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A list of the major organizations and non-national factions in the Dragon Age franchise. For a list of the various races in the setting, go here. To return to the master character index for the whole franchise, go here.

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     The Grey Wardens

In war, victory. In peace, vigilance. In death, sacrifice.

A multi-species organization dedicated to protecting the world from the darkspawn, by any means necessary.

  • All-Powerful Bystander: While each Grey Warden is a One-Man Army, their political neutrality means that they cannot get directly involved in political matters. Unless it's darkspawn-related, they either feel obligated not to entangle themselves in politics and risk blunting their effectiveness, or really don't see it as their problem.
  • Animal Motifs: The griffon. It's their heraldry, and is depicted everywhere in their architecture. In past Ages the Wardens used them as their signature mounts, allowing them to rain down on the darkspawn horde. Sadly, they've since gone extinct.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: This is largely the reputation they have in Thedas, and it's not entirely undeserved. They often invoke the Right of Conscription on apostates and condemned criminals. While the supreme importance of their mission means that people rarely make an open stink about it, the idea that the Wardens are a "haven for criminals and maleficar" (as Rylock puts it) is a very prevalent one.
    • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: During a Blight, however, Wardens tend to see the situation as being dire enough that they are prepared to throw most of the rules - including their neutrality - right out of a five story window.
    • The one time in recent memory that the Grey Wardens stepped in to fight when there wasn't an active Blight was against an extremely corrupt king. It didn't end well for them, or the people they were fighting since no one comes off well fighting Grey Wardens, but they got kicked out of Ferelden and it was only recently that King Maric allowed them to build up their numbers again.
  • Badass Army: These guys have saved Thedas on multiple occasions, and recruit only the toughest and brightest to serve. Though they don't fare so well against the Inquisition during the Siege of Adamant. Justified, since Adamant wasn't built to stand against modern siege equipment, and the Wardens are desperate and scared and unsure that they are actually doing the right thing.
  • Badass Creed: The above quote, which sums up all the things that are wanted from a Warden.
  • Badass Decay: In-Universe. By the time of Origins, it's been four hundred years since the last Blight, the darkspawn are only ever seen in small numbers on the surface which (combined with propaganda spread after the end of the Fourth Blight) has convinced most of Thedas that the losses the darkspawn took in the final battle mean they can never again be a major threat to the world. Furthermore, most people across Thedas look down on the Grey Wardens as both a relic of a dark period in history best left forgotten still trying to convince the world they have relevence, and a dumping ground for criminals, blood mages, second sons and other social undesireables.
  • Bad Dreams: Due to their connection to the Darkspawn, all Wardens experience these to varying degrees. The lucky ones only get them rarely, while the unlucky have trouble sleeping their entire lives. Alistair mentions that it's supposedly worse for those who join during a Blight, due to the Archdemon being active, although he's unsure if it's true or not. This affects even dwarven Wardens, who are otherwise incapable of dreaming.
  • Bearer of Bad News: The Wardens are usually the first to know if a Blight is happening. Nobody likes hearing that. Even if it's in peacetime, Wardens usually mean darkspawn are nearby.
    Sera: Usually bad stuff happens first, so you're glad when the hero shows up. But Wardens are the wrong way 'round. They're the good thing that means a bad thing is about to happen.
  • Big Eater: According to Alistair, Grey Wardens require more food than normal people, possibly to slow the progress of the taint within them.
  • Blood Magic:
    • The Joining Ritual that new recruits must undertake is technically Blood Magic.
    • Unlike the rest of Thedas, the Wardens don't really have a problem with Blood Magic, considering it just another weapon in their arsenal. Avernus even figured out how Wardens of any stripe, mage or not, could weaponise their own tainted blood.
    • The Gloves Come Off: For Mage Wardens who don't resort to Blood Magic, they are still actively encouraged to go full pelt against the darkspawn.
  • Blue Is Heroic: From the second game onward, blue makes an prominent color of their uniforms which is ironic due to their names and that the original game portrayed them with brown-colored uniforms.
  • Boxed Crook: Many of the Wardens featured in the franchise, including Duncan and Daveth (as well as the City Elf, Dwarf Commoner, and Dwarf Noble Wardens from Origins) were criminals brought into the Order by the Right of Conscription. Dorian in Inquisition has little patience for Blackwall because he suspects that Blackwall was one such criminal, making his self-righteousness a tad hypocritical. Oddly enough Dorian becomes more tolerant after finding out how right he actually was.
  • Broken Base:
    • An in-universe example occurs in Awakening, when the Warden-Commander's decision to possibly ally with the Architect is considered very controversial amongst their companions, as well as with Wardens in other countries.
    • The events of Inquisition lead to fierce arguments over the order's future, especially if you recruit the Adamant faction rather than exile them. The schism comes down to whether they should stick to their old methods or drop the secrecy and work more openly with the rest of the world. Various comments suggest it's a step away from civil war.
  • Broken Pedestal: Their reputation since the Fourth Blight has sharply declined. While there are still lingering stories of heroic Grey Wardens rising up to save the day against the Darkspawn, many consider them a nuisance and relic of past glory at best and potential usurpers at worst. The Warden uprising decades ago in Ferelden certainly didn't help. This is especially the case in Inquisition where Corypheus has either brainwashed or convinced the Wardens in Orlais to be his pawns.
  • Commanding Coolness: The Warden-Commander is the highest ranking Warden in each country. They are also sometimes known as "the Commander of the Grey."
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: The Grey Wardens' mission is to fight the darkspawn. In particular, Wardens are key to ending Blights (when the darkspawn corrupt an Old God into an Archdemon and attack the surface of Thedas); they are the only ones capable of killing Archdemons.
  • Creepy Good: Their willingness to do anything to fight darkspawn and the Blight makes other people not exactly fond of Wardens. Further, they're the Bearer of Bad News. When they show up, darkspawn are involved, and no one wants to deal with that.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Due to having taking the Taint into themselves via the Joining, Grey Wardens are technically high-functioning, specialised ghouls that turn the darkspawn's own power against them.
  • Dead Man Walking: Besides the insane odds and dangers the Wardens go up against, the darkspawn blood they drink as part of the Joining will eventually kill or turn them into ghouls within about thirty years.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Killing Physical Gods in the form of the Archdemons is part of the job description.
  • The Dreaded: Feared by any darkspawn who are intelligent enough to understand the concept of fear. Even the archdemons are terrified of them, so much so that they seem to make any and all Wardens priority targets during a Blight. To a much lesser extent, the rest of Thedas is generally smart enough not to screw with the wardens, either.
  • Expy:
    • Of, unsurprisingly, the Night's Watch from A Song of Ice and Fire. Both Orders were established in a time of great darkness when all humanity was threatened with extinction by an eldritch evil (The First Blight and the Long Night, respectively). Both Orders are sworn not to take any part in the politics of the kingdoms they defend and were highly respected in the past, but have declined seemingly in power and prestige as the evil they were created to fight (the darkspawn for the Wardens, the Others for the Watch) has not posed a threat to the world for so long, most now consider them a mythical boogeyman, and the organisations themselves have become viewed at best as a relic of a dark period in history best left forgotten, and at worst as a dumping ground for criminals and other societal rejects.
    • The Wardens also bear a certain similarity to the various Witcher Schools, serving as largely (but not entirely) neutral monster-eradicating organizations that undergo various magical processes to become proficient at what they do. The two groups have also seen a heavy decline in numbers in the timeframe of their stories, as well as receiving more than their fair share of mistrust from common folk despite the invaluable service they provide (for being mutants for Witchers and technically utilizing blood magic for the Wardens).
  • Gargle Blaster: All Grey Wardens have their own personal "Conscription Ale" bottle, which contains a unique melange of any manner of liquors they get ahold of. Their "vintage" isn't a year, but the name of the warden who owns it. The label often also contains a pithy phrase of some sort.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When the Grey Wardens were formed, the First Blight had already ravaged Thedas for over 90 years. A group of seasoned veterans from darkspawn campaigns decided to gather in Weisshaupt, intending to pool their knowledge and research other ways to combat their enemy, with nothing being left off the table, even Blood Magic. As such, when Nakiri of the Donark Forest suggested consuming darkspawn blood to make them immune to the Taint, no one objected. This would eventually lead to the Joining Ritual and the creation of the first Wardens.
  • Got Volunteered: If need be, the Wardens can use the Right of Conscription to bolster their numbers.
  • Harbinger of Impending Doom: Sera puts it beautifully. See Bearer of Bad News.
  • Heel Realization: In the aftermath of the quest "Here Lies The Abyss" in Dragon Age Inquisition, the Wardens in southern Thedas have this realization: their extremist mentality (IE: going straight to the most extreme solution instead of escalating) nearly led them to aiding one of the very men that precipitated the Blight in the first place. If the Inquisitor allows them to stay, they atone by adhering to something more like Blackwall's rosy view of them instead of just fighting Darkspawn.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Griffons, although they're extinct in the present age.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: When the Wardens swore to defend humanity from the darkspawn by any means necessary, they meant it. A major thematic element in The Calling novel is the question of what takes priority: stopping the darkspawn or protecting people from them? Ser Ruth in Inquisition after the Siege of Adamant defies this and submits herself to the Inquisition's judgement, believing that the Wardens' duty should not allow them to escape justice anymore.
