The Grey Wardens & the Darkspawn

2014-05-16 16:09:01.503000

The Grey Wardens

The First Blight had already raged for 90 years. The world was in chaos. A god had risen, twisted and corrupted. The remaining gods of Tevinter were silent, withdrawn. What writing we have recovered from those times is filled with despair, for everyone believed, from the greatest Archons to the lowliest slaves, that the world was coming to an end.

At Weisshaupt fortress in the desolate Anderfels, a meeting transpired. Soldiers of the Imperium, seasoned veterans who had known nothing their entire lifetimes except hopeless war, came together. When they left Weisshaupt, they had renounced their oaths to the Imperium. They were soldiers no longer: They were the Grey Wardens. The Wardens began an aggressive campaign against the Blight, striking back against the darkspawn, reclaiming lands given up for lost. The Blight was far from over, but their victories brought notice, and soon they received aid from every nation in Thedas.

They grew in number as well as reputation. Finally, in the year 992 of the Tevinter Imperium, upon the Silent Plains, they met the Archdemon Dumat in battle. A third of all the armies of northern Thedas were lost to the fighting, but Dumat fell and the darkspawn fled back underground. Even that was not the end. The Imperium once revered seven gods: Dumat, Zazikel, Toth, Andorhal, Razikale, Lusacan, and Urthemiel. Four have risen as Archdemons. The Grey Wardens have kept watch through the ages, well aware that peace is fleeting, and that their war continues until the last of the dragon-gods is gone.

- From Ferelden: Folklore and History, by Sister Petrine, Chantry scholar

The Darkspawn

Those who had sought to claim
Heaven by violence destroyed it. What was
Golden and pure turned black.
Those who had once been mage-lords,
The brightest of their age,
Were no longer men, but monsters.

- Threnodies 12:1

Sin was the midwife that ushered the darkspawn into this world. The magisters fell from the Golden City, and their fate encompassed all our world's. For they were not alone.

No one knows where the darkspawn come from. A dark mockery of men, in the darkest places they thrive, growing in numbers as a plague of locusts will. In raids, they will often take captives, dragging their victims alive into the Deep Roads, but most evidence suggests that these are eaten. Like spiders, it seems darkspawn prefer their food still breathing. Perhaps they are simply spawned by the darkness. Certainly, we know that evil has no trouble perpetuating itself.

The last Blight was in the Age of Towers, striking once again at the heart of Tevinter, spreading south into Orlais and east into the Free Marches. The plagues spread as far as Ferelden, but the withering and twisting of the land stopped well beyond our borders. Here, darkspawn have never been more than the stuff of legends. In the northern lands, however, particularly Tevinter and the Anderfels, they say darkspawn haunt the hinterlands, preying on outlying farmers and isolated villages, a constant threat. 

- From Ferelden: Folklore and History, by Sister Petrine, Chantry scholar