Saarebas is a former Qunari mage turned Tal-Vashoth. He was part of the Antaam, but after the Arishok's ship sank near Kirkwall, Saarebas beached alone north of Kirkwall where he was taken by templars to a Chantry prison.
"Saarebas" is not his real name but his title and role, like Sten or Tallis. "Saarebas" identifies him as a mage under the Qun. As a saarebas he was treated harshly all his life and eventually developed hatred toward his Qunari oppressors.
Saarebas was beached in the small village of Wrenwith after a fleet of Qunari Antaam wrecked off the coast of Kirkwall. Like all Saarebas, he was crudely bound, and the villagers rushed to free him. Saarebas was captured by templar knights, but not before he slaughtered the villagers. Among the slain villagers were Cairn's family.
Saarebas is taken to a secret Chantry prison where he is tortured so that he will reveal Qunari magic secrets. In prison, he meets a Dalish Keeper by the name of Yevven. Yevven tells him about a Dalish magical artifact known as the Mask of Fen'Harel.
Upon hearing of Saarebas's crimes against his family, Cairn in his anger assaults the prison. However, Cairn is unable to kill Saarebas, and by mistake helps him escape. Gathering the imprisoned mercenaries, Saarebas escapes to a nearby Dalish camp, belonging to Yevven's clan. Saarebas steals the artifact Yevven mentioned, and kidnaps a Dalish woman, Fina, as elven blood is required for the ritual involving the Mask of Fen'Harel.
Saarebas arrives at Sundermount and performs the ritual to open a gate to the Fade through which an army of demons can enter the physical world. According to Nyree, Saarebas plans to use the demons to destroy his enemies, including the Qunari and the Chantry.Saarebas is tracked by Cairn, a templar renegade, Tallis, who is working for the Qunari, and Josmael, Fina's betrothed. A fight ensues. Saarebas overpowers Tallis, but the fatal spell intended for her hits Cairn instead. Enraged, Tallis goes against her orders to bring Saarebas back to the Qun alive, and kills him.