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“The darkspawn are an evil that must be destroyed, it's true. Though not as evil as the birds... damnable feathered fiends!”

Shale is a stone golem and potential companion in Dragon Age: Origins, who can be recruited from the town of Honnleath through The Stone Prisoner DLC.


Shale is one of the war golems created by Paragon Caridin in -255 Ancient to defend the dwarven thaigs against the darkspawn during the First Blight. As such, Shale has been a golem for more than a thousand years. The golem was, for a time, a part of the Legion of Steel: a dwarven army regiment that was composed completely by golems.[1] However, Shale seems able to accurately remember only the events of approximately the last 30 years, and prior knowledge is mainly based on what has been heard from others.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

According to Caridin, Shale was the best warrior of King Valtor and member of House Cadash. As a golem, Shale was very loyal to Caridin, even standing with him as he objected to Valtor's use of the Anvil of the Void. But, after Caridin was turned into a golem, he sent Shale away, "out of mercy". Sometime after leaving Caridin, Shale became deactivated in one of the lost thaigs.

Shale 1

Shale standing frozen in Honnleath

Eventually, in 8:93 Blessed, a deactivated Shale and control rod were found by Wilhelm Sulzbacher, a mage who was trying to escape from shrieks in the Deep Roads.[1] Wilhelm reactivated the golem and, for many years, used it to his own ends: Shale became an object of study, a trophy, and a weapon during the Fereldan Rebellion, for both Moira Theirin's and later Maric Theirin's rebel forces.

After the war, Wilhelm settled in the village of Honnleath, taking Shale with him and continuing his study of the golem. While under Wilhelm's control, Shale was experimented on, paraded around the village like a pet, and even chiseled down to a smaller size so that it might more easily fit through the doorways in Wilhelm’s home.[1]

Before Wilhelm's death, Wilhelm speculated that the Desire demon he had trapped in his laboratory was having an influence over Shale; although he also considers that his own experiments on Shale may have also been a factor. Wilhelm had planned to temporarily deactivate Shale while he attempted to banish his imprisoned demon.[2]

Wilhelm was found dead outside his tower in 9:04 Dragon, with a deactivated Shale standing frozen over his body. Though there were no witnesses to the event, Shale was believed to have killed him. In response to the mage's seeming death at the golem's hands, Shale's control rod was sold to a merchant by Wilhelm's wife, in the hopes that Shale would never be activated again.

But, though it was deactivated, the golem was still aware of its surroundings. Shale remained that way for decades, awake but unable to move.


Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne.

Shale is seen under the control of Wilhelm when Maric and Loghain meet the main rebel camp. When Wilhelm accompanied Maric to visit Ferelden nobles who had previously pledged support to the rebellion, Wilhelm brought along Shale to surprise any individuals who attempted to capture or assassinate them. Shale's presence however eventually brought attention to the group, forcing them to head towards Calenhad Lake and seek an audience with the First Enchanter at the Mage's Tower. Shale is also encountered when the party returns to Gwaren.

Dragon Age: Origins[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

Shale recruitment - DA Keep

The recruitment choices for Shale in Dragon Age Keep

After the Warden encounters a merchant called Felix de Grosbois at Sulcher's Pass, they obtain the control rod to a Golem located in the village of Honnleath. After rescuing several trapped villagers including Matthias, Wilhelm's son, The Warden re-activated and convinced Shale to join in their fight against the Fifth Blight.

Shale status - DA Keep

The fate of Shale in Dragon Age Keep

During the mission to rescue the Paragon Branka, the Warden will encounter Caridin. If Shale is present at the time, Caridin will reveal much of Shale's past and trigger the quest A Golem's Memories. If the Warden sides with Branka they will be forced to kill Shale as well. Alternatively if they side with Branka and Shale is not present, a conversation in camp will trigger where the Warden can simply say they do not know what happens to Caridin and then the next time Shale is brought into the Deep Roads the quest will activate.

Shale will remember being found in Cadash Thaig where the party will discover a registry of dwarves who volunteered to become Golems in order to fight the darkspawn. The list includes Shale's original identity: Shayle, a female warrior of House Cadash.

If the Warden survives The Battle of Denerim, Shale will appear at the post-coronation ceremony. Shale intends on traveling to Tevinter, to consult the Mages at Minrathous about a possible remedy that could restore Shale's original dwarven form. If Wynne is part of the party, Shale will mention that the two will travel together. If the Warden and Shale are friendly, they can then offer to travel with Shale, which Shale does not object to.

