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The Tevinter Imperium, or simply Tevinter, is the oldest extant human nation and the only magocracy in Thedas. In ancient times, in the wake of their destruction of the elven empire, the Imperium held uncontested dominion over the entire continent for almost a millennium. Several Blights, Exalted Marches and a protracted war with the Qunari have led to Tevinter’s decline. Despite having lost much of its power, the Imperium remains a very powerful nation. Its culture is distinguished by the importance of mages, the Imperial Chantry as well as the open practice of slavery. For these reasons, as well as its history as a conqueror and the role its magisters played in starting the Blights, Tevinter is the most hated nation in Thedas.[1]

The area now corresponding to Tevinter was settled around -3100 Ancient by the Neromenian tribe, the first recorded humans in Thedas,[2] where they were met with hostility from the elves that already inhabited the continent. The elves withdrew following the arrival of the Neromenians, allowing them to spread unchecked across Thedas.[3] Around -2800 Ancient, the Neromenians first started worshipping the Old Gods.[4] Learning the Old Gods’ magic empowered them, allowing them to unite as the Tevinter Imperium in -1195 under Archon Darinius. Two centuries later, in -998 Ancient, following increased border tensions with the elves, the Imperium destroyed Arlathan and sacked Elvhenan.[5] Empowered by the enslaving of elvenkind,[6] the Imperium spread even more rapidly across Thedas, at its greatest extent encompassing almost the entire continent.

Tevinter’s decline can be said to begin in -395 Ancient, when a group of Tevinter magisters unleashed the First Blight upon the world. The Blight, led by the now-corrupted Old God Dumat, ravaged the Imperium for nearly two centuries[7] before the newly-formed Grey Wardens ended the conflict.[8] Severely weakened, the Imperium fell prey to rebellion. Andraste’s Exalted March liberated all southern Tevinter in -170 Ancient,[9] while other nations followed suit in the centuries to come. After Andraste’s death, the Imperium converted to Andrastianism, adapting it to its political needs. Their differing beliefs on magic eventually led to a rift with the southern nations, causing the Imperium to split from the Orlesian Chantry in 3:87 Towers and form the Imperial Chantry.[10][11] Four Exalted Marches were called on the Imperium between 4:40 and 5:10 Exalted, to no avail.[12] In 6:30 Steel, the Imperium was invaded by the Qunari.[13] The two Chantries briefly put aside their differences to ally against this new threat, launching New Exalted Marches from 7:25 to 7:84 Storm to reclaim lost territory. The Imperium was the only human nation not to sign the Llomerryn Accords which ended the war, refusing to surrender sovereignty over Seheron, and has engaged in conflict with the Qunari ever since.

History[]

Ancient history[]

Tevinter Imperium heraldry (small)

Heraldry of the Tevinter Imperium[14]

When humans first came to mainland Thedas around -3100 Ancient,[15] they belonged to a single tribe known as the Neromenians.[16] They settled along the coastline of the Nocen Sea, where they were met with hostility from the ruling elves. By -2850 Ancient, legend says that the elves had distanced themselves from the humans, whom they called "quicklings," fearing that human contact was depriving them of their immortality. This gave the Neromenians free reign to expand further into the continent.[3]

It's believed that around -2800 Ancient, the Old Gods began whispering to humanity from the Golden City. They taught the Dreamers of the Neromenian tribes magic, and those mages became the priests and rulers of their people.[17] In -1700 Ancient,[18] the Neromenian tribes split into four kingdoms: Neromenian, Qarinus, Tevinter, and Barindur.[3] By -1610 Ancient, Barindur had disappeared under mysterious circumstances; legend says that it was destroyed by the Old God Dumat for scorning his High Priest.[19]

In -1595 Ancient, Thalsian, First Priest of Dumat, claimed to have personally contacted Dumat in visions and learned blood magic,[20] which he used to declare himself king of Neromenian. Though Thalsian is often believed to be the first blood mage, mages of the Imperial Chantry now believe that blood magic was actually learned from the elves of Arlathan rather than the Old Gods. Thalsian established temples to worship Dumat, turning dragons into a symbol of divine power and popularizing worship of the Old Gods. He is also credited for creating a mage ruling class, as many of his own pupils founded the noble houses that still rule over Tevinter to this day.[21] In the kingdom of Tevinter, mages established the first Circles of Magi as closed societies, presumably to train and study their magical talents. They established a council of their most talented mages, known as the Court of Magisters, which convened in Minrathous and mandated the use of magic throughout the kingdom.[22]

In -1207 Ancient, Darinius, the High King of Neromenian, took the Tevinter throne from his uncle, uniting the kingdoms of Neromenian and Tevinter under his rule, laying the foundations for the Imperium.[23] During Darinius' reign, the Court of Magisters became the royal court, with the magisters as the only recognized noble class.[22] In -1200 Ancient, Darinius also became the first human to successfully ally with the dwarves of Kal-Sharok[24] when he went into the Deep Roads and forged an alliance with the dwarven king Endrin Stonehammer, establishing significant trade between their kingdoms.[25] A body of dwarven representatives titled Ambassadoria was established at that time to advise the Tevinter leaders and manage trade relations between the Imperium and the dwarven kingdoms.[26][27]

