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Tal vashoth

An honorable Tal-Vashoth, Maraas

The Tal-Vashoth are former members of the Qunari who willfully abandon and fight against the Qun[1]. It is not specific to just their race, and thus any former Viddathari (dwarves, humans, and elves) can become Tal-Vashoth. "Vashoth" literally means "grey" and the prefix "tal" means "true," hence Tal-Vashoth meaning "True Grey" in Qunlat.

Tal-Vashoth are rebels to the Qun. Tal-Vashoth generally are former Qunari born into the Qun and/or accepted to live that way of life, but eventually rebelled against it. Vashoth are members of the Qunari race who were born outside of the Qun and never had to live by it. Since people can't rebel against something they've never seen, to Qunari these people are simply known as Vashoth rather than Tal-Vashoth.[2] Alternatively, a Vashoth is also considered a member of the Qunari race who rejected the Qun but did not fight against it[1]. Although Vashoth are not technically rebels against the Qun, Qunari may still consider them Tal-Vashoth.[3]

Becoming a Tal-Vashoth[]

It is not entirely clear what motivates Qunari to reject the Qun, but one of the most likely reasons is the assignment of a low and unpleasant place in Qunari society. Some Qunari who have ambition above their station come to resent their place in the society, and thus the Qun; others, such as Maraas, seem to simply tire of a life driven by duty and purpose.

When Qunari abandon the teachings of Qun they are instantly labeled as Tal-Vashoth and have to risk life as a fugitive from the Qun. If they are caught, they are immediately re-educated by the Ben-Hassrath just the same as any other dissident. Violent ones unwilling to submit often become mercenaries or bandits; the majority of them formerly served as soldiers of the Antaam, and do it because they have no other useful skill. Many of them never fight the Qunari but rather become mercenaries in other lands, such as Kadan-Fe in Ferelden. Under the Qun, mercenaries are viewed as even worse than bandits because they are perceived to be selling the remains of their soul and honor for coin. Many Tal-Vashoth retain Qunari attitudes towards foreign cultures and ideas. They are unwilling to adapt to live within them, and thus resort to a life of banditry. When they actively strike at the Qunari, they usually attack the most defenseless civilians they can find, because they lack numbers and organization that would make them a match for the antaam.

Likewise, Vashoth are Qunari born to Tal-Vashoth parents and thus have never known life under the Qun. It is unknown if this term applies to other races born of Tal-Vashoth parents.

Culture[]

Tal-VashothMarauderHoDA

A Tal-Vashoth Marauder in Heroes of Dragon Age

The Tal-Vashoth themselves are not a single unified group.[4] Therefore, they are not a resistance effort, there is no organized Tal-Vashoth culture, nor can they be said to have any collective goals.[4] Just how much an average Tal-Vashoth has abandoned their upbringing in their heart depends on the individual.[5] A Tal-Vashoth may choose their name arbitrarily; it could be a word that they like the sound of, or it could be something that they think describes their new role. Others may not choose any name at all.[4] The significance a Tal-Vashoth puts on their name is usually dependant on whether or not they were raised under the Qun, and the related influence their upbringing has had on them.[6] Many of the Tal-Vashoth cut their horns off because they think it makes them look tougher and scarier.[7][8]

Tal-Vashoth are hunted down by the Qunari. The Qunari either seek to capture the Tal-Vashoth for indoctrination, lobotomy, or to assassinate them.[9][10] Thus, the Tal-Vashoth must leave their homes, for they have no place among the Qunari. Sadly, many turn against the society that cast them out.[11]

Some are able to acclimate to their new way of life in a relatively civilized manner. However, there is a portion of Tal-Vashoth who embrace savagery and chaos. These savage Tal-Vashoth display chaotic behavior. They'd shriek like beasts, had facial markings that were savage and nonsensical, their brutal weapons chipped and uncared for, and they stank of unwashed sweat. These savages were also often prone to violence and brutalized or preyed on the defenseless.[12]