  • Impartial Purpose-Driven Faction: The Grey Wardens kill the darkspawn, first and foremost. While they strive to maintain good relations with governments and other factions, they mostly rely in this on everyone's understanding that it's either them or the darkspawn. Sophia Dryden's failed coup is the perfect example of why Grey Wardens getting too involved in politics is a bad idea.
  • The Immune: Played with. Those who survive the Joining Ritual are rendered immune to the Taint, since they are now partially tainted themselves. However, as the effects of ghoulification are merely delayed by about thirty years, this could count as a subversion.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Due to the advanced progression of the Taint within them, some of the Senior Grey Wardens are capable of understanding the Black Speech of the Archdemon. This is one of the first signs that their Calling is soon to be upon them.
  • Irony: The Grey Wardens were created for the sole purpose of destroying Darkspawn and ending a Blight. However, in Inquisition, the fact that they have the taint in them makes them open to Corypheus's suggestion and can be used to help him Body Surf. As Blackwall puts it, "We're up against a darkspawn, and the last thing you need is a Grey Warden."
  • Join or Die: Recruits who learn that the Joining involves intentionally ingesting the darkspawn blood, which is lethal to most and is technically illegal blood magic, are given two choices: either take the drink and risk death, or be killed on the spot to because they've seen the Warden's big secret.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Historically, the Templars have often clashed with the Wardens over the Right of Conscription, which allows Apostates and Maleficarum to find safety within their ranks, with no Chantry oversight.
  • Legion of Lost Souls: More than a few Wardens ended up joining the order as a last resort from some of the most desperate situations, from escaped apostates to disgraced nobility up to someone slated for execution for murder. As long as they are skilled enough and willing to fight the Darkspawn, the Wardens will accept them. Any crimes done prior to recruitment are given official pardons so long as an active Warden is willing to vouch for the new recruit.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": In Inquisition, when every Grey Warden in Orlais suddenly starts hearing The Calling, they become terribly desperate.
  • Membership Token: All newly-Joined Wardens are presented with the Warden's Oath, a small medallion worn around the neck, as a symbol of their membership in the order and also as a memorial to those who didn't survive the initiation ritual. It contains a drop of the mixture which candidates drink in order to become Wardens.
  • Mounted Combat: Made famous by their griffons, not so much when they went extinct after the Fourth Blight when they made them go through the Joining. The Taint made them stronger, but killed them soon after, passing to other griffons
  • Multinational Team:
    • Besides having chapters in every surface nation on Thedas (with the exception of Par Vollen), membership in the Wardens is also open to all peoples and faiths.
    • While no Qunari have joined the Warden ranks, it's rumoured that some Tal-Vashoth and other members of their species outside of the Qun may have undergone the Joining in recent decades. Whether this is true, any survived and if they still might live, remains currently unknown.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The Wardens wield a lot of diplomatic power, though they attempt to remain apolitical for the most part.
    • However, due to the Anderfels being a hotbed of darkspawn activity even between Blights, the Wardens tend to wield more power there than the actual King, who is fully aware that it's better to just sit back and let the Wardens do what they need to do.
    • In Awakening, the First Warden takes special interest in the appointment of the Warden-Commander as the new Arl of Amaranthine, believing this could set a precedent of Grey Wardens wielding political power and demonstrating that despite belief to the contrary, they can have a vital function even between Blights.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: It's suggested by Morrigan, and later Solas, that the method the Wardens use to end Blights (destroying the soul of the Old God leading them) will eventually lead to something far worse. There were once seven Old Gods, and only two remain.
  • Omniscient Morality License: At their worst, the Wardens act not only as if they hold this, but that they hold the only one in Thedas. Their attitude of fighting the Blight at all costs sometimes drives them to take actions that are manifestly a Bad Idea, but will still go through with it because any cost is worth victory, and that the concerns of others are worthless because they do not understand 'what it takes.' That they don't let most outsiders know why Wardens are the only ones who can end Blights doesn't help matters either.
  • One-Man Army: Each Warden is this, and when fighting alongside each other, they are just about unstoppable.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Wardens don't care about race, social class, religion or even if you're a condemned criminal, so expect to see a wide variety of people serving in their ranks.
  • Recruiters Always Lie: Lies of omission, mostly. New recruits are never told about the worst problems that come with being a Warden or why Wardens are needed to end Blights until after they've gone through the Joining. Riordan in Origins flat out admits that nobody would willingly become a Warden if they knew ahead of time.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: While the Wardens don't normally actively prevent resignation, very few of their numbers manage to leave. Even if they do, the side-effects of their transformation stay with them anyway. Fiona is an exception because the act of curing her of the Taint made it impossible to Join her again. Even if she wanted to be a Grey Warden again, it's not going to happen.
  • The Last Dance:
    • Faced with the choice of either death via Taint or becoming a ghoul, Senior Wardens nearing the end of their thirty years choose to head to Orzammar for their Calling; there, they enjoy a final night of feasting with the dwarves and other compatriots before venturing into the Deep Roads to launch a suicide attack against the darkspawn, in the hopes of killing as many as possible before they die.
    • During the course of Origins, the Wardens (thanks to the Player Character) learned exactly how darkspawn are created. Because of this, Word of God has stated that since then, female Wardens - of which there are very few in the first instance - are given the choice between going on this Calling or performing ritual suicide, as the latter option prevents them from running the risk of being turned into broodmothers.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything:
    • Unfortunately, due to the long stretches between Blights and the common (mistaken) belief that the darkspawn were wiped out after the Fourth Blight, the Grey Wardens were largely considered an antiquated relic by the time the Fifth Blight began in Ferelden.
    • According to the Codex, despite the First Warden being the Supreme-Commander of all Grey Wardens, he's mostly just a figurehead and more interested in the muddy politics of the Anderfels than actually running the organisation. He delegates most of the major decisions and work to each country's respective Warden-Commander.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Every Warden is, more or less, completely autonomous until the Order as a whole is assembled. Due to the Treaties, as well as the Right of Conscription, Wardens can pretty much do anything they want because they're considered the first authority on all matters Darkspawn-related. However, this is only as binding at the discretion of a particular nation. Wardens can and will be put in line if they piss off the wrong people.
  • Screw the Rules, It's the Apocalypse!: When a Blight happens, the carte blanche authorities of the Wardens are emphasized, as they have the best strategies to combat darkspawn and the only means to permanently destroy an Archdemon.
  • Secret Keeper: The senior Wardens are the keepers of the Order's darkest secrets. Namely, the locations of the Old Gods and the original Darkspawn magisters.
  • Taking You with Me: The real purpose behind the Wardens' use of the Taint is to grant them the power to kill an Archdemon at the cost of their own lives.
  • Token Heroic Orc: The Wardens could be considered this compared to the darkspawn, due to their use of the Taint to turn them into essentially high-functioning ghouls, allowing them to better fight the horde and become the only ones capable of permanently slaying an Archdemon.
  • The Unfettered: When it comes to the darkspawn, the Grey Wardens are actively encouraged to be this, giving themselves carte blanche to do whatever it takes to take them down, regardless of the civilian death toll it might amass in the process. This has come back to bite the order more than once, but most severely in Inquisition.
  • We Have Become Complacent: Preventing this trope is one the three main tenants of the organization. No matter how long an era between Blights is, Wardens are expected to remember that the Darkspawn are a constant threat that can strike at any time. Unfortunately, they are less than successful at impressing this fact on the rest of Thedas.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Wardens are prepared to do many morally questionable things in their eternal fight against the Darkspawn. A good example of this is the belief that it's more merciful to burn down an entire village about to be attacked by darkspawn, rather than let the inhabitants suffer the depravities and Fate Worse than Death that the darkspawn would unleash on them.
    • This mindset is also deconstructed in that their unfettered approach to fighting the darkspawn means they take the path of least resistance in every situation, even when it's not always intelligent in the long run. A lot of better solutions are closed off in Origins when the Warden chooses to indulge in extremism, and the best endings are often found when the Warden rises above this trope.
    • Shown explicitly in Inquisition. Warden Commander Clarel, under the suggestion of a Venatori magister, orders her troops to begin sacrificing each other to fuel a blood magic ritual to summon a demon army to hunt down and exterminate the remaining Old Gods. While she and her group were fooled by a shared false Calling, they were quick to assume the worst and indulge in atrocities offered by a transparently evil manipulator rather than question the situation. This foolishness can end with the entire order exiled from southern Thedas and denounced continent-wide.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: All Wardens have a maximum of thirty years after their Joining before the Taint inside them overwhelms them and either kills them painfully, or turns them into deranged ghouls. The Calling ritual was devised so that senior Wardens would be able to die with dignity before suffering their fates.
     The Chantry

