Orzammar is a great thaig and one of the remaining dwarven kingdoms in Thedas. An underground metropolis, the thaig is located deep beneath the Frostback Mountains and was once the capital of the dwarven empire.

According to legend, the thaig's name derives from one of the seven brothers who founded the dwarven empire and his descendants formed the Mining caste.

History Edit

It is an awe–inspiring sight, a great city of stone standing within a vast cavern, poised over a sea of molten lava. There the forges ring loudest, and the finest smiths create works that are the envy of all races. Countless thaigs were lost in the First Blight, when the darkspawn poured out of the Deep Roads like smoke. With each generation, more of the Deep Roads had to be sealed, more thaigs lost forever. Now only Orzammar stands—the last bastion of the dwarven race and its finest creation.[2]

According to the dwarven history, the dwarven empire once spread across all of Thedas, and that the underground city-fortresses called thaigs were almost beyond counting. Kal-Sharok was the capital then, home to all the noble houses, and Orzammar was simply the home of the mining and smith castes.

Orzammar, Kal-Sharok, Kal'Hirol, and nine other thaigs, are considered "great thaigs", as opposed to the numerous other thaigs as they were once the main centers of the dwarven empire.

At -1170 Ancient (25 TE) King Endrin Stonehammer moved the capital of the dwarven empire to Orzammar[3] to preside more directly over the commercial aspects of dwarven life, mining and crafting, as Orzammar was the ancestral seat of the Mining and Smith castes[4] and because of the turmoil in the Tevinter Imperium following the death of the Archon Darinius.[1] This sparked the development of several construction projects in the city. The most famous of which is the Stonehammer Hall and the expansion of the Proving Grounds. However some years later, the taxes drained by Orzammar from Kal-Sharok's trade profits began to grow burdensome.[3]

Following the outbreak of the First Blight, the dwarven empire was crumbling. Paragon Aeducan assumed the leadership of Orzammar and managed to push back the darkspawn. Despite his victory, it was not enough and after the end of the First Blight the darkspawn kept pushing; by -15 Ancient (1180 TE), the kingdom of Orzammar was assumed to be the last one still standing.[5] Since then, the kingdom was in a steady decline by losing most of its outlying thaigs.

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.

In the Towers Age the Chasind Wilders along with other "terrible things" were led by Flemeth's daughters, the Witches of the Wild. This force invaded the region of what would be Ferelden and were all but unopposed until the hero Cormac led an army of Alamarri fighters and Orzammar dwarves. After a long series of dreadful battles, the Chasind were all but destroyed, and the witches burned.[6]

Involvement Edit

In Orzammar, things are solved quickly and with as much bloodshed as we can stand... and then a little bit more.

Dragon Age: Origins Edit

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

In the eve of the Fifth Blight, King Endrin Aeducan passes away and the two candidates for the throne, Prince Bhelen Aeducan and Lord Pyral Harrowmont vie for power. This creates an internal strife in Orzammar which the Warden manages to solve by eventually choosing one of the two candidates as new king of Orzammar.

This leads to Orzammar sending forces to Ferelden for the purpose of defeating the Blight. In the epilogue, a dwarven Warden has also the option of requesting Ferelden to assist Orzammar.

All of the following quests are initiated, but not necessarily completed, in Orzammar itself.

Main quests:
Orzammar map location

The map location of Orzammar

Ico Quest Seek out Steward Bandelor
Ico Quest A Lord's Trust: The First Task
Ico Quest A Prince's Favor: The First Task
Ico Quest A Lord's Trust/A Prince's Favor: The Second Task
Ico Quest Shifting Allegiances
Ico Quest Betrayed from Within
Ico Quest A Paragon of Her Kind

Side quests:

Ico Quest A Lost Nug
Ico Quest A Mother's Hope
Ico Quest An Unlikely Scholar
Ico Quest Caged in Stone (unmarked)
Ico Quest Exotic Methods
Ico Quest Jammer's Stash
Ico Quest Lost to the Memories
Ico Quest Of Noble Birth
Ico Quest Precious Metals
Ico Quest Proving After Dark (unmarked)
Ico Quest The Chant in the Deeps
Ico Quest The Dead Caste
Ico Quest The Golem Registry
Ico Quest The Key to the City
Ico Quest The Shaper's Life (unmarked)
Ico Quest Thief in the House of Learning
Ico Quest Zerlinda's Woe

Surrounding environments:

These quests take place entirely outside of Orzammar, though they are filed under "Orzammar" in the journal.

Ico Quest An Admirable Topsider
Ico Quest Asunder
Ico Quest The Drifter's Cache

Ico Quest The Gangue Shade (unmarked)

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening Edit

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.

In 9:31 Dragon, the dwarven army led by House Helmi cleares the great thaig of Kal'Hirol and the Deep Roads connecting it to Orzammar from darkspawn, reclaiming it once again.[7]

Witch Hunt Edit

This section contains spoilers for:
Witch Hunt.

By 9:32 Dragon the Fereldans still remember the help and support of Orzammar in the last Blight. This resulted in increased trade and stronger diplomatic ties between the two kingdoms.[8]

Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

In 9:41 Dragon the newly-established Inquisition allies with Orzammar because of their common enemy and is their sole supplier of lyrium.

However things are not well in the city, with the turmoil happening on the surface, including the Orlesian Civil War, the food imports from the surface have severely been decreased, causing widespread food riots and civil unrest.