In -1195 Ancient, marked as O TE in the Tevinter Calendar,[28] Darinius married Queen Rathana of Qarinus, joining his kingdoms to hers and founding the Tevinter Imperium. Darinius declared himself the first Archon.[25]

Destruction of Elvhenan[]

Sack

The destruction of Elvhenan

As the empire grew eastward, settlers started to encounter elven scouts at the edge of Arlathan Forest, which they had previously believed to be uninhabited. As it had been more than two millennia since the elves had retreated into their own kingdom, it's possible that memory of first contact had been lost to time. When the Imperium realized that the settlers' claims of a magic-using nonhuman race were real, they sent emissaries into the forest. When none returned alive, they built a fortress near the border and set up a permanent watch.

Contact between the two races became more frequent, and more violent, over the next few decades. In the summer of -998 Ancient, several Tevinter settlements vanished into the forest.[6] This led to Archon Thalasian declaring war in -981 Ancient,[5] marching into Arlathan Forest to lay siege to the capital of Elvhenan, allegedly with demons and dragon thralls at their side.[29] Six years later, as the Inghirsh tribes took advantage of the war with the elves to attack Tevinter's southern settlements, Archon Thalasian and the magisters sank the city into the ground with blood magic to bring a swift end to the conflict. Elven survivors were enslaved, adding a vast population of slaves to the Imperium almost overnight.[6][5]

By -895 Ancient, the Tevinter Imperium had expanded widely, bolstered by its new elven slaves. The Imperium claimed nearly all of northern Thedas and started conquering lands across the Waking Sea, settling the island of Estwatch in -880 Ancient and staging several campaigns to subjugate the Alamarri and the Avvar around -715 Ancient.[30][31]

Civil wars and expansion[]

The magisters believed that magic was a favor of the Old Gods rather than an accident of birth, and refused to acknowledge the mage underclass of elves and newly liberated foreigners. When Archon Almadrius chose Tidarion, a lowborn mage of Planasene blood, as his apprentice, the resulting outrage from the Magisterium led to Almadrius' assassination in -692 Ancient[32] and a civil war that lasted for over seventy years. Mages fought against mages for the first time since the fall of Arlathan. The civil war finally ended in -620 Ancient[33] when Archon Parthenius, former high priest of Dumat, finally admitted the Laetans to the temples and gave them three seats in the Magisterium.[34]

Imperial highway

The Imperial Highway

During its expansion, the Imperium conquered as far south as Ferelden and as far east as Rivain, subjugating the local tribes with brutal force.[35] It commissioned the construction of the Imperial Highway to connect all lands under their rule for the purpose of trade, though the project was never completed due to resistance from the Alamarri tribes.[35][36] Between -575 to -555 Ancient (620-640 TE), a large civil war erupted when the two most influential magisters warred for the vacant Archon's throne, threatening to split the empire. Though order was eventually restored, this conflict marked the end of the Imperium's golden age.[35]

The First Blight[]

In -395 Ancient, in a misguided attempt at apotheosis, a group of magisters sacrificed hundreds of slaves and used up two-thirds of the lyrium in the entire empire to physically enter the Golden City in the Fade, returning as the first darkspawn.[37][38] The Archdemon Dumat led the First Blight for nearly two hundred years, ravaging the empire and shattering its power. Civil unrest added to complications until the newly founded Grey Wardens finally defeated the darkspawn.[39][40]

Wars of independence[]

Main article: Exalted March against the Tevinter Imperium

With their vulnerabilities exposed to the world, the severely weakened Imperium became the target of the first Exalted March, led by the former slave Andraste and her husband Maferath. In -180 Ancient, they brought an army of Alamarri from across the Waking Sea to destroy the empire and spread word of their god, the Maker. Andraste's campaign inspired elven slave revolts in cities throughout the Imperium, compounding the threat of the encroaching Alamarri armies.[41] The invasion ended when Andraste was publicly executed with her generals in -170 Ancient, after being sold out to the Imperium by her husband in exchange for the lands of southern Thedas.[42] In -160 Ancient, Archon Hessarian, the ruler at the time of Andraste's revolt and the one who had executed her, forcibly converted the Imperium to the faith of the Maker and revealed Maferath's betrayal in a period known as the Transfiguration.[43] Many magisters who refused to convert were violently overthrown.