Blessed are they who stand before the corrupt and the wicked and do not falter.

The primary religious institution on Thedas, the Chantry was created following the death of Andraste at the hands of the Tevinter Imperium. Andraste was an Alamarri barbarian queen whose singing so moved the Maker that He returned to the world after abandoning it centuries ago. Andraste's death caused Him to turn from the mortal world again, giving the religion a deeply deist foundation. The Maker hears prayers, but he does not answer them.

Andraste's teachings on the world, morality, magic, and the Maker were compiled into a single source called the Chant of Light, with the goal of the religion to have the Chant sung from all four corners of the world. Only then will the Maker forgive the world of its sins and return once more.

  • A World Half Full: If Leliana is elected Divine and her personal quest is completed, she performs radical change to the Chantry to correct the hundreds of years of corruption, propaganda and biased practice which include freeing the Mages to govern themselves, rededicate the Chantry to the principals of charity and open the priesthood to other races.
  • Biblical Bad Guy: Maferath, the mortal husband of Andraste who betrayed her to the Tevinter Imperium, out of jealousy of having to share his wife with the Maker himself. While he was later filled with regret by what he had done, the Canticle of Maferath that dealt with his penance and being forgiven by a vision of Andraste was later removed from the Chant of Light.
  • The Caligula: Some of the Divines, Ambrosia II and Amara III being examples. The first tried to declare an Exalted March on her own cathedral because mages were peacefully protesting, and the second loved to create bonfires fueled by burning maleficars. She didn't last long in the post.
  • The Church: Can also be considered a Saintly Church, a Corrupt Church, or a Religion of Evil, depending on whose perspective you're looking through, and which aspect you're examining.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Andraste, Bride of the Maker.
  • Fantastic Racism: Following the Exalted March of the Dales, the Chantry struck the Canticles of Shartan from the Chant of Light, and barred elves from joining the priesthood. This, on top of repeating the supposed atrocities committed against Andrastian humans by Dales elves every chance they get, as justification for taking the elves' homeland and reducing the elves to second-class-citizens.
  • Females Are More Innocent/Does Not Like Men: This trope is part of why women are administrators in the Chantry, as men are judged by Maferath's betrayal as unworthy. However, Mother Giselle points out that this, just like the ban on elves and dwarves serving as priests, is political propaganda. The priestesses in Val Royeaux are just as backstabbing as their Great Game playing noble counterparts, as shown during Inquisition, where several sisters use the Breach and the death of Divine Justinia simply to gain favor and become the New Divine. Unless Leliana is elected Divine, this a part of the Chantry that never changes, and even then the reforms are only revealed in the Trespasser DLC of Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  • Feminist Fantasy: The most powerful religion and political force in Thedas, ruled entirely by women.
  • Holier Than Thou: The Orlesian Chantry towards the Imperial Chantry and vice-versa. The Schism of the Chantry began with both sides accusing the other of corruption and questioning each other's legitimacy. Both sides kind of have a point. While the Tevinters did do away with any rules that could limit them in any way (mages and men in power), the Orlesians are just as guilty of editing the Chant of Light for their own benefit (see Orwellian Editor below). Despite claiming themselves as morally superior, both Chantries are deeply intertwined with the politics of their respective countries (see The Theocracy for the Andrastian Chantry). Finally, both Chantries do have severe levels of corruption within certain organizations within their control. In Tevinter, just about every mage in the Circle is expected to be a power-hungry blood mage while the Templars are just powerless, glorified guards; while quite a few Andrastian Templars have devolved into Blood Knights who prey on weaker mages in their custody.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Oh, boy. The overbearing church that controls the hearts and minds of millions through religious dogma and military might? It's rendered completely toothless by the rebellion of the Circles, the rebellion of the Templars, the Orlesian Civil War, and the Breach killing most of their leadership — to such a degree that an unprecedented situation emerges where the highest ranking member of the Chantry's bureaucracy is a man. Throughout Inquisition, they are unable to oppose the Inquisitor because there is literally no one left to enforce their will. That said, individual communities are still held together through the efforts of local Revered Mothers and Grand Clerics (the ones that weren't blown up at the Conclave at least), but there is nothing approaching a unified Chantry power in Thedas for most of the game.
  • Hypocrite: Despite their heavy demonizing of blood magic, they have no problem using phylacteries, which are created using a form of blood magic. It also heavily relies on mages during war efforts, such as Exalted Marches.
    • Also, despite the constant preaching against using magic to rule over others, the Chantry used the Circle of Magi for the express purpose of conquest against other nations for its own benefit. It is implied that the Circle played a part in the Exalted March against the Dales. It also lent aid to Calenhad, a fervent believer of the Maker, in his bid for kingship of Ferelden. Both of these acts show that the Chantry willingly allows magic to rule over others, so long as it does so for the benefit of Andrastianism.
    • Despite preaching that the Maker loves everyone equally to get people to join the Chantry (willing or not) they bar all men, mages, and non-humans from joining the priesthood. Guess the Maker doesn't love everyone that much.
  • Muggle Power: One of the primary commandments of Andrastianism is "Magic is meant to serve man, and never to rule over him."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: While it does its best to be the Saintly Church, many of the setting's problems can be traced squarely back to the Chantry:
    • The creation of the Circles of Magi, while originally meant to be places to protect and teach Mages, have devolved into draconian prisons over the course of nine centuries. The abuse of the Right of Annulment and Rite of Tranquility has made the relationship between mages and the Chantry more volatile. Topping it off is the Chantry's propensity to erase the valor and deeds of mages from history, which is likely only scratched on the surface by the findings of the Second Inquisition.
