions[28], and each crypt is as unique as the family buried there.[29]

The mummified body of King Caspar the Magnificent is kept in the Grand Necropolis, wearing a gold crown and sitting on a throne of gold and marble. Children of the royal family are often taken to meet him.[30]

Death and magic[]

Nevarran mummy

A mummified elf[2]

Mages of Nevarra have more political power than mages in other countries under the aegis of the Orlesian Chantry, and wield nearly as much power within Nevarra as the magisters of the Tevinter Imperium.

Nevarrans have a unique relationship with magic and death. They believe that when a dead soul crosses the Fade it displaces a Fade spirit. In order to provide safe hosts for such spirits they mummify their corpses and place them in elaborate crypts in the Grand Necropolis. This task is entrusted to a secretive order of mages known as Mortalitasi, founded by a Tevinter mage named Vitus Fabria, who first preached the idea. Its gray-robed members enjoy wealth and political power as they often serve as advisers to Nevarran nobility, including the kings.[2]

Because they rarely leave Nevarra, much of the Mortalitasi's practices are shrouded in mystery and fear, even to mages outside the nation's borders. They are rumored to be a death cult and experiment with necromancy, but whatever the truth, they are arguably the most well-schooled mages outside of the Tevinter Imperium.[31]


The Pentaghast clan is renowned for its past dragon hunter heroes, each of whom led a crusade to hunt dragons to extinction - and nearly succeeded. While the dragons were a scourge for a very long time, the Nevarrans' hunt for their dragonbone (from which they made the famed ebony armor worn by their kings) and glory almost wiped them out in the Steel Age and dragons were thought extinct until their reappearance in the Dragon Age.


See also: Nevarran royalty and nobility

Nevarra has a history of royal dynasties dating back to the Glory Age, starting with King Caspar Pentaghast I.

First Pentaghast Dynasty[]

King Caspar I's family held the throne from the Glory Age into the Exalted Age, approximately three hundred years.[32] The Pentaghasts' rule was briefly interrupted in the Towers Age under Orlesian occupation. It resumed with King Caspar II, who ousted the Orlesians and remains one of Nevarra's most revered kings.

Van Markham Dynasty[]

Following the Fourth Blight, General Tylus van Markham, who claimed descent from Kordillus Drakon I, turned the populace against the Pentaghast clan, claiming the dynasty had forgotten the values they once held and had become corrupt and dissolute.[32] King Nestor Pentaghast was killed in the rebellion, stabbed sixteen times while seated on his throne, and those of his clan who remained fled to Hunter Fell, their ancestral home. Tylus and three other Van Markham kings transformed Nevarra into the modern country it is today, overtaking large parcels of Orlesian land to do it.

Second Pentaghast Dynasty[]

In the Steel Age, the last Van Markham king perished with no male heirs. His daughter married a Pentaghast, effectively uniting the warring clans. This union allowed Pentaghast rule to return with the Van Markhams enjoying powerful status among the nobility.[32]

Modern day[]

The current ruler of the nation is Markus Pentaghast, an old man of weak health and uncertain sanity.[29] His rule has been condemned by those who claim his Mortalitasi advisers are ruling through him, much as Ionas' did so long ago. Pentaghast and Van Markham relatives alike are vying to replace the old king, but some say it is time for the two ruling families to cede power to a new family. Ferdinand Pentaghast, younger brother of Markus, is the presumptive heir. However, he is also old and uninterested in ruling, and neither brother have any known children. The future of the Pentaghast dynasty hangs in the balance.

Notable Nevarrans[]


Cassandra Pentaghast

Nevarran adventurer

Concept art of a Nevarran adventurer[33]

Merrill Portrait


For a complete list, see Category:Nevarrans.
Note: The list below can include people of either Nevarran ancestry or Nevarran nationality.

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Nevarra Codex entry: Nevarra
Codex entry: Armor of the Fallen Codex entry: Armor of the Fallen


  • While Nevarra has a name similar to that of the Spanish region of Navarre/Navarra, it is not based on Spain.[36]
  • The gold coin in Nevarra is called a king's gulder.[37]


  1. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 51
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 56
  3. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 26
  4. Landmarks in the Emprise#Hector in his time of dying
  5. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 46
  6. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 70
  7. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 15
  8. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 51
  9. Prima Official Game Guide (Collector's Edition), p. 344
  10. Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, Down Among the Dead Men
  11. Armor of the Fallen
  12. Codex entry: The Perendale War
  13. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 40
  14. 14.0 14.1 Prima Official Game Guide (Collector's Edition), p. 345
  15. Codex entry: Mantle of the Champion
  16. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 54-55
  17. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 132
  18. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 52
  19. As described in the Chant of Light, Threnodies 6.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Codex entry: Nevarra
  21. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 13
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 41
  23. Codex entry: Crate of Live Death Watch Beetles
  24. Dragon Age: Hard in Hightown, p. 12
  25. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 13
  26. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 109
  27. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 37
  28. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 130
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 53
  30. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 42
  31. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 104
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 52
  33. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 31
  34. Support from Nevarra war table operation.
  35. The College of Magi war table operation.
  36. BioWare forums developer post - David Gaider on Nevarra/Navarra
  37. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 46