The Tal-Vashoth wage a bitter war against the Qun, the Qunari, and sometimes against order itself. They are no match for the Qunari army, so they generally strike at farms, travelers, and those who stray too far from Qunari protection.[11]

Vashoth of the qunari race that were brought up—or Tal-Vashoth that eked out lives for themselves—outside Qunari society are still feared, shunned, or misunderstood by most people in southern Thedas. The average citizen of Orlais or Ferelden assumes they are cold-blooded thralls, or vicious bandits. Others distrust the Tal-Vashoth and are skeptical of their allegiances. Particularly after the First Battle of Kirkwall, many religious fanatics fear that the Tal-Vashoth are still agents of the Qunari and have instigated the rise of hate crimes against Tal-Vashoth and Vashoth people as a response.[13]

Qunari who are not part of the Qun, facing limited acceptance in society, often take advantage of their feared reputation by taking on mercenary work.[14] Most Tal-Vashoth have no skills to make an honest living, so they sell themselves into service, usually becoming mercenaries. Even the most inept fighter among the qunari race possesses prodigious size and an intimidating visage.[11]

Mages are tolerated by other Tal-Vashoth, but they are still regarded with suspicion since they lack proper training and therefore might be dangerous to those around them.[4] The Tal-Vashoth still keep the former Saarebas leashed if those are in their company. According to Vivienne, the Tal-Vashoth and Vashoth cut the tongues from mages that are deemed dangerous just as the Qunari do. They also kill those they deem too weak to resist demons.[15] Vashoth apostates rely on any Tal-Vashoth Saarebas or any available, experienced mage to teach them how to manipulate magic and presumably how to protect themselves from the dangers of magic.

Notable Tal-Vashoth[]

For a complete list, see Category: Tal-Vashoth.

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Tal-Vashoth Codex entry: Tal-Vashoth
Codex entry: Tal-Vashoth Codex entry: Tal-Vashoth
Codex entry: Vashoth: The Grey Ones Codex entry: Vashoth: The Grey Ones

Trivia[]

  • While no Qunari has ever joined the Grey Wardens, there are rumours of several Tal-Vashoth taking the Joining in recent decades.[17]

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 World of Thedas - Volume 2 pg. 129
  2. Codex entry: Vashoth: The Grey Ones
  3. Iron Bull tells an Inquisitor Adaar (a Vashoth): "You're not Qunari. You're Tal-Vashoth. World of difference."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 BWF Mary Kirby"A Male Qunari/Tal'Vashoth Romance/Friendship?" . The BioWare Forum. (offline).
  5. BWF David Gaider (August 9, 2011). "Female Qunari Fighters" . The BioWare Forum. (offline). Retrieved on April 13, 2014.
  6. BWF Mary Kirby and David Gaider (October 02, 2013). "Qunari and Tal-Vashoth names?" . The BioWare Forum. (offline).
  7. BWF Mary Kirby (October 11, 2011). "MotA: Qunari questions (Spoilers)" . The BioWare Forum. (offline). Retrieved on April 13, 2014.
  8. BWF David Gaider and Mary Kirby (November 2012). "Why is Kossith an inaccurate term for horned Qunari and Tal-vashoth?" . The BioWare Forum. (offline). Retrieved on April 13, 2014.
  9. Codex entry: Qunari: Ben-Hassrath
  10. According to Iron Bull's dialogue if he becomes Tal-Vashoth after Demands of the Qun (Inquisition)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Codex entry: Tal-Vashoth
  12. Codex entry: Tal-Vashoth (Inquisition)
  13. The Missing Blades of the Valo-Kas
  14. Codex entry: Adaar, the Vashoth
  15. According to Vivienne's dialogue to a Qunari Inquisitor in Dragon Age: Inquisition
  16. Only if the Inquisitor elects to save the Bull's Chargers during the side quest Demands of the Qun.
  17. Dragon Age RPG: Set 2, Player's Guide, p. 7
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