    • The method of controlling Templars through the use of Lyrium, despite knowing that it can cause severe mental problems down the line. Overlooking abuses of power on their end and refusing to take a stand on the matter has led to a steady escalation in mage extremism/Templar abuse, culminating in a full-blown World War.
    • The Exalted March on the Dales led to the destitution of the Elves and the creation of the Alienages. Rather than having their own homeland, maintaining their heritage and worship of their own Creators, Elves are forced to live in horrible conditions and frequently become victims of human violence. Just like the mages, they too have had enough and are now waging their own rebellion.
  • No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: One of the gifts for Wynne in Origins is a book speculating whether Andraste was merely a particularly powerful mage, which is mentioned to have been rescued from several book burnings. Assuming there's perhaps a grain of truth in its claims, it would certainly put a new spin on both her rebellion against the Tevinter Imperium and the precise meaning of the first verse of the Chant of Light.
    • While such a claim is blasphemous in Orlesian Chantry lands, the idea that Andraste was a powerful mage is damn near canon in Tevinter lands.
  • Orwellian Editor: The Chantry has a habit of editing its own history and removing verses from the Chant of Light to suit its political ends. The most notable example is the Canticle of Shartan, the verses relating to the Elven general who led Andraste's army and founded the Dales, which ended up being completely exorcised when the Chantry declared an Exalted March against the Dalish.
    • The sections are collectively referred to as the Dissonant Verses, which include Shartan as noted above, as well as the redemption of Maferath, the husband and betrayer of Andraste.
    • According to Chantry canon, Lord Inqusitor Ameridan, the last Inquisitor of the First Inquisition, was human, chaste, and a non-mage. In reality, none of these three applied: He was an elf, a mage, and had an elven lover who was also a mage.
    • The Imperial Chantry is very guilty of this too; not only they remade the Chant of Light to be more palatable to their interest, they also omit Tevinter's fault for blackening the Golden City and instead claim that it was always corrupted and that the Old Gods were to blame for it directly, not mortals. Although considering how Corypheus claims the same thing, that may just be an Accidental Truth.
  • Patriarchy Flip: The Chantry is governed exclusively by women, while men are judged by the example of Maferath and can only accept lesser, non-administrative positions. This is inverted in Tevinter.
    • In the village of Haven in Ferelden, the Priesthood was also dominated by men, due to being an offshoot of the early Chantry before it was fully organised under the first Divine. Unfortunately, the precise belief structure and traditions of this branch are unknown, as in the many centuries since it was founded, its members had devolved into an insane dragon cult that worshiped a nearby High Dragon as "the reborn Andraste".
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Not uncommon in-setting. The current Divine (as of the end of Dragon Age II), Divine Justina V, was trying to reform the Circle and Chantry from within before everything went tits-up.
    • The three candidates for the office of Divine in Inquisition prove to be reasonable in their own ways, bringing about overdue reforms after order is re-established. Even the extremely conservative Vivienne offers some positive change.
  • Spear Counterpart: The main Chantry has one in the form of the Imperial Chantry in Tevinter, which is ruled over by men (and mages).
  • The Theocracy: The Chantry is actually an Orlesian creation, originating from the Andrastian cult followed by the first emperor, and the goals of the Empire and the church are very tightly intertwined. For example, one interpretation of the ousting of Viscount Perrin Threnhold of Kirkwall was that the Chantry acted on behalf of Orlais when he tried to charge higher tariffs on trade through Kirkwall's harbor. It is also implied that the Exalted March on the Dales may have also had an expansionist angle, considering that Orlais was the only country to participate and gain from it. A Codex entry found in Inquisition, detailing a pro-elven pamphlet circulating around the University of Orlais, hypothesises that Orlais saw the Dales as an obstacle to its ambition to expand eastward into Ferelden, and the so-called 'elven isolationism' that triggered the Marches was little more than the elves attempting to maintain their own independence and autonomy in the face of ever-aggressive Orlesian expansionism.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Without the mages, the Chantry would have fallen to the Qunari. The Circle's pivotal role in turning the tide did little to improve their reputation with the Chantry.
    • Similarly, the efforts of elves are often overlooked. After the Exalted March on the Dales, all references to Andraste's elven lieutenant Shartan were deemed heretical and scrubbed from the Chant of Light.
  • Un-person: Following the Exalted March against the Dales, the Chantry struck Shartan from the Chant of Light, declaring his verses heretical and any mention of him blasphemy. They also have a habit of writing heroic mages and elves from their records (when they don't outright give them a Race Lift), such as Ameridan's elven mage lover, Telana, and the mages who helped Cassandra save the previous Divine.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Their attitude regarding mages and elves.
    • In response to mounting evidence of horrific abuses being commonplace in Circles, the Chantry's official stance is that after all the horrible things Tevinter did, the Chantry should be praised for not simply killing all mages in the crib, nor cutting out their tongues and using magic rods to render them People Puppets like those savage Qunari do.
    • After conquering and taking back the elves' second homeland, the Chantry likes to boast that they could have slaughtered the elves down to the last man, woman, and child, but they showed "mercy" by allowing elves who capitulated to human law and religion to live in fantastic ghettos as servants and second-class citizens. Many modern Chantry priests and scholars can't believe how ungrateful those uppity elves are for not appreciating the mercy the Chantry showed them by not committing genocide against their species.
  • Written By The Victors: Because of their dominant state of power in Thedas, a lot of morality and history is ultimately defined by them.

