Dragon Age Wiki
Dragon Age Wiki

“It was my dream for the People to have a home of their own, where we would have no masters but ourselves. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and thus we followed Andraste, against the Imperium. But she was betrayed, and so were we.”

Shartan, also known as The Liberator,[1] was the leader of the elven slaves who joined Andraste's Exalted March Against the Tevinter Imperium in -171 Ancient.[2]


Andraste Elven Archers

Arrows fly as Andraste and her elven allies, led by Shartan, rebel against Tevinter

At Shartan's word, the sky
Grew black with arrows.
At Our Lady's, ten thousand swords
Rang from their sheaths,
A great hymn rose over Valarian Fields gladly proclaiming:
Those who had been slaves were now free.

Shartan 10:1, Dissonant Verse[3]

Shartan was born into captivity in the Tevinter Imperium, but dreamed of a homeland where the elves could once again be free and encouraged his fellow elven slaves to rise up against their Tevinter masters. He was said to lead an elven rebellion in central Tevinter, though Chantry scholars have been unable to verify its location, as the cities of Vol Dorma, Marnas Pell, Solas, Marothius and Hasmal, cited in different versions of the Canticle of Shartan, were all the sites of brutal slave uprisings, or verify that Shartan led any of them. Furthermore, as many aspects of his Canticle are similar to ancient elven folktales of a rebellion against tyrants led by a trickster warrior, some scholars have raised the idea that "Shartan," if he existed at all, may not have been a single man but a title or an ideal.[4]

Andraste Shartan WOT2

Andraste makes Shartan her champion and gifts him with Glandivalis

According to one version of the Canticle of Shartan, the elves under Shartan's leadership successfully ambushed and overwhelmed the Tevinter legion that had chased them from Vol Dorma to Asariel, using whatever weapons they could fashion. As the elves celebrated their victory, they heard the clamor of Andraste's approaching army. Shartan went to investigate alone and was taken to speak to Andraste. They negotiated an alliance of equals and together joined forces. In -171 Ancient, they met the bulk of the Imperium's armies on Valarian Fields. During the battle, Andraste named Shartan her Champion for rescuing her and gave to him her mother's sword,[5] which he renamed Glandivalis.[6] Following their victory at the Battle of Valarian Fields, their armies marched on Minrathous. However, Andraste was betrayed by her husband, Maferath, and taken captive by the Imperium. Shartan and a hundred elves charged the pyre she had been tied to in an attempt to free her, but all were killed by a hail of arrows before they could get to her.[1]

The support he and the other elven slaves rendered to the first Exalted March was not in vain, however. In -165 Ancient, the elves were rewarded by Maferath with the creation of a new homeland in the Dales.[7] Elves from all over Tevinter migrated to the promised land in southern Thedas in a movement called "The Long Walk." Many elves perished along the way.[8]

The Chant of Light originally included a canticle describing Shartan's contribution to Andraste's cause, but it was removed from the Chant by Divine Renata I after the Exalted March of the Dales and is now considered heretical; his involvement is now referred to as the "Heresy of Shartan."[9] The "New Cumberland Chant of Light", published by Divine Justinia V in the Dragon Age, does, however, include these passages.[10]

Following the Exalted March of the Dales, all Chantry art including elves was destroyed. The only exception was a mural by Henri de Lydes featuring Shartan, Andraste, and her disciples. However, Shartan's ears were docked. A faithful reproduction of the mural exists at the University of Orlais.[11]


Dragon Age: Origins[]

If the Warden is an elf, they can ask the two chantry sisters who stand outside Denerim's chantry about elves in the Chant. They mention the Canticle of Shartan and say that Shartan himself was burned at a stake beside Andraste. Leliana will also speak a little about Shartan if asked if she knows any stories about the Dalish, explaining that he was born into captivity and died when Andraste was betrayed.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

Furthermore, Shartan is one of the eight spirits the the Warden encounters in the Gauntlet during the quest A Test of Faith. He will appear as a shade and disclose to the Warden of his desire for an elven homeland. In order to advance the quest the Warden will need to answer the following riddle:

"I'd neither a guest nor a trespasser be. In this place I belong, that belongs also to me."

The correct answer is "Home""; no other answer will be accepted. If the Warden answers correctly, the shade will disappear. If the Warden answers incorrectly, "Shartan" will turn into an ash wraith and attack.

Dragon Age II[]

Shartan Mural

An unusual example of a Chantry stained glass depicting Shartan

Hawke can find a book written by Shartan and gift it to Fenris. Hawke can also loot the sword Glandivalis that once belonged to Shartan from the pride demon Hybris. Interestingly, Hybris says that he has "fragments of every fool who held a throne, here or in the black."

Dragon Age: The Masked Empire[]

Empress Celene travels to the University of Orlais to discuss the acceptance of common and elven students. There, she and her champion Ser Michel de Chevin note the reproduction of a mural of Shartan in its courtyard. Later, a human female actress portrays Shartan's involvement in Andraste's rebellion by way of a play aimed to critique Celene's position on the elves of Orlais.

Dragon Age: Inquisition[]

If the Inquisitor is an elf, Mother Giselle mentions Shartan’s support to Andraste when conversed with.

This section contains spoilers for:

If Leliana is made Divine, she re-canonizes the Canticle of Shartan, a move that divides Andrastians deeply.[12]


A Test of Faith A Test of Faith


  • "The People will set ourselves free."[13]

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: The Dales Codex entry: The Dales
Codex entry: Dark Moon Codex entry: Dark Moon
Codex entry: Glandivalis Codex entry: Glandivalis
Codex entry: The Long Walk Codex entry: The Long Walk


  • It appears that many Andrastians suspect, as a matter of salacious debate, that Shartan and Andraste were lovers during her rebellion against the Magisters of Tevinter.[14]
  • Though uncommon for a slave (most elven slaves of his time could not even write in Tevene, much less Elvish), Shartan was literate and wrote at least one book during his lifetime: A Slave's Life. His writings were later suppressed following the Exalted March upon the Dales.[4]

  • This section contains spoilers for:

The folktales of a rebellion against tyrants led by a trickster were likely inspired by the real rebellion against the tyrannical Evanuris led by the trickster Fen'Harel.

  • The spirit who takes the appearance of Shartan during the Gauntlet is labelled as "Thane Shartan", even though "thane" seems to be an Alamarri/Avvar title; it might suggest that Shartan gained recognition as Thane among Andraste and Maferath's forces, the bulk of which consisted of Alamarri people.

See also[]

Chant of Light: Canticle of Shartan
Chant of Light Verses: Canticle of Shartan
A Slave's Life A Slave's Life
The Book of Shartan The Book of Shartan