Dragon Age: Asunder[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Asunder.

BioWare canon
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

GroupShot AsunderDE

The battle inside the keep

Shale is accompanying Wynne to an abandoned Grey Warden outpost in the Western Approach where Pharamond, a Tranquil researcher and personal friend of Wynne's, is investigating the nature of the Rite of Tranquility. According to Wynne, Pharamond's research might give insight into how to return Shale to her original female dwarven form. When Shale and Wynne arrive at the outpost, they find it overrun by demon-possessed corpses. As Wynne leaves to find help in Val Royeaux, Shale stays behind to ensure nothing escapes the outpost. After confronting the abomination, Shale was to stand watch while the others entered the Fade, but was drawn through the Veil with them. After rescuing Pharamond, Shale goes to the Circle of Magi in Montsimmard so the information about the Rite of Tranquility could be disseminated among the circles quickly. Later Shale joins Evangeline and Wynne in their raid on the White Spire and destroys the phylacteries stored there. Shale is also present at a gathering at Wynne's resting place, her ashes being buried beside an old oak tree.


Dragon Age: Origins[]

A Golem's Memories A Golem's Memories


Shale has a preference for "remarkable" gemstones. There is an issue with the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions which causes Shale to not give the standard +10 for the first gem; instead you receive +5, which decreases as usual, so that after receiving four of the gems, Shale seems uninterested in the others ("So I'm to keep this then, am I? Fine."), giving only +1 for the rest, giving a measly 18 approval for giving them all to Shale. Therefore, you have to rely on conversation and your actions to get higher approval.

If you have the Feastday Gifts and Pranks DLC, however, you might also compensate for this bug with the thoughtful gifts and sugar cakes available from Bodahn Feddic. No matter how many are given, a Thoughtful Gift is always worth Approves (+10), while a Sugar Cake is worth Approves (+5).

Name Notes Description

Remarkable Amethyst
Remarkable Amethyst
Located: Alimar
A deep, clear purple stone.
Remarkable Diamond
Remarkable Diamond
ps3PS3xbox360Xbox360Can be purchased from Garin.
A brilliant cut, colorless stone.
Remarkable Emerald
Remarkable Emerald
Located: Figor
This dark green gem has murky depths, like an overgrown pond.
Remarkable Garnet
Remarkable Garnet
Unobtainable via normal means
A gem the shade of dried blood, dark red, nearly black.
Remarkable Greenstone
Remarkable Greenstone
Blue-green stone with a pattern like a turtle's shell.
Remarkable Malachite
Remarkable Malachite
Located: Circle Tower
This stone is patterned with odd bands and ripples of color, like the contents of a witch's cauldron.
Remarkable Ruby
Remarkable Ruby
Deep red and nearly indestructible, these are prized by royalty.
Remarkable Sapphire
Remarkable Sapphire
Located: Legnar
A star-cut sapphire, almost the color of the night sky.
Remarkable Topaz
Remarkable Topaz
Located: Faryn
A brilliant gem the color of sunshine.


Initial attributes[]

Relative attribute weightings on auto-level:

Strength Dexterity Willpower Magic Cunning Constitution
1.4 0.25 0.5 0 0.145 1.9

Initial talents[]

See Shale talents for a list of all Shale talents.
Shale's Talents

Shale talents

Warrior Powerful Powerful PowerfulThreaten Threaten
Precise Striking Precise Striking Precise StrikingTaunt Taunt
Shale Pulverizing Blows Pulverizing Blows Pulverizing BlowsSlam SlamQuake Quake
Stoneheart Stoneheart StoneheartBellow BellowStone Roar Stone Roar (level 12)
Rock Mastery Rock Mastery Rock Mastery (level 8)   Hurl Rock Hurl Rock (level 9)   Earthen Grasp Earthen Grasp (level 13)
Stone Aura Stone Aura Stone Aura (level 10)   Inner Reserves Inner Reserves (level 11)


Shale fighting

Shale fighting deepstalkers

Shale does not use conventional weapons or armor. Instead, much like Dog, the golem has two slots for specialized equipment:

  • Small Crystals - act as weapons and appear on Shale's wrists; they grant a bonus to the corresponding elemental attack damage, convert all damage to the crystal's element type, and can (depending on their quality and type) grant bonuses to various attacks, attributes, and health/stamina regeneration. Because Shale's damage is largely elemental based, Vulnerability Hex and Affliction Hex are helpful in boosting damage.
  • Large Crystals - act as armor and appear on Shale's shoulders and legs; they grant a bonus to the corresponding elemental resistance and can (depending on their quality and type) grant bonuses to various defenses, attributes, and health/stamina regeneration.