In -120 Ancient, Rivain's war for independence from the Imperium began, which distracted the Empire from reconquering the Free Marches. Eastern cities of the Free Marches rallied to help Rivain,[44] and after the Battle of Temerin in -53 Ancient, the Imperium abandoned its eastern territories.[45]

Chantry Schism[]

When Emperor Drakon I founded the Chantry in -3 Ancient and declared Divine Justinia I the official head of the Andrastian religion in 1:1 Divine, it caused great consternation in Tevinter, which had been organizing the religion on its own terms for over a century. Though they initially tried to appease the newly formed Chantry by reducing the Archon's authority over the faith and transferring it to the grand clerics, relations between the two were strained from the beginning. In 2:80 Glory, the Chantry of Orlais called for an Exalted March on Starkhaven, which had been under Tevinter rule since 2:45.

In 3:87 Towers, the Imperium split from the Orlesian Chantry and formed its own Imperial Chantry under a mage, Divine Valhail, primarily over disagreements on the meaning of the Maker's second commandment, "Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him."[46][11] Between 4:40 Black and 5:10 Exalted, the Orlesian Chantry declared four Exalted Marches in an attempt to force the Imperial Chantry back into the fold.[47] The Exalted Marches only stopped because of the advent of the Fourth Blight in 5:12 Exalted. In retaliation for these assaults, Tevinter refused to send aid to the other nations of Thedas against the encroaching darkspawn.[48]

Qunari wars[]

Tevinter landscape

Tevinter landscape[49]

After conquering Par Vollen in 6:30 Steel, unbeknownst to the rest of the continent, the Qunari invaded Seheron and Rivain in 6:32.[50] By 6:42, much of the Imperium had been conquered.[51] Determined to retake its lost territories, the Imperial Chantry took part in the New Exalted Marches alongside the Orlesian Chantry during the Storm Age (7:25–7:84). In total, three Exalted Marches were declared against the Qunari.[52][53] In 7:84 Storm, the Imperium, alone out of all the human nations, refused to sign the Llomerryn Accords, the armistice which ended the war with the Qunari.[54] As such, Tevinter remains at war with the Qunari to this day, vying for dominance of northern Thedas. The island of Seheron has been a particular point of focus throughout the centuries.[55]

In 7:34 Storm, Archon Nomaran was elected directly from the Circle of Magi. He abolished laws that prohibited mages from participating in government, allowing the magisters to openly retake their place as the true rulers of the Imperium.[11]

Involvement[]

Dragon Age: Inquisition[]


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.


In 9:41 Dragon, the Imperium is governed by Archon Radonis. In regards to the ongoing war with the so-called 'Elder One' and his Venatori, Tevinter has no official ties to the cult itself, and one member of the magisterium brings a matter of officially condemning the Venatori before the Imperial Senate; the Imperium is also on the verge of renewed conflict with its southern neighbor, Nevarra.


Trespasser[]


This section contains spoilers for:
Trespasser.


Soon after the Exalted Council, following the disruption of the Dragon's Breath plot, the Qunari launch new attacks against Tevinter. Their aggression catches the already unstable Imperium off guard. Tevinter is soon mired in conflict.[56]


Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights[]


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights.


Around 9:44-9:45, the Antaam launches an invasion into Tevinter, unsanctioned by the rest of the Triumvirate.[57] The cities of Ventus, Carastes[58], and Neromenian[59] quickly fall to the Qunari forces.

Meanwhile, remnants of the Venatori still attempt to restore the ancient Tevinter Imperium, despite Corypheus' death. They are opposed by Dorian Pavus and Maevaris Tilani and their fledgling faction within the Magisterium, the Lucerni.


Geography[]

Tevinter is located in northern Thedas between the Anderfels to the west, Nevarra and the Free Marches to the south, Antiva to the east and the Nocen Sea to the north. Additionally, it claims sovereignty over the isle of Seheron[60] and various other islands in the Boeric Ocean.[61]

Settlements[]

Qarinus - Dragon Age Those Who Speak

The city of Ventus

FortViridian BlueWraith

Fort Viridan

Regions[]

  • Arlathan Forest
  • Eyes of Nocen
  • The High Reaches
  • The Hundred Pillars – Massive pillars made of a strong material identified only as a "hard dust"; the material isn't stone, and is similar to a mortar (concrete)[65]
  • The Silent Plains
  • Valarian Fields
  • Ventosus Straits

Fortresses[]

Culture and society[]

Altus mage

Altus mage[49]

Tevinter society is notoriously decadent, clinging to the remnants of its illustrious past. Numerous Blights, Exalted Marches, and a centuries-long war with the Qunari have taxed the Imperium's resources significantly, though vestiges of the Imperium's power, art and architecture still stand, carefully preserved by a nation proud of its history and achievements.[66][67]

Tevinter culture differentiates itself from the other human nations in a number of ways. It is the only nation in the world ruled by mages, the only nation where slavery is officially sanctioned, and the only nation that follows the Imperial Chantry.

