This campaign provides an opportunity to play as darkspawn. Instead of the Warden, the player controls a Hurlock vanguard who serves as a champion to the Archdemon. It takes a look at an alternate history, allowing the player to see what might have happened if the Warden had died during the Joining ceremony, and the assembled forces marched under Alistair's command instead.
It was released on May 18, 2010, on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.
You now fight as the darkspawn! The city of Denerim, jewel of Ferelden, girds itself for war. As a hurlock vanguard, you alone hold the power to make thralls of your fellow darkspawn and drive them into the heat of battle. Heed the Archdemon's call--Denerim must burn!
In a non-canonical narrative in which the Warden died at Ostagar and Alistair travelled onwards without his comrade, the Vanguard is summoned by the Archdemon himself to lead the darkspawn to victory at The Battle of Denerim. Receiving orders through the Archdemon's whispers, the campaign begins storming the gates of the city.
First enthralling two nearby Genlock and Hurlock warriors, the Vanguard has to earn their respect by slaughtering Denerim City Guards and Mabari War Hounds; he then rescues a nearby Ogre. Eventually, Arl Howe appears with his bodyguards, including Ser Cauthrien, to rally the defenders, but is killed by the Vanguard's forces. The darkspawn then finish off the remaining defenders before pressing ahead to the Market District.
The Archdemon warns that three large ballistae had been set up to keep the darkspawn out of the district. The Vanguard enlists the aid of a nearby Shriek, using its stealth ability to sneak past the ambush. From there, the player has the opportunity to slaughter various civilians, including Vaughan Kendells and Habren; the main enemies in the area are Bann Teagan, Ser Perth and the Knights of Redcliffe. To enter Denerim Alienage, the Vanguard needs the help of a Genlock Sapper. The sapper can destroy the gates leading into the Alienage, but the opportunity to kill Herren and Wade also surfaces; however, if driven to the back of the Chantry Walls, Herren will transform into a Desire demon, and teleport them both away. Outside the Gnawed Noble Tavern is a gang of violent drunks led by Oghren, and the Vanguard can kill them as well. When the Sapper destroys the gate, the Vanguard's forces are halted by Wynne and templars under the command of Cullen and Knight-Commander Greagoir. They are defeated, and the darkspawn continue their rampage into the Alienage.
After the Vanguard breaks through the gate into the Alienage, the Archdemon provides new orders: burn the Vhenadahl tree to draw the City elves out. To accomplish this the Vanguard commands the aid of a Hurlock emissary. After the emissary sets the tree alight using fire magic, the darkspawn slaughter Elder Valendrian and the other City elves who were sent into a blind panic by the destruction of the tree. Also among the elves is Zevran, who is hiding from the Antivan Crows among the elves. Cutting the last of the Elven Defenders down, the Vanguard's forces press on to the Palace District.
While the Alienage was left to fend for itself, the Palace District is swarming - the Dwarves are spread throughout the district, alongside the Legion of the Dead and numerous Steel golems and many Qunari Mercenaries. The Ogre is cut off from his fellow darkspawn behind a portcullis, and the Vanguard has to raise it. Despite the odds, the Vanguard successfully kills Kardol and Sergeant Kylon - but Riordan wounds the Archdemon before plummeting to his death; the Archdemon orders the Vanguard to continue the fight. Finally, the Vanguard is confronted by Sten on the steps leading up to Fort Drakon; the Vanguard emerges victorious once again.The Archdemon, sensing Alistair's approach and aware of his own injuries, demands the Vanguard's presence at the top of Fort Drakon immediately. Answering his master's call, the Vanguard meets his foe: King Alistair, the leader of the assembled forces, followed by his loyal dog Barkspawn and accompanied by his ally-of-convenience Morrigan and his friend and lover Leliana; Alistair is backed up by the werewolves. Fighting alongside both the horde and the Archdemon, the Vanguard kills the dog, Morrigan and Leliana before mortally wounding Alistair. After the battle is over and Alistair realises he had failed, the Vanguard stabs him viciously through the back as the Archdemon soars off, the battle of Denerim a success.