     The Templar Order

Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him.

An order of warrior-monks in the service of the Chantry, designed to police the Circle of Magi and hunt down rogue mages.

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Often invoked in-universe. Noble protectors of the just that serve nothing but the greater good, fascists in plate armour whose heavy-handed treatment of mages causes more problems than it solves, or as a Necessarily Evil needed to prevent the havoc and destruction that apostates, maleficarum, or even young mages newly come into their power can (accidentally) unleash upon Thedas?
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Red Templars of Inquisition are a Renegade Splinter Faction of hardliners that split off from the main order after they went rogue following the events of Asunder. Note that this is fully justified; their use of red lyrium to supercharge their powers actively makes them paranoid and hyper-aggressive.
  • Addiction-Powered / Functional Addict: The Templars use lyrium to augment their Anti-Magic abilities, and withdrawal turns them into strung-out wrecks. Subverted, in that multiple characters have stated that lyrium only serves to make their abilities easier to use, and that its primary purpose is to keep them in check. Certainly, multiple characters have made use of templar abilities without it.
  • Anti-Magical Faction: Their main purpose is to combat any form of magical threat be it mages, demons, or otherwise. Their special abilities only function against magic users.
  • Cape Busters: Serve this role towards the Mages of Thedas.
  • Church Militant: More than a few Templars demonstrate this tendency, justifying their harsh treatment with dogmatism. Though as of Inquisition, all of them have abandoned the Chantry.
  • Defector from Decadence: Both sides of the split from the Chantry feel this way. The rogue Templars see their rebellion as an escape from the manipulations of a Chantry that has become soft on mage extremism while disregarding the sacrifices of the order. The loyalists that abandoned the main faction treat the bulk of the order as self-indulgent extremists more concerned with fighting mages than their oath to protect everyone from the dangers of magic.
  • Demon Slaying: Their secondary purpose is to hunt down and destroy any demons who manage to cross over into the physical world.
  • Dirty Cop: Like most institutions in the game, they show up. The chapter in Kirkwall is notorious for having many of them.
  • Flaming Sword: Their symbol, the sword that Archon Hessarian used to Mercy Kill Andraste as she burned at the stake. Funnily enough, Hessarian was the head mage of The Magocracy.
  • Foil: To the Grey Wardens. While the Grey Wardens are a morally ambiguous, apolitical Army of Thieves and Whores with little or no regulation or oversight, they are still commonly regarded as heroes across the face of Thedas. The Templars, meanwhile, are a religious order of knights who uphold and enforce Chantry Law that often suffer criticisms for the harsh treatment of magi.
  • General Ripper: Both Knight-Commander Meredith and Lord Seeker Lambert fit this mold.
  • Good Counterpart: While hard to believe given their more militant members, the Qunari's treatment of Saarebas by their Arvaraad makes the Templars' treatment of their mage charges appear positively benign in comparison.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: There are quite a few good Templars. Unfortunately, many of them seem to believe that since mages can be dangerous (which they can), they all are, and are willing to err on the side of caution.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The Templars are willing to go to great extremes in their mission to protect the public from magic. The Right of Annulment is the most obvious example. If a Circle appears to be lost to demons or blood magic, the Templars are authorized to indiscriminately kill every mage within, including women and children. Though this is meant to be an absolute last resort to prevent the possible escape of even one abomination, it has been abused as early as the third age, only 25 years after it was first granted, to cover up the mass murder of mages committed by a particularly bigoted templar.
  • Inherent in the System: No matter what side you fall on in the Mage/Templar debate, by DAI most characters on both sides admit the problems and abuses in the Circles are inherent in how the Templar Order is trained and leashed by the Chantry.
    • Alistair from DAO reveals that Templars are trained to mistrust all mages before they're even ordained. Mind-reading Cole from DAI reveals that "it's dangerous when too many men in armor think they're right," as well as the fact that most Templars are encouraged by the Chantry, their fellows, and their experiences to not see mages as people because otherwise the moral ones couldn't last in a job that forces them to imprison and slaughter innocents.
    • DA2 and Asunder elaborate on how a system that gives one group complete power and privacy over another, as well as the power to silence and discredit its victims (either by making them Tranquil or claiming they used blood magic) prevents both mages and good Templars from reforming the Circles from within.
    • It's telling that all three new Divines at the end of DAI, from ultra-liberal Leliana to ultra-conservative Vivienne, reform the Templar Order and/or Circles at least a little following the war.
  • Just Following Orders: Many of the lower ranking Templars justify some of their more questionable actions with this, including withdrawing from the Chantry completely. They also begin taking red lyrium under the orders of an impostor that replaced their leader. Relatively few objected until after the red lyrium had deeply infected their fellows, resulting in the bulk of them becoming Red Templars.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: When they uphold the Order values, they are true Champions of the Just.
  • Knight Templar: No kidding. For the Templars, anything, including wiping out entire Circles to eliminate any suspected blood mages, is better than a possible mage revolt in case of Kirkwall and Val Royeaux.
  • Lawful Stupid: Templars have been accused by people in-universe, even non-mages, of going by this trope. This commonly manifests in overzealous Templars assuming that any apostate outside the Circle is guilty of being maleficar by default, leading to many cornered and desperate mages resorting to blood magic to try and escape.
  • Mage Killer: Officially, the Templars are there to protect mages from ordinary people, and ordinary people from mages, but many of their duties revolve around executing mage dissidents or escapees. Or anyone who might fail their Harrowing.
    • Though it has been shown since they are the Militant Arm of the Chantry, they will often protect the just; as an example, the Templars guarding Lothering.
  • Magic Knight: They can use a variety of Anti-Magic abilities to protect them from mages and disrupt their spellcasting. That being said, against regular opponents, they are forced to rely on their martial training due to being, as Alastair put it, "just a guy in a metal suit". Cullen himself explained that they have some of the best warriors in Thedas. Cullen also insists that Templar abilities are not magic.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Repeatedly noted to be a recurring problem with the Templars as an institution. All too often when a mage crosses the line, mages as a whole find themselves being punished, which in turn fuels their resentment. The Battle of Kirkwall and the Templars' attempts to get things under control in the aftermath are the plainest examples.
  • Muggle Power: As noted above, they have no magical abilities (aside from Anti-Magic) and are simply regular people in armour. They are still considered some of the best warriors in Thedas.
  • The Needs of the Many: What they claim to do. If they are justified is heavily debated both in and out of universe. The use of both Right of Annullment and the Rite of Tranquility are the most common issues of contention.
  • The Paladin: When they follow the ideal, Templars are Champions of the Just. However when they are not...
  • Rabid Cop: By the end of Dragon Age: Asunder, most of the Templar Order has gone rogue, abandoning the Chantry in order to quash the mage rebellion.
  • Reality Warper: Inverted. According to Cole and Solas, Templars make the world more "real", as opposed to Mages who make it less "real".
    Cassandra: No-one has ever accused me of "reinforcing reality" before.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: There are Templars who are reasonable and even willing to look the other way for apostates that are no danger to anyone. The number vary from Circle to Circle; the Kinloch Hold were made of quite reasonable people, such as Gregoir (specially considering how the entire tower was infested by demons during the Fifth Blight), and even Kirkwall had Thrask, Emeric, Samson (before he was fired) and the late Maurevar Carver.
    • Quite a few of the saner apostates are mentioned as having actual Templar friends who tolerate their existence outside the Circles and run some light interference when needed. This makes a fair bit of sense, as apostates who antagonize the order obviously wouldn't last long.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: A frequent fate of those Templars who end up displeasing their superiors.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Inquisition shows that a non-insignificant number of Templars abandoned all order to terrorize the Fereldan Hinterlands, killing indiscriminately under the pretense of hunting apostates. Both major factions denounced them as madmen, but only those who joined the Inquisition did anything to stop them.
  • Smells Sexy: If the Inquisitor is a Templar, Dorian in Inquisition will remark that consuming lyrium gives Templars a scent that is pleasing to mages.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: The codex outright admits that this happens more often than most people like to admit, since the prerequisite of being a Templar is unquestioning loyalty to the Chantry, rather than staunch moral goodness. The Chantry often shields or puts up with misbehavior from amoral Templars who obey them, but often fire or demote righteous Templars who disobey or stand up to them.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Endemic throughout the order, as even the more noble members tend to make excuses for the order's excesses this way. Hey, at least they don't slaughter every mage they come across (usually), or cut out their tongues and render them People Puppets like the Qunari do to their mages. In the aftermath of the Annulment of the Gallows, the Templars' complete inability to consider the idea that the mages might actually have a legitimate reason to be upset is what caused the situation to degenerate into open war.
  • Warrior Monk: The Templar Knights are pretty much this.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: It depends on the Templar. Some of the more hardlined Templars, such as Cullen before he left the order, are perfect examples of this. Others however, are in it for less noble and more sadistic reasons.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: A common complaint levied at the Templars by both mages and commoners. Since they are the Chantry's Armed Forces, they are less trained to be diplomats and politicians, and act as enforcers.
    • Shown plainly in their response to the growing mage unrest following the Kirkwall incident. They continually added blanket restrictions to the Circle at any sign of mage extremism. Because the mages were already on edge over the Kirkwall Circle being annulled for a crime they did not commit (without waiting for confirmation from the Chantry, no less), this was the exact wrong thing to do. It lead to a feedback loop of ever increasing mage resentment and Templar crackdowns until it finally climaxed with the Mage/Templar War.
  • Witch Hunt: Particularly zealous Templars have been known to harass or even kill commoners on suspicion of either being or harboring apostates. The rogue Templars of the Fereldan Hinterlands indulged in this enough to become little different than common bandits.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Sort of by definition. The Right of Annulment calls for the murder of every mage within a given Circle, regardless of guilt or innocence, right down to apprentices who can be as young as six or seven.