Blood magic[]

Main article: Blood magic

The ancient magister lords ruled the Imperium in the Circles of Magi (before their modern incarnation), maintaining a tight hold over its people through the power to infiltrate their dreams using blood magic. Though blood magic is now officially discouraged in the Imperium because Andraste specifically spoke against it,[68] mages who practice it are quietly acknowledged as the most proficient dreamers and diviners[69] and it remains widely practiced. Since most heroes of Tevinter folklore used or benefited from blood magic, the practice does not carry as much stigma as it does elsewhere. The traditions of blood magic are quietly passed from master to apprentice and even the most devout mage knows at least a little blood magic.[70]

This circumvention is often necessary in order to simply survive the deadly rivalries and competitions for power and influence amongst the Tevinter noble families. Those who protest against such widespread use of blood magic are blackballed from power and shunned by the other magisters.[71] While Imperial Templars are meant to stop magisters when they cross the line,[72] in practice only the weak have templars sent after them.

Sexuality and gender roles[]

Tevinter garments

Tevinter noble dress[73]

The upper echelon of Tevinter society places a great deal of importance on lineages, specifically magical lineage. Whereas most of the rest of Thedas dreads the arrival of a mage child, it is actively sought after in Tevinter, such that they keep records of the genealogies of all human families which have been known to produce a mage child.[74] As a result, the Altus mages frequently orchestrate arranged marriages between these magical bloodlines in hopes of producing the perfect mage.[75]

Since breeding is the principal consideration of upper-class marriages, same-sex relationships between nobles are largely hidden, though not prohibited. Such relationships are even encouraged with favored slaves.[76]

Upper-class transgender individuals likewise face no official persecution or legal repercussions, although being open about it can cause a scandal (as was the case with Maevaris Tilani).[77]

However, the army enforces stricter gender roles. Biological women may only serve in certain ranks and disciplines within the Tevinter military. Bribing the healer that performs military physicals can help people conceal their gender from the military, but falsifying military documents is severely punished.[78]

Unlike the Orlesian Chantry, the Imperial Chantry accepts men into the priesthood. In fact, women in Tevinter cannot become Imperial Divine at all.[79]

Architecture[]

Influence of Tevinter architecture in Seheron

As it once ruled over all of Thedas, the slave-built architectural legacy of the Tevinter Imperium can be found across many nations. It is notable for making use of strong horizontal and vertical lines, which are then highlighted by the use of color-contrasting materials. Thanks to Tevinter's unique access to large reserves of metals and precious stones, both materials are readily used in construction. By combining opulence with strong lines, Tevinter architecture is calculated to project dominance and power.[80] Due to Tevinter’s acceptance of magic, it is commonly used in construction and even ancient buildings in Minrathous are magically stabilized rather than repaired.[81]

One of the more ubiquitous remnants of Tevinter architecture across Thedas is the Imperial Highway, an elevated road built by the Imperium to connect its many provinces. It goes from Minrathous to Vol Dorma and then southeast until one branch ends in Perivantium and another expands into Nevarra. The highway also extends into Orlais and Ferelden. Ostagar is its southmost point.[82]

Food[]

Food in Tevinter reflects its expansive and varied history, such that even international dishes are common staples in taverns; including such items as Orlesian croissants,[83] Nevarran flat bread,[83][84] and Antivan cacio e pepe.[85] Other common tavern foods include a meat dish aptly called "unidentified meat," often served with a large side of Nevarran flat bread. There are various theories as to what meat it contains, such as the meat of dracolisk, giant, or quillback; though it can also be simple meat like chicken legs.[84] Stuffed vine leaves are a traditional and common tavern appetizer in Tevinter.[83] These are tender leaves stuffed with rice, herbs, and sometimes minced meat. They can be topped with lemon juice and tzatziki sauce.[86] Common street foods include fried fish[87] and sticky figs rolled in nuts.[88] Tevinter foods have also become popular outside of the Imperium: one notable recipe for lentil soup, inspired by Tevinter tastes, is commonly enjoyed across alienages by city elves.[89]

Tevinter is also home to a variety of sweets, with foods such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies, donuts, candies, and macaroons being quite common.[90] Sweets are especially ubiquitous at the theater, where they are carried by stilted servants who offer them to spectators in private loges. One such theater dessert is the cherry cupcake, a small, luxurious pink cake that was historically used to poison people.[91] Another sweet dish is pumpkin bread, a baked good made in a pan from a small number of ingredients.[92] Even travel foods carry a sweet note to them; one such example goes by the colloquial name of "poison stings." This sweet is comprised of chocolate-coated orange peels that have a crunchy yet chewy texture, tasting both sour and sweet.[93]

Tevinter boasts a robust variety of drinks, notably including wines such as agreggio pavali,[94] Vint-9 Rowan Rose,[95] and mulsum,[96] a wine mixed with honey. Hard liquors are also brewed, using a variety of ingredients such as wyvern venom in the case of aquae lucidius,[97][98] or lyrium for Aqua Magus. When it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, tea is incredibly popular, especially stripweed tea.[99] Tevinter also produces Verimensis tea, which is said to be the most expensive drink in Thedas.[100]

Notable produce in Tevinter includes rice,[101] figs, pears, grapes, squash, dates,[83] black peppercorn,[102] and sugar. Known exports are sugar,[103] black peppercorn[102] wine and liquor,[104] and tea.[105]

Religion[]

Main article: Imperial Chantry

The Imperial Chantry is now the main religious organization in Tevinter, replacing the abandoned worship of the Old Gods. Unlike its Orlesian counterpart, from which it split in the Towers Age, the Imperial Chantry is accepting of magic and allows men into the priesthood.[11] Neither Chantry recognizes the authority of the other.

