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The Second Blight began in the Anderfels with the corruption of Zazikel, the Old God of Freedom[1] or the Dragon of Chaos, in 1:05 Divine, and lasted 90 years.[2]


Beginning of the Blight[]

Organized under Zazikel, the darkspawn poured out of the mountains south of the Anderfels. The city of Hossberg was hit first. Its defenders were slaughtered down to nearly one man before the Wardens managed to get word out.[3]

The darkspawn also emerged on the western ranges and moved east, eventually overrunning all of Thedas. As a result, the Tevinter Imperium abandoned the Anderfels in order to better protect their core territories.[2][4]

BioWare canon
The following information is only mentioned in Dragon Age Tabletop. Certain portions of this media may no longer reflect currently established lore.

The darkspawn were better prepared for the Grey Wardens than during the previous Blight, and the first attacks on the surface resulted in the utter destruction of Nordbotten—the very place where the Grey Wardens first appeared on the battlefield during the First Blight, as a pointed message to their nemesis.[5]

Battle of Cumberland[]

After learning about the Blight, Emperor Drakon of Orlais enlisted the help of the mages and permitted them to use their full power against the darkspawn, leading to the signing of the Nevarran Accord with the Inquisition in 1:20, and the founding of the Circle of Magi, the Templar Order, and the Seekers of Truth.[6][4]

The mages proved to be essential allies in battle, and the Orlesian army under Drakon's brilliant command won a series of significant victories that culminated in 1:16 with the destruction of a massive horde during the Battle of Cumberland.[2][7]

Drakon's armies stood at the forefront of every major battle against the darkspawn. They always spread the Chant of Light with them.[2][8]

The elves of the Dales remained neutral and unhelpful throughout the entire Blight. Tensions between humans and elves became especially high when the Orlesian city of Montsimmard was nearly destroyed by the darkspawn in 1:25 while the neighboring elven army did nothing.[9][10]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

In truth, the elves believed Drakon's empire to be no better than the Imperium and were content to watch the darkspawn destroy them. Ameridan, the last Inquisitor of the first Inquisition, an elven mage and a close friend of Drakon's, believed otherwise—knowing that the Blight would destroy everything his people had gained. He would've rallied the elves against the Blight had not Drakon sent him on a mission to stop an Avvar cult called the Jaws of Hakkon, who had raised the god they worshipped in the form of a dragon for the purpose of attacking Orlais. Ameridan, discovering that the spirit the cultists intended to bind into the dragon would make the creature as powerful as Dumat, and knowing that Orlais would not survive a combined invasion by the Avaar and the darkspawn (both under the command of a dragon-creature possessed of unimaginable power) managed to trap both himself and the dragon possessed by the spirit of Hakkon in a magical time field. As Drakon was too preoccupied fighting the Blight, he could not send a rescue and thus the elves remained neutral during the Blight.[11]

In 1:31, the darkspawn horde besieged Minrathous, capital of Tevinter, but was defeated.[9]

BioWare canon
The following information is only mentioned in Dragon Age Tabletop. Certain portions of this media may no longer reflect currently established lore.

Although they failed to sack the city, the amount of resources required to keep the city from being overrun greatly weakened the Imperium.[4]

Siege of Weisshaupt[]

The Orlesian armies marched northwards and relieved the Siege of Weisshaupt when the fortress' defenses were about to break. The Wardens were so impressed with Drakon that they converted to the Chantry. The united forces moved further north to salvage what was left of the Anderfels, leading to its conversion to the Chantry and annexation by the Orlesian Empire later that year. Drakon initially wanted to conquer the weakened Tevinter, but the emperor decided to aid the Grey Wardens instead.[12][7]

In 1:45, Emperor Drakon died of old age and was succeeded by his son Kordillus II.[13] Unlike his father, Kordillus II did little to strengthen anyone's position in the face of the Blight, and by the time it came to an end, entire villages had been destroyed and many lives lost. He didn't possess his father's political savvy either, and in 1:65, the Anderfels declared its independence.[14]

Unification of the Alamarri[]

In 1:40, the Alamarri warrior Hafter united the tribes in the Fereldan Valley against the darkspawn.[15] He first defeated the darkspawn armies, and in 1:50, the combined forces of the Chasind and Avvar who were hoping to use the Blight for their advantage.[16] Hafter was named the first teyrn of the Alamarri.[14]

Battles in the Western Approach[]

The Western Approach was the site of several major battles during the Second Blight, and the Wardens built many fortresses in the area to face the darkspawn.[17] The hordes swarmed out of the great chasm to the south named the Abyssal Rift. Adamant Fortress, built by dwarves and used as a Grey Warden outpost, soon became a symbol of the Grey Warden's courage and skill.[18]

Battle of Starkhaven[]

In 1:95, the last battle of the Second Blight was fought at Starkhaven with a human army led by the Wardens.[2] The Wardens had planned a trap for Zazikel in Starkhaven, but found out that the Archdemon had somehow been aware of the assault, and they found themselves surrounded by darkspawn instead.[19] Both sides suffered heavy losses, but Zazikel was finally slain by the Grey Warden Corin. His mage lover and fellow Warden Neriah sacrificed herself, using her own body to shield Corin from an emissary's bolt. She died instantly, but allowed Corin to cut his way through the darkspawn and plunge his blade into the Archdemon, killing both himself and the beast, thus ending the Second Blight.[19][20]


With the slaying of the Archdemon, the darkspawn were forced underground. The following period became known as the Rebuilding. Trade, culture and religion flourished, and the next age was named Glory, predicting a grand rebirth of the world. Many believed the Second Blight to be the last.[2][21]

While the newly formed Chantry was overshadowed by the Blight, it continued to spread rapidly throughout the next hundred years. Despite the glorious triumph of the Orlesians in many battles, the Orlesian empire began its slow decline. The Anderfels remained independent.

Since the Second Blight, the land in the Western Approach is corrupted beyond recovery and the Veil is exceptionally thin in the region.[22][23]

Notable participants[]

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: The Tale of Iloren Codex entry: The Tale of Iloren

Note texts[]

A Letter Written in A Shaking Hand A Letter Written in A Shaking Hand


  • The sources differ on what city was sacked by the darkspawn during the initial attack. The World of Thedas states that it was Hossberg, while Traveller's Guide and Dragon Age RPG mention that it was Nordbotten.