- Hurlock Vanguard – the main character of the campaign. An intelligent darkspawn who receives orders directly from the Archdemon. He is a Weapon and Shield warrior with the Champion specialization. They also possess the power to enthrall weaker-minded darkspawn, creating an entourage similar to the party seen in the main game and other campaigns. Unlike in other campaigns, however, the other darkspawn are replaced after they die and the Vanguard can, in order to free up space in his party, execute thralls who cease to be useful to him. Darkspawn thralls come in several varieties.
- Hurlocks and Genlocks – serve as the most common thralls the Vanguard recruits from the ranks of the horde. The Genlock is the first thrall the Vanguard must recruit. Most of them are warriors, who can possess Weapon and Shield, Two-Handed or Dual Weapon style abilities and equipment; others are archers who carry most, if not all, Archery talents.
- Hurlock emissary – the first emissary appears in the Alienage, where his magic is essential to setting the Vhenadahl tree on fire. After that, Emissaries appear more readily. They serve as the mage class stand-in, capable of providing minor healing for allies or powerful magic attacks.
- Shrieks – first appear at the start of the Market District, where his stealth ability is necessary to breach the defences and enter the district proper. In battle, the Shriek functions as a rogue, dual-wielding blades affixed to his wrists. Because of this the Shriek cannot equip weapons, although it does have its own armor set.
- Ogres – first appear in the courtyard outside Denerim, where the Vanguard must save him from a persistent group of defenders. He retains his old abilities, including grabbing enemies in one hand and attacking them with the other. The Ogre is slower and his abilities have a longer recharge period than other darkspawn, but they all have strong knockback and often, such as in the Palace District, the Ogre is necessary to advance the plot by breaking through barricades and fences.
- Blight wolf – they functions as a Dog-type character, first appearing in the Palace District. Like Dog, the wolf has slots for Kaddis and Collars.
- Blight wolf (thrall)
- Genlock (thrall)
- Genlock archer (thrall)
- Hurlock (thrall)
- Hurlock archer (thrall)
- Hurlock emissary (thrall)
- Ogre (thrall)
- Shriek (thrall)
- Storm the Gates
- Massacre in the Market
- Raze the Alienage
- Assault on the Palaces
- The Battle at Fort Drakon
- Main article: Items (The Darkspawn Chronicles)
The following items are carried over to new or existing games after completing The Darkspawn Chronicles:
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening
Achievements and trophies
- The Enthralling achievement is achieved when full approval is gained from a genlock, a hurlock, an ogre, a shriek, a hurlock emissary and a blight wolf. Although other types of darkspawn are recruitable, they do not count. Approval is gained by scoring a killing blow with the main character (Hurlock Vanguard). These approvals must be gained in a single playthrough. In addition, any darkspawn killed using Enthrall counts toward other darkspawn-killing achievements.
- Almost every doorway in the Market District acts as an infinite spawning point if the main character (Hurlock Vanguard) is nearby - but only until you "Slay the Healer". You can maximize the approval of your Genlock, Hurlock, Shriek, and Ogre simply by AFKing the party (with Tactics set to Aggressive) outside one of these for a while.
- xbox360, pc The Palace District has a similar area before you "Slay the Qunari". The palace doors themselves, the burning pile of debris to the left of the doors down the path and the doorway just beyond the burning pile on the left (across from the stairs up). All locations will continuously spawn Dwarven Soldiers and Legionnaires.
- pc It seems as though rank does not affect approval.
- It is important for the "Ogre's Keeper" achievement to enthrall the ogre as soon as possible after getting his quest to save him, at least before the quest is completed. Many people report that otherwise the achievement can't be acquired, even if fulfilling all other requirements.
Although he isn't seen until the very end, many of the decisions that Alistair made as the sole surviving Grey Warden can be gathered from the codex entries and the presence of certain characters seen throughout the DLC.
- Alistair accepted Morrigan's help, despite their mutual dislike of each other. Despite his discomfort at being asked to perform the dark ritual, by the time of the battle he was obviously hardened enough to agree to it himself, as Morrigan appears in his party during the battle at Fort Drakon.
- Alistair allowed Leliana to come along, as Leliana is in his party during the Fort Drakon encounter.
- Additionally, it is implied by the codex that Alistair and Leliana were lovers.