Social classes[]

Tevinter society is highly stratified, with citizens classified into different levels depending on their ancestry and magical ability.

To those outside of the Tevinter Imperium it is easy to imagine a society filled with mages and elven slaves and little else. In truth, there are three different Tevinters, each of them a world completely separated from the others. There are the mages, the land's nobility, completely obsessed with competing for supremacy with each other—almost to the exclusion of paying any heed to the nation's enemies, such as the Qunari. The well-bred altus sneer at the laetans, who in turn sneer at the praeteri. They vie for dominance in the Magisterium, where factions shift and flow on a daily basis with deadly consequences, requiring every family to put on a veneer of perfect citizenship or face scandal and censure.

Then there are the so-called soporati, the "sleepers." These are the non-magical citizens who vastly outnumber the mages, yet are beholden to their whims. Many are resentful of this status, plotting in secret, even as they secretly hope their children will possess magical talent—an enticing lure, since the talent could conceivably show up in anyone, even a slave. It would be easy to forget that Tevinter possesses a massive class of publicans, the civil servants and leaders of the Legionnaires. It has an enormous merchant class, enough teeming poor to drown any other nation in Thedas, and the shadowy thieves called "praesumptor" who are practically treated with respect.

And then there are the slaves. One would think they, at least, see each other as equals, but it is not so. The divide between the freed liberati, those who act as personal servants to magisters, those who work on farms and factories, and the "servus publicus" who do all the tasks proper citizens will not—it is all but insurmountable, but perhaps in emulation of those who own them, Imperial slaves will connive and scheme to try anyhow. Outsiders might see it as futile, but to Tevinter citizens, their nation's social classes are the most mutable and rewarding of merit in all of Thedas.

—From In Pursuit of Knowledge: The Travels of a Chantry Scholar by Brother Genitivi

From Codex entry: Tevinter Society

Soporati[]

All common citizens of the Imperium who are non-mages are considered part of the Soporati ("sleepers") social class. This is a mainly human class whose members are allowed to own property and serve in Tevinter's military but have no real power in the nation's governance and are unable to attain a higher rank in the Imperial Chantry than mother or father. Often, they are found to be merchants or publicans (civil servants and leaders of the Legionnaires). However, when a Soporati family produces a mage child — a greatly desired outcome in Tevinter, unlike the rest of Thedas — it allows them entrance into the Laetan class and thus a higher social standing. In general, the Soporati and ruling mage classes exist in a state of perpetual tension due to the inequality of their respective standing.[49]

Laetans[]

The next highest social level is that of Laetans, who are mages born into families that had up to that point shown no magical ability or who have been mages for generations but have no link to the higher Altus or Dreamer class. One third of the Archons throughout history have been Laetans.[49] Archon Tidarion was the first Laetan to become Archon, and the outrage that this caused among the Magisterium led to a civil war that lasted over seventy years. The magisters believed that magic was a favor of the Old Gods rather than an accident of birth, and refused to acknowledge the mage underclass of elves and newly liberated foreigners. The civil war was only ended in -620 Ancient when Archon Parthenius, former high priest of Dumat, finally admitted the Laetans to the temples and gave them three seats in the Magisterium.[34]

Altus[]

Altus mages are believed to be descendants of the dreamers or magisters who possessed the ability to speak to the Old Gods in the Fade. While the Old Gods are no longer targets of worship, the descendants of these powerful mages are still held in high esteem and are often the highest-ranking mages in the Imperium; indeed, the majority of magisters are from the Altus class. However, there was a time when these Altus mages were scorned for their part in unleashing the Blights. After the Magisters Sidereal were blamed for corrupting the Golden City and turned into the first darkspawn, and during the period of Transfiguration when the Imperium became Andrastian, many Altus mages were slain. Since then, they have returned to the upper echelon of Tevinter society.[49]

Slaves and Liberati[]

Main article: Slavery

In Tevinter, slavery is not only legal but officially sanctioned.[106] While Tevinter slaves used to be predominantly elven, they are now mostly a mix of elves and humans, though even dwarves[107] and Qunari[108] can become slaves. Mages can also be enslaved.[109] While slavery is officially outlawed everywhere outside of Tevinter, slavers operate throughout Thedas, luring and kidnapping people to sell them into slavery in Tevinter.[110][111]

Slave uprisings are frequent but rarely successful, as are attempts by Tevinter politicians to abolish the practice.[112]