There are a total of 50 different crystals: 25 small crystals, 25 large crystals. Both sizes of crystals come in each of the five elemental types and in five varying degrees of quality.

Equipping Shale with a small and large crystal of the same elemental type will grant an additional set bonus of +10% to the corresponding resistance.

Plot skills[]

Shale - Dragon Age Legends

Shale in Dragon Age Legends

As you befriend Shale and gain its approval, it will gain the following additional skills:

Name Benefit Requirement
Inspired: Minor Strength Inspired: Minor Strength +1 strength 25% approval
Inspired: Moderate Strength Inspired: Moderate Strength +2 strength 50% approval
Inspired: Major Strength Inspired: Major Strength +4 strength 75% approval
Inspired: Massive Strength Inspired: Massive Strength +6 strength 90% approval
Note: These bonuses are non-cumulative, i.e. the total bonus is +6, not +13.



Concept art of Shale

Main article: Shale/Dialogue
  • "I wonder what it is like to float...or drown."
  • (If given one of the Remarkable Gems) "Oooh, Shiny!"
  • "I would appreciate it if it didn't spread around that I said anything. Humans might start to get the wrong idea. They might start thinking their race is not completely hopeless."
  • "Now, let us crush something soft and watch it fountain blood. That is a girlish thing to want to do, yes?"
  • (While conversing with Sten about the Qun) "Does sound like a delightful place where it comes from. Mages on leashes. What will they think of next?"


  • Shale: "I see it found some augmentation crystals. I was not even aware it knew about them... well done! So? What does it think? They don't make me look any wider, do they? I find I am already too wide as it is."
  • The Warden: "No, no, they're quite slimming."
  • Shale: "They are, aren't they? I so adore them! I think it should find some more as soon as possible. I want to glitter from ear to ear... so to speak!"

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Shale Codex entry: Shale
Codex entry: The Journal of Enchanter Wilhelm Codex entry: The Journal of Enchanter Wilhelm
Codex entry: A Note from the Honnleath Village Council Codex entry: A Note from the Honnleath Village Council



Size comparison between Shale and another golem

  • Shale mentions being chiseled down to a smaller size by Wilhelm at the behest of his wife, who complained that the golem couldn't fit through the doors of their home. This refers to difficulties the developers had with getting Shale to fit through many of the game's doorways when they used the original golem graphical model. A full-sized version can be seen during Shale's nightmare in the Fade.
  • At Soldier's Peak (after Levi has set up shop), birds will migrate towards and follow Shale around.
  • To capture the ambiguity of Shale's gender, the voice actress's already gravelly voice was pitch-shifted down to sound deeper and more masculine.[3]
  • Shale is referenced twice in Dragon Age II:
    • Corff the Bartender indirectly references Shale when he mentions that "the pigeon population has taken a nose dive in Ferelden".
    • During the epilogue, a picture of Shale chasing some chickens appears on one of the flipping pages of Cassandra's book.
  • A dwarven Inquisitor comes from the same house as Shale.
    An androgynous dwarf stands beside several crushed pigeons. A gilded lion statue is visible in the center of the image.

    Detail from painted Val Royeaux street scene

  • A painting of a Val Royeaux street scene includes an image of an androgynous dwarf standing near a number of pigeons, possibly representing Shayle of House Cadash in a restored dwarven form.
  • After completing the personal quest, Shale's codex entry will contain information that is inconsistent with other game lore. It says Shale became a golem "300 years earlier", presumably 300 years earlier than the current events in the game. However, Shale was created by Caridin around 1200 years before the Dragon Age.
  • Shale was to appear in the cut plot "Finding Shale" for Dragon Age II. The plot was replaced with Finding Nathaniel.[4]
  • Shale is the only member of the party who cannot throw the Stick for Dog to fetch.
  • David Gaider stated that Shale was influenced by a "combination of forced pigeon sex viewings and my bristling hatred of everything outdoors".[5]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 91
  2. Codex entry: The Journal of Enchanter Wilhelm
  3. BWF Rob Bartel (November 10, 2009). "Is Shale a....?" . The BioWare Forum. (offline). Retrieved on July 14, 2014.
  4. BWF David Gaider"Your Random Dragon Age Question?" . The BioWare Forum. (offline).
  5. Twitter icon David Gaider (November 21, 2018).  . Twitter.