Nearly a century ago, the Fifth Blight ravaged the southern continent of Thedas. Darkspawn armies marched from underneath the earth and laid siege about all sentient life above ground. Lead by the Archdemon, a corrupted old god turned into a vicious and beastly dragon, the sickening creatures tore their way through Ferelden, scarring and corrupting the land as they passed. Anything that was in their way was slaughtered. Regardless of race, age, or status, the darkspawn spared no one. Were it not for the Gray Wardens, an order of skilled warriors, rogues and mages dedicated to stopping the Blights, the Archdemon and its armies would’ve likely marched forward and conquered the rest of the Thedas after they almost won the war waged throughout Ferelden. But time has passed and the people of Thedas survived once more. Like the four times a Blight had been ended before, the Gray Wardens’ actions were slowly forgotten as the order disappeared without a trace. But now, deep underground the Darkspawn have uncovered another one of the old gods and a new Archdemon is slowly rising, along with its army of fiendish monsters. The Gray Wardens are needed once more but unlike previous years, none have reappeared at the signs of a Blight and consequently, Thedas is in a state of panic. With the Sixth Blight nipping at their heels and with no Wardens to stop it, Thedas's fate is uncertain. OPENING REMARKS Hello! I’m BearEnthusiast and this is a roleplay based on the universe of the medieval fantasy video game series Dragon Age. The roleplay itself does not require any prior experience with the series as it’s a completely standalone story, but I do need you to read over some of the info/lore below as it covers what you ought to know about Thedas. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! It’s quite a lot of information, I know. :3 For those who have played the series (specifically the latest game) this RP takes place in an alternate universe in which the events of the Inquisition did not happen. CURRENT CAST CHARACTER VAULT PLOT As signs of another blight begin to appear all over southern Orlais, the Orlesian empire and it's Empress Victoria is growing more and more troubled with each report of darkspawn scouts razing farms and villages along the country side. The occasional Darkspawn skirmish becomes more common the further south you travel in Thedas, but the sheer number and almost synchronized timing of the most recent waves of Darkspawn attacks allude to something more devious than normal. Fearing they are witnessing the beginning of a new Blight, the Empire sent missives to Weisshaupt, the headquarters of the Grey Warden stationed deep in the Anderfels, but have received neither a response nor any acknowledgment their messages were even read. The other nations have reported that the Order as a whole slowly disappeared over the past century and that no grey wardens remain. With each day the Wardens have been gone, the attacks got worse and things are beginning to look grim once more for the southern nations of Thedas. Most of the northern and central continent have given up on the Order returning, instead they've chosen to amass a force capable of defending their home from the Darkspawn threat. Due to their absence in this time of need, the term Grey Warden has been reduced to a coward's title as many of the ignorant nation leaders forgot what the Wardens has done for them throughout history. Without any response from Weisshaupt and with their country slowly falling from the south up, Orlais is the most recent nation to have given up hope on the Wardens returning. But the people and royalty of Ferelden, the nation where the fifth Blight had begun and ended, know that without the wardens Thedas will not survive against the Darkspawn onslaught. Their queen, Alexandria Theirin who is the daughter of the two wardens who lead Ferelden against the Blight all those years ago, now calls for the bravest warriors, rogues, and mages willing to join an expedition into the harsh and arid lands of the Anderfels. The expedition has one goal in exchange for promises of riches, glory and adventure - find the Grey Wardens before the Blight consumes Thedas. HUMANS Humans are the most numerous and most powerful race in Thedas. All The leading kingdoms explored in the Dragon Age universe are human – Orlais, Ferelden, as well as others. Compared to the other races of Thedas, Humans are recognized for their adaptability, ingenuity and flexibility in terms of morals and beliefs. They are capable of being rogues, warriors and mages. Long ago humans worshipped a draconic pantheon of Old Gods which it is considered that they now slumber beneath the earth. The magister rulers of the ancient Tevinter Imperium who regularly talked to the Old Gods, engaged a series of invasions in which they defeated the elven kingdom of Elvhenan and enslaved the race. Boosted by the sheer number of slaves, the Imperium conquered almost the entirety of Thedas in the next centuries. Eventually, the Imperium was challenged from the south by a barbarian uprising, the armies led by Maferath and his wife, the prophet Andraste. Andraste brought the teachings of a new god, the Maker, and her word spread quickly. The oppressed masses of the Imperium rose up in rebellion to support the invading barbarians and eventually most of the south fell to their might. Andraste was not stopped in her Exalted March until she was betrayed by her husband: jealous of her power, Maferath turned Andraste over to the Tevinter archon and she was burned at the stake. The Chant of Light would say that the Maker turned his back on humanity when she died. He would only return and make the world into a paradise when the Chant of Light was sung from all corners of the world, and so the Chantry began to spread. In modern times, the Chantry has spread throughout the known world, its power unquestioned even as it begins to give way to internal strife. ELVES The elves are a physically-weaker version of humans with a slender build, pointed ears and astronger affinity for nature and magic. Long ago, the elves were the dominant race on Thedas, and their advanced civilization was based on nature, the Fade and magic. After the fall of their great city of Arlathan, and its following plunder by the human mages of the Tevinter Imperium and the subsequent generations of slavery that followed, the elves lost most of their cultural heritage and identity. Since then, their few numbers have been scattered all over Thedas in either forests as illusive but dangerous nomads known as the Dalish, or as "city elves": impoverished outcasts, the lowest of the low in human society with little hope of recovery for their