Slaves can only be legally freed before a judge, with their owner present to make the decree, or by the owner's will upon their death. However, freed slaves are still not considered citizens of Tevinter. Those who achieve freedom are instead sectioned into another class known as the Liberati. The Liberati functions as a subclass, and those within it are granted limited rights. Liberati are able to act as an apprentice in a trade or join a Circle of Magi. Liberati are also able to own land and property, but they cannot join the military and rarely have a say in governance.[113]

Most of the Siccari, Tevinter's elite spies,[114] come from slave families. Their families are kept safe, as a promise and a threat, to ensure that the Siccari never flinch from their duties.[115]

Politics[]

Circle tower transfiguration

In Tevinter, temples to the Old Gods became Circles of Magi.[116]

Tevinter is governed by a magocracy, meaning that it is ruled by mages, though not all mages rule. The Archon is the supreme ruler of Tevinter, while the legislative body of Tevinter is known as the Imperial Senate and divided into two houses: the Magisterium and the Publicanium.

Archon[]

Main article: Archon

The Archon is the supreme ruler of Tevinter. Their authority, like their magical power, is said to be god-given, whether that god is one of the Old Gods or the Maker.[117] The Archon may appoint magisters to the Magisterium at any time and has final say on any laws under consideration. The role of Archon is generally an inherited one, either as blood relatives to the previous Archon or as their former apprentice. The reigning Archon is supposed to designate their heir before their death. In the event that an Archon passes without an appointed heir, the Magisterium steps in and names the next ruler, provided they do not already hold a seat on the Magisterium or a rank within the Chantry (provisions that were added during the Black Age).[117]

Imperial Senate[]

Main article: Circle of Magi (Imperial Chantry)
Main article: Magister
Aurelian Titus

Magister Aurelian Titus

The legislative body of Tevinter is known as the Imperial Senate. The Senate is divided into two houses: the Publicanium and the Magisterium.

The Publicanium is the lower house, and in contrast with the Magisterium, it holds no true power and is considered a bureaucratic body. Senators of the Publicanium are elected officials.

The Magisterium is the upper house and is responsible for making laws and choosing a new Archon if there is no approved heir. Members of the Magisterium are known as magisters, though the title is frequently misused outside of Tevinter to mean any mage. A true magister is a figure of real power in Tevinter.

There are several ways into the Magisterium:

It is technically not required to be a mage to become a magister. In fact, most magisters used to be non-mages. Since the Chantry Schism however, non-mages have slowly been weeded out until only mages remained.

Magisters constantly compete with their fellows to rise into a higher position on the Magisterium, though they come together to put down slave rebellions, which they view as sedition, or to fight the Qunari. Raising one's position can be achieved through wealth, magical prowess and/or support by fellow senators but almost always requires relying on forbidden magic.[119] There are various means by which an enterprising mage may better their station. For example, in a complaint made between two magisters in 9:35 Dragon regarding Maevaris Tilani's disruption of the Magisterium's traditions, one of the aggrieved magisters mentions her buying off every vulgatis and honoratus in the eastern empire.[120] It is unknown specifically what these terms mean, though it can be assumed they hold enough power in the Imperium to sway public opinion.

Military[]

The Imperium draws a variety of soldiers from its territories to form an impressive army. Most noted throughout Thedas, however, is the use of elephant mounts that have been imported into Tevinter for centuries through the coastal colonies near the northwestern jungles. Their cavalry fights on the backs of dracolisks since the Steel Age.[121] Additionally, Minrathous is famously protected by a trio of gigantic war golems known as the Juggernauts, purchased from the dwarves long ago.[69]

The military enforces gender roles within its ranks. Women are only permitted to serve in certain ranks and disciplines. Falsifying military records to bypass these restrictions is severely punished. There are also class restrictions on who can join: Liberati, freed slaves, are barred from joining the military at all.

Foreign relations[]

Because of its history as conquerors and slavers, the role magisters played in starting the Blights, and the current Schism with the Divine in Orlais, the Tevinter Imperium is the most maligned and demonized nation in Thedas. It is virtually impossible to find writings from Tevinter outside its borders that have not been heavily altered or outright forged. To most Theodosians it is a corrupt and degenerate magocracy that must be feared until it can be converted. Tevinters themselves view the rest of Thedas as barely civilized savages who lack proper reverence for tradition and respect for authority.[122]

More specifically, the Anderfels still hold animosity towards Tevinter for abandoning them to their fate during the Second Blight, Orlais is Tevinter's prime rival among the human nations of Thedas, and Nevarra and Tevinter are still in dispute over some territory along their shared border in the Silent Plains.[123]

The elves no longer have a nation of their own, a fact that they generally blame on Tevinter's destruction of Elvhenan and their millennia of enslavement. Unsurprisingly, elves throughout Thedas hold the Imperium in contempt. While some Dalish clans can be found in Tevinter,[124] they are few and far between.

