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“My retribution is eternal, spirit, as is my pain. This is justice, no more.”

Zathrian is the keeper of a clan of Dalish elves found at the Dalish Camp in the Brecilian Forest during the events of the Fifth Blight.


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

Many centuries before the Fifth Blight, a tribe of humans dwelt near the Brecilian Forest; when Zathrian's clan passed near to their settlement, his children were captured by a group of humans. They tortured and murdered his son, then raped his daughter and left her for dead in the forest. The Dalish rescued her, but when his daughter found out that she was pregnant, she committed suicide in shame. Mad with grief and hate, and wanting to exact revenge for what the humans did to his family, Zathrian summoned the Spirit of the Forest and bound it to the body of a wolf, creating the monster known as Witherfang. Witherfang, turned loose by Zathrian, slaughtered most of the humans and left the survivors infected with lycanthropy. This is what created the curse that now infects his people. The Lady of the Forest asks the Warden to bring Zathrian to her to ask for his assistance to end the curse, as the ones responsible for the deaths of his children are long dead. She knows that Zathrian used his own blood to create the curse and because of this, his long-lived life continues as long as the curse does. Regardless, The Lady hopes he will show mercy.


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

Zathrian talks little of his past, but speaks earnestly of the problem faced by his people. His clan has been attacked by a pack of werewolves, led by Witherfang. As a result, many of his clan have been infected with lycanthropy. When the Warden asks him to join the fight against the Fifth Blight, he asks for Witherfang's death and for its heart to be brought back to him so that a cure might be made. In exchange, the Dalish elves will join the fight against the Blight. But as the party may find out, Zathrian has not told the whole story. The Warden can learn more of the conflict by persuading his first, Lanaya, to tell them. She will tell the Warden why Zathrian has such strong views on Witherfang, though the whole of his story will remain a mystery until the final confrontation with Witherfang.

If the Warden chooses to investigate further, they will encounter Zathrian at the Brecilian Ruins entrance, demanding an explanation why Witherfang still lives. The Warden may persuade Zathrian to negotiate with the Lady of the Forest to discuss the curse. If the Warden asks Zathrian to end the curse he will initially refuse and attack the party. Once defeated, Zathrian will relent and end the curse, thus ending his life too. If the Warden sides with the werewolves and attacks the Dalish camp, Zathrian will be killed defending the camp. Alternatively, the Warden can help Zathrian kill the werewolves during a parley. The Warden can thereupon attack Zathrian after Zathrian reveals that his First, Lanaya, knows how to use the Heart of the Forest to cure the werewolf curse.

Finally, if the Warden sides with Zathrian by killing Witherfang, he will continue to lead his clan, unless the Warden decides to turn against him before returning to camp. If the Warden sides with the elves and killed Witherfang, Zathrian will return in person as an ally atop the roof of Fort Drakon during the final battle against the Archdemon (pcPC only).

If he survives the events of the Fifth Blight in the epilogue it is stated that Zathrian eventually disappears.


Nature of the Beast Nature of the Beast

Literary works[]

  • The Tale of Iloren[1]


  • (About the Grand Oak) "I am surprised that you met one self-possessed enough to speak to you, nevermind rhyme."
  • (About the Archdemon) "As if it weren't enough that one of the most noble and terrible creatures ever to be spawned of our world should be twisted into something so... unnatural. I cannot imagine what we shall do once we encounter it."

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Keeper Zathrian Codex entry: Keeper Zathrian
Codex entry: The Tale of Iloren Codex entry: The Tale of Iloren