     The Circle of Magi

It is no simple matter, safeguarding ordinary men from mages, and mages from themselves.

The primary Magical Society in the setting and overseen by the Chantry, the Circle is responsible for training and securing the world's mages, both so they can use their talents to benefit others (or at least the Chantry) and ensuring that cannot harm "ordinary" society.

  • All of the Other Reindeer:
    • Despite all of the good that the Circle does for Thedas as a whole (fighting the Blights, joining Exalted Marches, healing the sick and wounded, enchanting and creating magical objects, or just plain giving royals and other nobles some good old fashioned advice) mages are pretty much treated with fear and suspicion.
    • It does depend on country and Circle; in Tevinter, the nobility is largely based on the most powerful magical bloodlines, Rivain's Seers essentially run the country, and a sufficiently savvy individual with a bit of luck can parley their way into power in many parts of the world. Residents of certain stricter Circles (such as Kirkwall's Gallows) are not likely to be permitted such manipulations, however.
    • If the Inquisitor is a committed mage advocate, this finally starts to change. If Leliana becomes Divine, and the mage rebellion is saved, the reformed College of Magi becomes accepted to an unprecedented extent, reversing centuries of prejudice.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Resolutionists, terrorist mages who broke away from the Libertarian Fraternity.
  • The Archmage: First Enchanters in every Circle fill this role, with the Grand Enchanter being the leader of them all. However, not all First Enchanters are chosen on the basis of magical power or experience, but on other factors such as Templar approval or support from a majority of the Fraternities, which presupposes but does not always mean arcane prowess. Senior Enchanters might also qualify as in the case of Wynne, who is actually referred to as "Archmage" by some for her role in ending the Fifth Blight.
  • Badass Bookworm: Circles act as repositories for research of all types as well as mage residences, so a Circle mage is likely to be well-read. Usually, the only times the Chantry lets the mages out en-masse are in the event of Blights or Exalted Marches, and they more than prove how powerful they can be.
  • Blind Obedience: The hat of the Loyalist Fraternity, who reject all attempts at either internal reform or rejection of the Circle and Chantry.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: The Rite of Tranquility used upon mages was supposed to be fall under this heading - if a mage was maliciously misusing their powers or feared their misuse, then they could be stripped of them. Mage apprentices who thought they would be unable to complete the Harrowing could submit to Tranquility, or it was used as a punishment tantamount to the death penalty to particularly heinous maleficars. Over the centuries, its use as "punishment" was abused more and more by the Templars until it was largely seen by mages as grossly Disproportionate Retribution and a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Bread and Circuses: The Circle offers many comforts, provided they aren't run by abusive Templars like in Kirkwall. Mages in the Circle technically always have a roof over their heads, are well supplied so they never have to worry about starvation, have a number of books and scholars on hand for all inhabitants so they have a better education than the common population, and are surrounded by knights so if an invasion or national threat does happen they can depend on Templars to help them. The Circle was arguably the safest place in Ferelden during the Fifth Blight until Uldred started inviting demons inside it. A dilemma among the mage community is if they should give up these comforts in exchange for freedom, or if there should be some sort of middle ground.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: The Aequitarians are this in a nutshell, and sincerely believe that mages should use their powers for good.
  • Corporal Punishment: Very common for mages who are accused of breaking the rules of the Circle.
  • Court Mage: It is stated in The Stolen Throne that kings have the right to an Arcane Adviser if they wish. Several examples include: Severan, from the aforementioned book, to King Meghren, potentially a Mage Warden to the ruler of Ferelden, and Vivienne to Empress Celene. The Grand Enchanter fills this role for the Divine.
  • Defector from Decadence: The two major factions all feel this way about their positions in the rebellion. The rebels see their acts as a refusal to return to a system that uses them without any pretense of human rights and see the loyalists as tools or sycophants more concerned with their own power than the fates of other mages. The loyalists see the rebels as reckless fools starting a war they cannot win without a clear goal who are unable to see beyond an overly idealistic sense of freedom.
  • Demonic Possession: Since it's an organization made up entirely of mages, this is one of the greater concerns. Of course, since there are huge concentrations of mages in closed locations, this can lead to some unusual circumstances, such as at least one situation where a cat was possessed by a Rage demon.
  • Fate Worse than Death: How some mages view being made Tranquil, since they see it as being turned into an Empty Shell. The view of those who have been made Tranquil tends to be that having their emotions restored would not be pleasant, with surprising conviction for beings without personal initiative. Tranquil mages that have had the rite reversed agree with the assessment that death would be preferable.
  • Fictional Political Party: Numerous "Fraternities" exist within the Circle, each advocating a different position on the role of mages and how they should be treated. Whenever a First Enchanter is replaced, expect to see power struggles as they try to place one of their own candidates in the position. That said, Loyalists and Aequitarians are the biggest fraternities and generally have a lock on Circle politics. By the time of Origins the situation has changed, as several codex entries make mention of the growing influence of the Libertarians, and the fears of a potential civil war within the Circles. By Awakening, the Libertarians have gotten enough influence to try and propose a motion of secession from the Chantry, though this is defeated by the Aequitarian Wynne. By the time of Asunder, the slights against mages have become so severe that even many Aequitarians are in favor of secession.
  • Gilded Cage: Of course, some of them don't bother with the gilded part.
  • God Is Evil: The Libertarians are split between this and those who just don't think the Circles are the Maker's will.
  • God Is Good: The Loyalists, who are often referred to merely as Chantry apologists. Many Aequitarians share this belief.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Mages accused of breaking the rules of the Circle are often punished with solitary confinement. At least one such incident lasted for a year.
  • Hufflepuff House: Isolationists and Lucrosians barely get any mention compared to the other Fraternities. Justified, however since they are stated to be small in number (and Isolationists prefer to, well, remain isolated).
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The Libertarian Fraternity believe that the Circle is nothing more than a Gilded Cage, at best, and that mages deserve better than to be persecuted simply for being different. Any good points they do have tend to be buried under their presentation, however.
    • One the other side of the pendulum, some of the Loyalists do present very valid arguments as to why blind rebellion, especially in a time of greater than normal anti-mage sentiment, is a bad idea. They even note that as bad as living under Templar scrutiny may be, they are necessary to protect the mages from others and even themselves. It's just too bad that these opinions come from mages with far more rights than others and disregarding very real abuses of the Circle system.
  • Join or Die: The only option mages are really given about membership.