Dwarves[]

Tevinter has enjoyed a long and fruitful alliance with the dwarven empire since ancient times, when both empires were at the height of their power. The lyrium trade is the primary reason for their close alliance, as the magic-centric Imperium is dependent on Orzammar to meet its immense demand.[125] Dwarves also provided the Imperium with golems, the most notable of which are the trio of Juggernauts that protects Minrathous. Furthermore, the dwarves helped Tevinter during the Fourth Blight by lifting the siege of Marnas Pell, an act for which they received the gratitude of the ruling Archon and led one dwarf to become a Paragon.[126]

The Imperium hosts numerous dwarven embassies since the days of Archon Darinius and his alliance with the founding kings of the dwarven empire, Orseck Garal and Endrin Stonehammer. There are dwarven embassies in every major city, much like dwarven settlements in other countries in Thedas. In fact all surface dwarves who live in the Imperium are considered foreign dignitaries rather than citizens, regardless of how long their houses have lived there. Unlike dwarves in other countries, Tevinter dwarves have their own branch of government, the Ambassadoria. The representatives of the Ambassadoria are elected by the dwarves to advise the Archon and the Magisterium.[125] The Ambassadoria is more of a lobbying group than a parliament.

Dwarven embassies in Minrathous, Neromenian, and Qarinus are situated entirely underground and are considered by dwarves to reside within the Stone, allowing those in the embassy to retain their caste. Some dwarves serving in Tevinter embassies never leave these underground fortresses.

Despite this close alliance, there are two known cases in which this pact was breached. The first was when Cadash Thaig provided safe harbor for the ancient elves fleeing the destruction of Arlathan. When the dwarves of Kal-Sharok were informed of this, they destroyed Cadash Thaig to hide their actions from the Imperium.[127] The second was when Amaranthine was held by the Avvars. At that time, the Imperium was trying to conquer Ferelden, but the dwarves secretly traded with the Avvars beneath Amaranthine.[128]

Qunari[]

The Imperium has been at constant war with the Qunari for over three centuries, since their arrival in Par Vollen. While every other human nation signed the Llomerryn Accords to end the Qunari Wars in 7:84 Storm, Tevinter refused peace. Seheron is a particular point of contention between Tevinter and the Qunari. Neither side is willing to give up on the island. It has changed hands many times over the centuries, though the Qunari are currently in control of most of the island.

Tevinter contracted the Raiders of the Waking Sea to steal the Tome of Koslun, a historical tome of immense value to their enemies. Isabela manage to steal the tome, however she was shipwrecked and the Tome somehow wound up in Kirkwall. The text ended up in the hands of a local thief who arranged to trade the relic to Tevinter agents but the meeting was disrupted by the Qunari and text slipped through the Imperium's grasp.


This section contains spoilers for:
Trespasser.


Conflict with the Qunari was renewed following the disruption of the Dragon's Breath plot in 9:44 Dragon. The cities of Ventus, Carastes and Neromenian quickly fell to the invading forces.


Imperial language[]

Main article: Tevene

Notable Tevinters[]

Dorian-new2

Dorian Pavus

Danarius

Danarius, a Tevinter magister

CalperniaDAI

Calpernia, a Tevinter slave

For a complete list, see Category:Tevinters.
Note: The list below can include people of either Tevinter ancestry or Tevinter nationality.

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: The Tevinter Imperium Codex entry: The Tevinter Imperium
Codex entry: The Tevinter Imperium Codex entry: The Tevinter Imperium
Codex entry: Archons of the Imperium Codex entry: Archons of the Imperium
Codex entry: The Archon's Blades Codex entry: The Archon's Blades
Codex entry: Astrariums Codex entry: Astrariums
Codex entry: Blade of Mercy Codex entry: Blade of Mercy
Codex entry: Dorian Pavus Codex entry: Dorian Pavus
Codex entry: Dorian and the Last Few Years Codex entry: Dorian and the Last Few Years
Codex entry: Drake's Fall Codex entry: Drake's Fall
Codex entry: The Imperial Chantry Codex entry: The Imperial Chantry
Codex entry: The Litany of Adralla Codex entry: The Litany of Adralla
Codex entry: Magister Gereon Alexius Codex entry: Magister Gereon Alexius
Codex entry: The Magisterium Codex entry: The Magisterium
Codex entry: Slavery in the Tevinter Imperium Codex entry: Slavery in the Tevinter Imperium
Codex entry: Tevinter: The Magisters Codex entry: Tevinter: The Magisters
Codex entry: Tevinter Society Codex entry: Tevinter Society

Note texts[]

Ancient Tevinter Ancient Tevinter

Notes[]

See also[]

