The nation of Rivain is located in the northeastern part of Thedas.
Its capital city is Dairsmuid, which is on the southern end of the Rivain peninsula. Being a peninsula, it is almost wholly surrounded by water except for a bridge of land connecting it to neighboring Antiva.
- Dairsmuid - capital, seat of the monarchy and the only place in Rivain where the Chantry has any authority
- Kont-aar - a Qunari settlement located on the northern coast. It's the last holding of the Qunari on the main land of Thedas and is supposed to be well fortified. It is also the sole peaceful Qunari settlement on the continent.
- Vindaar - a Qunari village located in northern Rivain
- Llomerryn, a politically neutral port city on an island off the southern tip of Rivain. It is famous for being the location in which the Llomerryn Accords were signed, finally ending the Qunari Wars and Exalted Marches which had been afflicting the continent for nearly 150 years. The city is a favored base for pirates and criminals and its renowned bazaars often peddle stolen goods. It is also the headquarters of the Felicisima Armada.
- -203 Ancient (992 TE): The Rivaini participate in the Battle of the Silent Plains in the southern reaches of Tevinter. Dumat is brutally stabbed and the darkspawn forces routed.
- -120 – -53 Ancient (1075–1142 TE)[note]: The Rivaini rebel in an attempt to split off from the Tevinter Imperium. They are supported by the eastern cities in the Free Marches. Tevinter launches campaigns to stop the rebellion. After several losses that culminated in the disastrous Battle of Temerin in -53 Ancient (1142 TE), the Imperium finally abandons the east.
- -44 Ancient (1151 TE)[note]: Foundation of the Kingdom of Rivain.
- 5:12 Exalted: Awakening of Andoral and the rise of the Fourth Blight. The darkspawn pour into Rivain from Antiva.
- 5:24 Exalted: Rivain is freed from the darkspawn during the battle at the city of Ayesleigh, where Garahel dies after defeating Andoral in combat.
- 6:32–42 Steel: The Qunari conquer Rivain.
- 7:25–85 Storm: The New Exalted Marches are declared repeatedly by both the Imperial Chantry (to retake Seheron and the eastern city of Qarinus) and the Chantry (to retake Rivain). Three major Exalted Marches occur. The wars take a terrible toll upon the population of Rivain.
- 7:84 Storm: The Qunari have been pushed back to the city of Kont-Aar in northern Rivain. The Llomerryn Accords are signed and peace is declared.
- After 7:84 Storm: The Chantry and nationalist forces of Rivain, unable to convert its people back to the worship of the Maker, try a purge by the sword, slaughtering countless unarmed men, women and children and burying them in mass graves.
- 9:40 Dragon: The Circle of Dairsmuid in Rivain is annulled.
Culture and society
The Rivaini have skin tones ranging from dark tan to ebony. Social standing in Rivain is often marked by tattoos and body piercings. The more elaborate one's decorations, the higher one's rank. This is often accompanied by extravagant jewelry.
The Rivaini, though possessing a currency-based economy as other nations do, place no real value on the accumulation of individual wealth and instead promote the idea of community welfare. As such, communities work together to support each other, sending supplies to other communities when needed.
The Rivaini have a peaceful relationship with the elves. Rivain is also home to the only peaceful Qunari settlement on the continent: Kont-aar in northern Rivain. Qunari emissaries are also common sight in Rivaini settlements; however, they stay away from the nobility. The Rivaini themselves originally hail from island chains beyond the Donarks.
Unlike the majority of peoples in Thedas, the Rivaini are not Andrastians and don't believe in the Maker. Rather, they are pantheists who believe in the Natural Order. As such, many hold to the belief that their god and the universe are the same. Though Rivain's royalty is still Andrastian, the Chantry lacks any authority beyond the capital of Dairsmuid. Many, especially in Kont-aar, have also converted to the Qun, as their religion and the Qun are not very contradictory. According to Ferdinand Genitivi, a well-known Chantry scholar:
"The Chant of Light never truly reached the ears of these people. Resistance to the Chant goes deeper than the Qunari Wars. The Rivaini refuse to be parted from their seers, wise women who are in fact hedge mages, communicating with spirits and actually allowing themselves to be possessed. The Chantry prohibition against such magical practices violates millennia of local tradition."
Though a Circle existed in Dairsmuid, it was merely a means to appease the Chantry. The mages of the Circle were allowed to see their families and the women were specifically trained to be seers, a position in Rivaini society that is revered as a matter of tradition. These local hedge witches converse with spirits and even allow themselves to be possessed for the benefit of their villages. These seers educate apprentices in their craft and are allowed their freedom provided they assist Templars when needed. The Rivaini Circles are similar to those elsewhere in Thedas and are supported financially by Andrastian nobles.
When the Chantry discovered these facts in 9:40 Dragon, they called the mages of the Circle of Dairsmuid apostates and used the Right of Annulment to destroy the Circle, needlessly murdering hundreds of unarmed men, women and children.
Role of women
The Rivaini are traditionally a matriarchal people and many believe that women are best suited to ruling. Most Rivaini communities are governed by elder women, the most senior of these women being the above-mentioned seers. Twice a year the seers travel to Dairsmuid to meet in council, forge trade agreements, and publicly pledge loyalty to Rivain's queen.
Notable people with Rivaini origins
- Madam Hari, Isabela's mother
- Tayana, Duncan's mother
- First Enchanter Rivella
- Captain Revaud, father of First Enchanter Rivella, member of the Felicisima Armada
- Cade Arvale, Champion of Tantervale
- Queen Asha Campana, née Asha Subira Bahadur Campana, the Rivaini-born Gana of Ayesleigh and wife of King Alonzo of Antiva
- Other sources claim that some historical events happened 25 years earlier, i.e. that the rebellion started in -145 Ancient, the Battle of Temerin took place in -78 Ancient and the Kingdom of Rivain was founded in -69 Ancient.
- According to David Gaider, Dalish in Rivain have a semi-permanent settlement in the city of Llomerryn. However, a party banter during Act 2 in Dragon Age II between Isabela and Merrill reveals that the Dalish have not yet reached Llomerryn (at least since Isabela was last there).
- Rivain produces tea, one in particular that is a blend of cinnamon, ginger and cloves, which appear to have healing properties.
- Rivaini consider beetles ill omens, and kill them on sight.
See alsoCodex entry: Rivain Codex entry: The Llomerryn Accords Codex entry: Tal-Vashoth Codex entry: Seers and the Allsmet