    Mouse: The Circle is a prison. You have choices... between joining and suffering various deaths of body or spirit.
  • Mage Tower: Due to many Circles being located in former Dwarven and Tevinter fortresses.
  • Mutant Draft Board: In most countries, mages have no choice about joining the Circle. Some allow you to live elsewhere provided you have permission from the First Enchanter and/or come from a noble household. The Circle of Dairsmuid in Rivain was the most easygoing due to Rivain's generally permissive attitudes toward magic.
  • Only in It for the Money: The motives of the Lucrosian Fraternity.
  • Order Versus Chaos: The general source of conflict within the Fraternities. Also, the main act of the conflict between the mages and Templars fits this mould (with the Templars representing Order).
  • Parental Abandonment: Enforced. Chantry law forces parents to surrender their children to the Circles or else face some pretty steep consequences. Some families willingly hand over, and in some case disown or abandon, their children, while in others, parents try to hide theirs. Unless they receive some form of training, it usually doesn't end well. Some mages from noble families are able to stay in contact with their relatives and even visit, but only if the family is willing to push for it.
  • Prison Rape: The Kirkwall Circle had its cases, with Ser Alrik using the Rite of Tranquility to turn Mages into compliant sex slaves being the most blatant. Cases have also been known to happen in other Circles, though they are not as entrenched. Cole implies that the White Spire in particular wasn't much better than the Gallows.
    Cassandra: I knew the treatment was harsh, but...
    Human!Cole: There were beatings. Worse than beatings. "If you tell anyone, I'll say you used blood magic."
    Spirit!Cole: Yes. Beatings, worse. "Do you remember telling me no? You can't do that now. The Tranquil don't say no to anything."
  • The Quisling: A negative view of the Loyalist fraternity paints them as this.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: A not-insignificant number of apostates terrorized the countryside around Redcliffe in Inquisition, claiming that their magic made them gods among men so they should act accordingly. It's unclear how many were originally part of the Circle, but while the loyalists and main rebel faction denounced them as thugs on an ego trip, neither did much to stop them outside of their territory.
  • Rousseau Was Right: The more sympathetic Libertarians and the Aequitarians are all about this, believing that mages are fundamentally good at heart and deserve a chance to be integrated into society. They also believe that the prejudice against magic is not immutable and can be changed in time.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • Mages who earn the favor of particularly powerful and influential people generally seem to have a "Get out of Jail Free" Card, avoiding Templar scrutiny and breaking the rules of the Circle. One prime example being Mage!Hawke and their mage companions after becoming Champion of Kirkwall. Another one is the mage Wilhelm, Shale's original owner, who was allowed to live outside the tower and even raised a family after helping King Maric during the Ferelden Rebellion. Vivienne is also well-connected; this is part of the reason she has some myopia towards the abuses against mages not as fortunate as she.
    • There are Circles that allow freedoms for their members - but this is entirely under the auspices of their First Enchanters, so having connections is still important.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The general attitude of the Isolationist Fraternity. Mundane society is never going to accept them, so why bother trying to fit in, when they could just live out their lives on an island somewhere?
  • Super Registration Act: The end result of one. While the Circle began as a self-imposed exile by Mages who wanted to learn how to safely control their powers under Templar supervision, over the years the Templars' role shifted from guardianship to containment; how it's executed varies from Circle to Circle, Kirkwall literally being in a prison, while Kinloch Hold was mostly a gilded cage. The Tevinter Circles are essentially prestigious magical universities, not prisons.
    • Aside from the above-mentioned imprisonment, any children conceived by mages within the Circle are given over to the Chantry. If the child is mage, they are sent to another Circle, such as the case of Wynne and her estranged son Rhys. However Tevinter does not work in such way, since family ties and magic are intertwined.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: There are mages who will use Blood Magic after harsh treatments from the Circle, the most blatant example being the Kirkwall one.
    • Many apostates who either live outside or escaped from the Circle are immediately branded as maleficarum by default. When backed into a corner by Templars who are more likely to run them through than take them (back) to the Circle, many figure they might as well go down swinging.
    • Of course, on the other hand, this only incite the Templars to be even more harsh with their actions. Kirkwall is the example of what happens when both sides are willing to go to extremes.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: The stated main purpose of the Circle is to nurture the inborn potential of those born with magic. How well they actually accomplish this is a matter of much in-universe debate.
  • The Usual Adversaries: The Libertarians for the Templars. When an incident happens in a Circle, it is the faction that is most closely scrutinized, as their ideology is directly opposed to Chantry doctrine.
    • Whenever an incident does happen in a Circle, it always is the faction that is to blame. Seriously, every major Libertarian in the DA-verse is usually a maleficar, a terrorist, or a complete dick. More often than not, all three at the same time.
  • Unequal Rites: Circle mages tend to look down on so-called "hedge mages" and apostates who have never been part of the Circles and received "proper" training. It goes both ways; hedge mages and general apostates disapprove of Circle mages who have accepted Chantry law and only study Chantry-approved disciplines of magic. Some of the mages actually possess training formed from generations of magical tradition, like Dalish Keepers, Chasind Witches, and Rivaini Seers. Even then, both sides have very little tolerance for maleficars.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Their many factions means that even if they ever rebelled, they would be too fractious to ever mount a united front against the extremely hierarchical Templars. In Asunder, the actions of the Templars force the Circle, and every faction within, to rebel.
    • Unfortunately, their fractured state comes back to haunt them in Inquisition where a significant number break off from the main group to terrorize the countryside, convinced of their own superiority. The remaining faction is so weakened after years of war that Tevinter saboteurs, with some help from a form of magic that is not supposed to exist, easily infiltrate their ranks under the guise of apostate refugees to undermine their already weak position with the public and trick them into signing themselves into near-slavery out of fear of public reprisal for the Breach event. Only the intervention of the Inquisition can pull them out of that mess.
  • Weird Trade Union: The Formari fill this role in the Circle, disdaining the politics in favour of mercantile efforts, enchanting, potion-making, staff creation and generally using their magic in a craftsmanship role.
  • Wizarding School: A subversion. The Circle is as much about imprisoning mages and segregating them from mundane society (for the protection of both, since pitchforks and torches are quite common amongst the populace of Thedas) as it is about teaching how to use their powers effectively.
    • Played straight in Tevinter, where admittance is not mandatory and gaining a place is considered a great privilege.
    • Possibly played straighter in the epilogue of Inquisition. If allied with the Inquisition, the remaining Enchanters form a formal College dedicated to peacefully educating and protecting free mages.