culture or their race. They're now a people associated with poverty, crime, barbarism, and are often used as scapegoats for humanity's difficulties. DWARVES Dwarves are a short, stocky, and physically-strong race. The dwarves are skilled builders and boast a long tradition of courage and martial skill that has served them well in their millennia-long battle against the darkspawn. They are a race in decline, once developed a huge, great empire which spread across vast underground networks of twelve great thaigs (or underground cities) that spanned the breadth of Thedas. However, their world was all but destroyed during the First Blight. In addition to the loss of nearly all thaigs and the majority of the Deep Roads to darkspawn, dwarves are known to be increasingly infertile due to their proximity to the darkspawn taint, a situation which has given rise to anxiety for the future of the race, as well as the invention of noble hunters to bolster the children born to noble houses. Unlike elves and humans, dwarves do not naturally enter the Fade, as they do not dream. Dwarves who spend too much time above ground are labeled as Surfacers and are shunned as well as prevented entry into the few remaining Thaigs. QUNARI Qunari - The Qunari is the name most commonly known for the mysterious, illusive and gigantic race that governs the island nations of Par Vollen and Seheron. Qunari are taller and considered to be more physically robust than humans. They have skin of varying metallic colors (such as gold, bronze, and silver), white hair, pointed ears, and vivid eyes with colors like violet, red, silver, or yellow. They follow a harsh but respectable code of honor known as the Qun. Any Qunari who does not follow the Qun are titled Vashoth and are shunned by the Qunari, the latter going so far as to consider Vashoth a race entirely different from theirs. They tower over the other races, averaging seven feet and are incredibly physically capable. Qunari born with magic are called Sarebaas and are bound, with their lips stitched together in order to keep them from inflicting chaos on the people of the Qun. DARKSPAWN The darkspawn, are a race of humanoid tainted creatures that mostly dwell in the underground of Thedas. When the darkspawn uncover one of the Old Gods rumored to be asleep deep underground, they expose it to the taint, changing it into an Archdemon, which then leads them in an attack against the surface world called a Blight. The darkspawn are perhaps the greatest single threat to all of Thedas; they are bloodthirsty, exceptionally numerous and willing to indiscriminately kill or corrupt all in their path. Darkspawn exist solely for one purpose - war against all sentient beings in Thedas. As a rule, they are completely hostile to outsiders. Anyone caught venturing underground will be attacked, and anything caught in their path during a raid or a Blight will be mercilessly slaughtered. Surrendering to darkspawn is generally foolish; even if they spare a prisoner's life, they will still drag them back to the Deep Roads. Males are devoured and tortured for entertainment once their effective labor is used up, while females are turned into broodmothers, disgusting abominations used to birth more and more darkspawn in order to fill their armies. Ferelden Orlais Free Marches Tevinter Antiva Ferelden is a relatively temperate nation in the far southeast of Thedas, historically populated by a simple militaristic culture that has only begun to "civilize" in the last few centuries. The Fereldan desire for freedom has engendered a cultural mistrust of law enforcement, and 'laissez-faire' attitudes in general. While the worst offenses are quickly put down, many others are ignored and citizens are often left to make their own justice. Petty theft is common, as guardsmen will only go out of their way to deal with serious disruptions. Commerce is given little official scrutiny as long as taxes are paid; businesses such as brothels and gambling halls are not only tolerated, but expected. The Orlesian Empire, or simply Orlais is currently the largest and the most powerful nation in Thedas.. Orlais is currently ruled by Empress Victoria, a cutthroat and unnervingly bold international figure. Orlais is a nation where class and social politics frequently rule the day. As such, the concerns and lives of the various classes can differ greatly. Aristocratic society is vicious and marked by fawning envy to the powerful. Bards often entertain nobles in their courts despite their roles as spies, assassins and saboteurs for their employers who are usually other nobles. Nobles welcome such entertainers with full knowledge that any could be a bard; the thrill of outwitting a spy is a notion the Orlesian aristocracy can hardly resist. The Free Marches encompass a group of city-states situated in eastern Thedas. The three real cities with any semblance of power in the Marches are Kirkwall, Starkhaven and Tantervale, each led by a titled official with the special right to name their city's Champion. The "Marchers" are independent-minded descendants of tough barbarians. Their cities have formed a loose confederation that rarely unites on any matter. In the event of aggression from larger neighbors, however, the Marchers can assemble a joint military front that even the greatest powers cannot dismiss. The Tevinter Imperium is the longest existing human country in Thedas and is ruled by a powerful magocracy. The leaders of the Imperium are called magisters, and are led by the Imperial Archon. Tevinter society is notoriously decadent yet also takes great pride in their history and culture. The Imperium treasures their past and preserves it, as indicated that everything they've built has been carefully preserved and renovated. Ambition and magical ability are the hallmarks of its ruling elite, the magisters. In ancient times, the Imperium's power was unrivaled and its borders stretched across nearly the entire continent. In modern times, while Tevinter is a shadow of its former self in both size and power, it is still relatively powerful, and a major nation of Thedas Antiva is a plutocratic nation in north eastern Thedas. Although it possesses few resources of its own, Antiva's location makes it a center for trade in the north. Antiva's wine trade, buoyed by its fruitful vineyards and an aggressive approach to trading practices with other nations, is one of the country's main resources, allowing for a relatively prosperous life for its citizens. Its capital is Antiva City, which lies on the middle of its coastline and is one of the wealthiest in Thedas. Antiva is also home to Thedas’ best assassins guilds, the most prominent of which being The Crows.