Places Edit

Orzammar concept art

Concept art of Orzammar

Ico Area Map Alimar's Emporium
Ico Area Map Carta Hideout / Beraht's Hideout
Ico Area Map Chamber of the Assembly
Ico Area Map Orzammar chantry, if you complete the quest The Chant in the Deep.
Ico Area Map Orzammar Commons
Ico Area Map Orzammar Diamond Quarter
Ico Area Map Dust Town
Ico Area Map Dust Town Home
Ico Area Map Figor's Imports, locked when you first arrive.
Ico Area Map Orzammar Hall of Heroes
Ico Area Map Harrowmont's Estate
Ico Area Map Janar Armorers / Beraht's Shop
Ico Area Map Orzammar Prison, encountered in The Exile quest.
Ico Area Map Orzammar Proving
Ico Area Map Orzammar Royal Palace
Ico Area Map Orzammar Shaperate
Ico Area Map Tapster's Tavern, a popular tavern of the area.

Diamond Quarter Edit

Dragon age origins conceptart rroUX

Concept art of Orzammar

The Diamond Quarter is the home to the very pinnacle of dwarven society, the noble caste and the royal family. It is also the highest point in Orzammar, looking down upon the rest of the city. The many halls here contain the most important aspects of dwarven society and is not often seen by those of other castes. On some occasions, however, a select few of the merchant caste are allowed to set up stalls here and sell their wares directly to the nobles.[9][10]

The Royal Palace sits here as does the estate of House Harrowmont. The Assembly resides next to the Palace, the home of Orzammar's bitter political battles. For those few outsiders engaging in diplomatic relations, a ceremonial Key to the City awaits, should they take it upon themselves to learn more of dwarven culture. The Shaperate lies next to the Assembly, the literal Memories of the dwarven society. If it is not recorded within the Shaperate, it is either completely unknown, misplaced in the Deep Roads or outright ignored.

This is the starting point for the Dwarf Noble Origin. Some merchants are here for a time being, but you cannot go anywhere else other than the Proving Grounds.

Commons Edit

The Commons is the largest and central portion of Orzammar, and serves as the home to the bulk of Orzammar’s population, particularly those of the merchant caste. the Commons is where they, and those permitted from the Surface dwarves, peddle their wares. It is a respectable and well maintained sector, a far cry from the destitution of Dust Town, playing host to the Proving Grounds.

The Commons has many tiers. As a general rule, higher tiers are home to more powerful or influential dwarves. Warriors generally live higher than smiths, who dwell higher than artisans, and so forth. As a rule, though, the dwellings of the Commons are far simpler than those of the Diamond Quarter, and seldom extend as deep into the rock.

The lowest Commons tier rests just above a pool of lava spanned by a bridge that leads to the Proving Grounds which are the home of the honorable dwarven gladiatorial contests known simply as the "Provings". Merchants of every stripe, including surfacers, do their business here. There is always a great deal of activity on the streets, and regular patrols of soldiers keep order. Many passages lead from the Commons to Orzammar's mine works and to the Deep Roads, though many of the latter are sealed and heavily guarded.[10]

Dust Town Edit

Orzammar WOT

Concept art of Orzammar[11]

The Dust Town is the poorest sector of Orzammar. The old palace of the thaig used to be located here but now it is in an appalling state of disrepair and ruin and is the veritable "seedy underbelly" of the city. The reason is that it is the home of the casteless, or "dusters" as they are informally known, dwarves who are believed to be rejected by the Stone and thus shunned by the rest of society and left to rot. The inhabitants of Dust Town have no rights and are not allowed to do work that is performed by any of the other castes and, as such, the majority turn to the Carta, a criminal organisation. Beyond crime, the only other means of survival are begging, "Noble Hunting" or hunting nugs.

Dust Town is a dangerous place and should an unwary outsider ever find their way in the midst of the Carta's territory, the local Dusters will feel no hesitation in relieving them of their possessions.

Dust Town is also the starting point for the Dwarf Commoner Origin and home to the Commoner's home, however after the Origin, it is left abandoned.

Banter Edit

Entrance to Orzammar

The surface entrance of Orzammar in the Frostback Mountain Pass.

Party banter may be triggered at the following spots:

  • On the bridge leading to the Proving and in the Hall of Heroes near the dwarven scholar.
  • In the Diamond Quarter outside the Chamber of the Assembly.

Companion remarks Edit

One of your companions may make interesting remarks at certain spots:

  • Just outside Tapster's Tavern
  • Entering Tapster's Tavern
  • Entering Dust Town
  • Outside the Royal Palace in the Diamond Quarter
  • Entering the Proving
  • On path to the Deep Roads, before Mines Commander

Trivia 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.

  • Prostitution exists in Orzammar, with the finest brothels being restricted to the highest caste dwarves, such as warrior caste.[12]
  • The pelts of red lions are greatly prized by the dwarves of Orzammar.[13]

See also Edit

Ico codex entry Codex entry: The City of Orzammar
Ico codex entry Codex entry: Orzammar History: Chapter One
Ico codex entry Codex entry: Orzammar History: Chapter Two
Ico codex entry Codex entry: The Key to the City
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Darktown's Deal

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 37
  2. Orzammar. BioWare wiki.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 19-20
  4. Codex entry: Orzammar History: Chapter One
  5. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 52
  6. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 1, p. 9
  7. Mentioned in the epilogue.
  8. Mentioned in the description of Orzammar while viewing the world map in Witch Hunt DLC.
  9. As was the case during The Nobles' Feast quest.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 19
  11. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 18
  12. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 14
  13. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Blood in Ferelden, p. 53
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.