Aurora's Freedom Aurora's Freedom
Cowl of the Overseer Cowl of the Overseer

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 75
  2. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 11
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 26
  4. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 14
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 21
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, pp. 36-38
  7. Codex entry: The First Blight: Chapter 3
  8. Codex entry: The First Blight: Chapter 4
  9. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 44
  10. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 87-88
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Codex entry: The Imperial Chantry
  12. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 93,97
  13. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 109
  14. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 7
  15. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 11
  16. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 25
  17. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 12
  18. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 13
  19. Codex entry: The Lost City of Barindur
  20. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 14
  21. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 37
  22. 22.0 22.1 Codex entry: Tevinter: The Magisters
  23. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 15
  24. Codex entry: Archons of the Imperium
  25. 25.0 25.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 18
  26. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 79
  27. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 176
  28. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 23
  29. Codex entry: Arlathan: Part Two
  30. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 22
  31. Codex entry: The Mountain-Father's Haft
  32. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 24
  33. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 25
  34. 34.0 34.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 38
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Dragon Age: Origins: Prima Official Game Guide
  36. Codex entry: History of Kirkwall: Chapter 1
  37. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 27
  38. Codex entry: The Cardinal Rules of Magic
  39. Codex entry: The History of the Chantry: Chapter 1
  40. Codex entry: The First Blight: Chapter 1
  41. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 42
  42. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 44
  43. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 46
  44. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 50
  45. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 51
  46. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 87-88
  47. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 93,97
  48. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 99
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 49.4 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 77
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  51. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 110
  52. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 85
  53. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 114-120
  54. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 121
  55. Codex entry: Seheron
  56. Epilogue (Trespasser)#The Qunari Threat
  57. Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, Three Trees to Midnight
  58. Dragon Age: Blue Wraith
  59. Dragon Age: Dark Fortress
  60. Codex entry: Battleground State
  61. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 131
  62. Unmask "Those Across the Sea"
  63. Dragon Age: Asunder, p. 150
  64. Antor Banris is a presumed wealthy patrician of Vol Dorma.
  65. Mentioned by Gatsi concerning the material of the collectible Tevinter mosaics.
  66. Codex entry: The Tevinter Imperium
  67. Conversation with Dorian Pavus.
  68. Codex entry: A Missing Slave
  69. 69.0 69.1 Dragon Age II: The Complete Official Guide, "Tevinter Imperium"
  70. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 109
  71. Conversation with Dorian Pavus.
  72. According to Fenris.
  73. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 73
  74. According to Dagna.
  75. Dorian Pavus says he had to memorize mage genealogies when telling a Trevelyan that they are distant cousins.
  76. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 72
  77. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 44
  78. Revealed in conversation between The Inquisitor and Cremisius Aclassi in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  79. According to Dorian Pavus.
  80. The Art of Dragon Age: Inquisition, pp. 157-159
  81. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 35
  82. According to this map.
  83. 83.0 83.1 83.2 83.3 Depicted in the background of Dragon Age: Deception.
  84. 84.0 84.1 Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 37
  85. Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, The Wigmaker Job, p. 266
  86. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 105
  87. Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, The Streets of Minrathous, p.245
  88. Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, Luck in the Gardens, p. 153
  89. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 63
  90. Depicted in the background of Dragon Age: Magekiller.
  91. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 139
  92. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 151
  93. Dragon Age: The Official Cookbook: Tastes of Thedas, p. 115
  94. Mentioned by Fenris
  95. Codex entry: Bottles of Thedas
  96. Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, The Wigmaker Job, p. 276
  97. Codex entry: Wyvern
  98. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Core Rulebook p. 96
  99. Banter from Dorian in Trespasser.
  100. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 298
  101. Banter from Dorian with Varric Tethras.
  102. 102.0 102.1 Mentioned to be imported from Caimen Brea in Good Neighbors
  103. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 295
  104. As seen in the appearance of Aqua Magus and Sun Blonde Vint-1 outside of Tevinter.
  105. Grant a Petition
  106. According to Fenris, the Imperial Chantry receives a tithe for every slave sold.
  107. Dwarven Slaves in Venatori Hands
  108. Based on an image of a Qunari slave on Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 78
  109. According to dialogue with Fenris and Dorian Pavus, and as evidenced by Calpernia.
  110. Codex entry: Slavery in the Tevinter Imperium
  111. During Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden discovers that Loghain allowed Tevinter slavers to operate within the Denerim Alienage in exchange for gold.
  112. According to Fenris, Tevinters who attempt to limit or end the practice are often assassinated while slave uprisings are usually ended quickly and violently.
  113. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 78-79
  114. Codex entry: Seheron
  115. Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights, The Dread Wolf Take You
  116. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 124
  117. 117.0 117.1 117.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 76
  118. Codex entry: The Magisterium
  119. Blade of Mercy (Fenris)
  120. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 44
  121. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 299
  122. 122.0 122.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 75
  123. Stop War Between Nevarra and Tevinter
  124. Such as Clan Oranavra in Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights.
  125. 125.0 125.1 125.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 79
  126. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, p. 363
  127. Codex entry: Letters from the Past
  128. Codex entry: The Vigil
  129. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 136
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