- Alistair rescued the mabari hound at Ostagar, either before or after the battle, as the dog appears in his party during the Fort Drakon encounter; he named the dog Barkspawn.
- Alistair rescued Wynne but did not recruit her, as she guards the entrance to the Denerim Alienage alongside the templars.
- Alistair never recruited Oghren, who is seen fighting the darkspawn outside the Gnawed Noble Tavern accompanied by a gang of violent drunks, and it is mentioned he has been there for some time.
- Alistair spared Zevran's life but chose not to recruit him as Zevran is killed in the Denerim Alienage, having taken up residence there to hide from the Antivan Crows.
- Though Sten is seen guarding the entrance to Fort Drakon in the Palace District his codex entry is not clear as to whether he ever joined Alistair's party or traveled to Denerim on his own.
- Due to the presence of golems, it can be assumed that Shale was either killed by Alistair due to not agreeing over the use of golems, or not recruited.
- Alistair traveled to Haven and obtained a pinch of ash from the Urn, as the codex mentions that Arl Eamon survived (despite his not being present for the battle).
- In the dispute between the Dalish elves and the werewolves, Alistair convinced the werewolves to attack the Dalish, as the werewolves appear as Alistair's personal bodyguards during the Fort Drakon encounter.
- Alistair saved the Circle of Magi.
- It is not stated whom Alistair elected to be King of Orzammar, but dwarven forces do appear in the Palace District. It is possible that Alistair elected Bhelen to be king as some of the dwarven forces, particularly the crossbowmen, have casteless brands on their faces.
- Alistair also convinced the Legion of the Dead to come to the surface, as Kardol and other legionnaires appear in the district as well.
- Alistair agreed to let Branka use the Anvil of the Void, as several steel golems appear in the Palace District.
- During Unrest in the Alienage, Alistair did not agree to any of Caladrius' offers, as Valendrian appears in the Alienage.
- Alistair let Vaughan Kendells out of his cell, as Vaughan appears in the Market District.
- Alistair convinced Ser Cauthrien not to fight him in the Royal Palace.
- Alistair executed Loghain at the Landsmeet.
- Alistair and Anora agreed to rule together in order to avoid a civil war between the nobles.
- Alistair convinced the Templar Order to join him as well, as Wynne and a Circle mage appear alongside the templars, including Knight-Commander Greagoir and Cullen.
- Alistair apparently convinced Arl Howe to abandon Loghain and join him instead, as Howe appears at the Denerim City Gates in an attempt to rally the defenders.
- Alistair also hired the services of a number of Qunari mercenaries, who fight alongside the dwarves in the Palace District.
- Alistair convinced Ser Cauthrien to fight for him, as she appears as the leader of Arl Howe's bodyguards.
- Alistair appointed Bann Teagan to lead his Knights of Redcliffe, as Teagan is the commander of the forces in the Market District.
- Codex entry: Alistair
- Codex entry: Dog
- Codex entry: Leliana
- Codex entry: Morrigan
- Codex entry: Oghren
- Codex entry: People of Ferelden
- Codex entry: Sten
- Codex entry: Wynne
- Codex entry: Zevran Arainai
- Dog is also named 'Barkspawn' in the Penny Arcade comic.
- Alistair is equipped with Duncan's Shield (only available from the Grey Warden Vault) and Shaperate's Blessing (not available in Origins due to a bug.)
- The initial genlock you are told to enthrall is immortal. Attempting to kill him causes him to explode and lose his head, but then the headless corpse will stand back up again, and you can enthrall him again.
- pcThe Steel Spiked Collar sometimes appears as equippable for characters other than the blight wolf, but isn't actually usable. Also, the equipment console for the blight wolf sometimes changes to the humanoid version, allowing you to equip weapons, armor, and accessories but not the Collar.
- xbox360In Chronicles this item can be equipped to some humanoid thralls (Hurlock (Shield and Two-handed weapons), Hurlock Emissary, Hurlock Archer, Genlock (Shield, Palace District and Fort Drakon)), as well as the Blight Wolf. It plays the equip sound effect and highlights as if equipped while providing the listed benefits (noticeable damage increase with low armor penetration weapons, armor stat raises in the character pane and reduces damage taken).