Thaig is a dwarven term used for their underground settlements. They are connected with each other via the Deep Roads. Thaigs are often named after a prominent house and in some cases founded by Paragons.
Hewn from the underground rock of Thedas itself, the physical structure of thaigs can last millenia, even if many of them have been abandoned or destroyed by darkspawn raids, their inhabitants killed or fled. This structure often allows the thaigs to serve as fortresses in addition to their other roles.
One of the first thaigs was the Primeval Thaig, which is so ancient that its existence is not even recorded in the dwarven history. The Memories date back to the foundation of the "First Thaig" however the Primeval Thaig is considered much older.
After the outbreak of the First Blight the darkspawn horde invaded the dwarven empire through the Deep Roads and a massive amount of thaigs were lost to the horde. Only the four major kingdoms of Orzammar, Gundaar, Hormak and Kal-Sharok managed to survive and sealing the Deep Roads was the only effective way used to delay the process. By -35 Ancient (1165 TE) only the kingdoms of Orzammar and Kal-Sharok had not fallen.
The dwarven kingdoms originally consisted of twelve "great thaigs" and numerous smaller thaigs spanning the length and breadth of Thedas, but most have fallen. There are only three great thaigs still inhabited, Kal-Sharok, Orzammar and the recently reclaimed Kal'Hirol.
In present day, these thaigs are still inhabited by dwarves.
- Kal-Sharok: Kal-Sharok is the former capital of the dwarven empire, as well as the capital of the Kingdom of Kal-Sharok. It lies deep beneath the Hunterhorn Mountains, between Orlais and Anderfels.
- Orzammar: Orzammar is the capital of the dwarves, as well as the capital of the Kingdom of Orzammar. It lies beneath the Frostback Mountains, between Ferelden and Orlais.
- Kal'Hirol: Once the center of smithing knowledge. Kal'Hirol was lost during the First Blight and reclaimed by the dwarves in 9:31 Dragon.
In present day, these thaigs have been lost to the darkspawn.
- "Abandoned": A thaig located beneath the west end of Sundermount in the Free Marches.
- Aeducan: The ancestral thaig of House Aeducan. It is labeled as "Ruined Thaig" in A Tale of Orzammar DLC and the Dwarf Noble Origin.
- Amgarrak: A hidden thaig.
- Bownammar, now known as the Dead Trenches or "City of the Dead", it is an ancient fortress designed by Paragon Caridin which used to be the former headquarters of the Legion of the Dead. Having passed possession between the Legion and the darkspawn for several centuries, it was lost to the darkspawn in 9:13 Dragon.
- Cad'halash: An ancient settlement which at one point became a sanctuary for elven refugees from Arlathan. When this was discovered by the dwarves of Kal-Sharok, they destroyed the thaig in order to cover the evidence and not jeopardize their alliance with Tevinter Imperium.
- Cadash: It was built upon Cad'halash.
- Darmallon: It was one of Thedas' greatest sources of gold. According to legend, the gold and silver veins of Darmallon ran so deep they made the entire city sparkle. The glittering city of Darmallon was located beneath western Thedas.
- Felhammar: The thaig fell during the First Blight.
- Gundaar: The capital of the Kingdom of Gundaar, it fell to the darkspawn within a decade after -40 Ancient (1160 TE) relatively at the same time with the kingdom of Hormak. Shortly before its fall, the thaig was ruled by King Jegrek, who was slain by the warrior Beregrand in a Proving match, an action which considerably weakened the kingdom. It is also known that the Deep Roads directly connected it with the Aeducan Thaig.
- Gwaren: A dwarven outpost built near the Amaranthine Ocean in order for them to gain access to salt and the sea lanes. A flourishing human settlement was built above which collaborated with the dwarves. After the Deep Roads were overrun by darkspawn, the outpost was abandoned and sealed, however its name is still being used by the human town.
- Heidrun: Built before the First Blight, this thaig was named after Paragon Heidrun. It served as an important lyrium mining source for the dwarven empire. In 9:41 Dragon the Inquisitor may visit the ruins of the thaig.
- Hormak: The capital of the Kingdom of Hormak, it fell to the darkspawn in -35 Ancient (1165 TE). The legendary Paragon Egon Winterbreath is known to have led the thaig's defences until its fall.
- Kal Repartha: A thaig on the surface not recorded in the Memories. It was founded by Paragon Fairel in the Hissing Wastes after a disastrous conflict between two thaigs. Old writings reveal that this thaig must have been founded before 700 TE, thus before the First Blight. By 9:41 Dragon, only half-buried ruins remain of the thaig.
- Kal'Barosh: A thaig located south of Kal'Hirol. It fell shortly before Kal'Hirol was overrun by the darkspawn horde.
- Kobaliman: Before the events of the Fifth Blight, an expedition was organized to recover the thaig, but only one survivor, Captain Roshen, came back.
- Kul-Baras: A dwarven fortress located beneath Ferelden. It was used by the Architect as its base of operations at 9:10 Dragon. A Grey Warden expedition some years later found it empty.
- Ortan: The ancestral home of House Ortan located beneath Ferelden.
- Revann: In 5:10 Exalted, the explorer Faruma Helmi found a strange scrawling by unknown hands on a wall there, mentioning the profane, indicating that such creatures lingered in the thaig.
- Valammar: A former trading post in the immediate vicinity to the surface and the ferelden settlement Redcliffe. In 9:41 Dragon, it was used by the Carta as a base to smuggle lyrium.
- Valdasine: An ancient thaig, located even below the level of the Deep Roads. It was once the home of the mining House Valdasine. In present day it is known as the Primeval Thaig.
- Varen: A thaig located south of Kal'Hirol. It fell shortly before Kal'Hirol was overrun by the darkspawn horde.
- Zygmunt: Shaper Czibor can trace his lineage directly to House Zygmunt from this thaig, which was lost thirteen generations ago before the events of the Fifth Blight.
Thaigs of unknown status
In present day, the status of these thaigs is not known:
- Rousten: The ancestral home of House Rousten. During the events of the Fifth Blight it is likely uninhabited and used only for mining activities.