    The Seekers of Truth

When a Seeker steps from the shadows, Templars run for cover.

An organization that answers directly to the Divine in Val Royeaux. They act as a check and balance to the power of the Templar Order, acting in a secretive, investigative, and interrogative capacity to root out corruption and defend the Chantry from internal and external threats.

  • Anti-Magical Faction: As with the Templars, Seekers are trained primarily to handle magical opponents. Unusually, some of their abilities can also work against Templars as well thanks to the lyrium in the latter faction's blood, making them well equipped to monitor the Chantry's anti-magical efforts.
  • Black Knight: Their armors are mostly black.
  • The Dreaded: Templars are said to greatly fear the appearance of any Seeker agent because of the punishments for unruly templars their presence usually foreshadows.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: They are Thedas' equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition.
  • Dark Secret: Seekers are made Tranquil, then commune with Spirits of Faith to restore their emotions and grant them their powers. Although the real dark secret is even worse: Abuse of the Rite of Tranquility was one of the major catalysts for the Mage-Templar war. By sharing the Rite of Tranquility with the Chantry (sans the cure), the Seekers laid the foundations for the very conflict they were meant to prevent.
  • Empty Shell: The original purpose of the Rite of Tranquility was to serve as the Seekers' initiation. Permanent Tranquility was supposed to be the price of failure. No one knew that it stripped mages of their magic until one tried and failed to join the Seekers to gain their immunity to possession.
  • The Immune: According to Cassandra, Seekers, unlike their Templar counterparts, are completely immune to possession. That's because, in a way, they already are possessed by a Spirit of Faith.
  • Internal Affairs: A less effective version thanks to the Chantry's reluctance to investigate abuses of templar power unless unavoidable. Cassandra freely admits that their confidence in their own righteousness can blind them at times, such as with Kirkwall.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Too often, the Seekers only get involved when problems with the Templars spiral out of control, like in Kirkwall. Lord Seeker Lucius also claims that the Seekers created a war without end when they helped devise the whole Circle and Templar system.
  • The Men in Black: The existence of the agency and identities of their agents are well guarded secrets to most of Thedas.
  • The Paladin: The Seekers are created to be this, but they are not the Incorruptible Pure Pureness they were meant to be.
    Cassandra: "We were meant to be incorruptible, above reproach. How seldom does reality match the ideal."
  • Seeker Archetype: To the extent that it serves as both the name of their organisation and chief function.
  • Super Prototype: To the Templars. Thanks to their unique training methods, Seekers have all the abilities of a Templar alongside complete immunity to possession without the need of any external power source. Since making a Seeker is an involved process that takes over a year per member, the Templar order was created to mass produce anti-magical warriors using lyrium as an addictive and dangerous, but effective shortcut.
  • Tautological Templar: The Seekers were created from the original Inquisition and were supposed to preserve order and justice. But, as Cassandra notes, eventually power became its own master. Thus, preserving the order, even if it meant defying the principles on which it was founded, became seen as just in its own right. She wonders if it's only a matter of time before the new Inquisition follows suit.
  • Training from Hell: They get their powers through meditation and training, giving up all emotion and worldly life for a full year before gaining an Enlightenment Superpower. Except that isn't true. They're made Tranquil and then commune with a Spirit of Faith, who gives them their emotions back, along with their powers.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Seeker powers come from communion with Spirits of Faith.
  • Warrior Monk: Their powers are given to them by their faith. Or, more accurately, a Spirit of Faith.
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: The Seekers were meant to keep watch on the Templars. The Inquisitor can inquire to Cassandra about who kept watch on the Seekers. Cassandra admits that the Divine was supposed to, but the Seekers kept so many secrets that in reality, nobody really was.

     The Inquisition

Into darkness, unafraid.

The Inquisition were an ancient group of mage-hunters that protected Thedas from demons and blood mages during the chaotic early days of the Chantry. They were eventually absorbed into the Chantry, splitting into the Seekers of Truth and the Templar Order. The Inquisiton is reformed during the Mage-Templar War in order to seal the tears in the Fade and stop the hidden mastermind responsible for them.

  • Anti-Magical Faction: The original Inquisition was this, though it appears they were much more lenient towards mages than the Templars. Possibly because the final leader of the first Inquisition, Ameridan, was a mage himself.
  • Appeal to Force: The purpose of the "Forces" branch of the Inquisition. If espionage or diplomacy fails, their soldiers do what must be done.
  • Appropriated Appelation: Some sources claim that the original Inquisition was simply an early form of the Seekers of Truth. 'The Inquisition' was simply a derogatory nickname that stuck.
  • Badass Army: The new Inquisition eventually forms one powerful enough to challenge the Grey Wardens and their demons.
  • Church Militant: Subverted. Divine Justinia intended to revive the order to serve as this, specifically to stop the Mage-Templar War. With the unexpected eruption of the Breach, the Inquisition is formed outside of the Chantry's authority with the purpose to seal it, find the one responsible and restore order. On a whole, they are a very secular organization that can even be potentially led by an atheist Inquisitor (if the player so much choses). Interestingly, the original Inquisition played this trope straight since they were Andrastians themselves though not part of the Chantry at first.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: The original Inquisition was a group of Andrastian hard-liners, which is why they eventually joined up with the Chantry. Their last leader was a Dalish elf mage who revered The Maker and the Elven Pantheon.
  • Impartial Purpose-Driven Faction: Though the Divine was responsible for creating it, this is the Inquisition's nature. Their job is to stop Thedas's slide into destruction by any means, whether they support mages or templars, humans or elves, the Chantry or the Qun, try to make peace between them or crush them all. Anyone could be behind this plan, and so they can't be tied down by loyalty to any one faction.
  • The Heretic: The Inquisition is declared heretical by the Chantry for harboring the Herald of Andraste, who is framed as a mass murderer responsible for the deaths of thousands including Divine Justinia and propping them up as a messianic figure, which can be specially blasphemous to their creed if they are an Elf or Qunari. Fortunately for the Inquisition, the Chantry has no way to threaten them since their forces had deserted them.
  • Motif Merger: The Inquisition symbol combines the "Eye in a Sunburst" of the Seekers of Truth and the "Flaming Sword" of the Templar Order. Justified as both factions derived from the original Inquisition and apparently adopted their preferred aspect of the logo when they broke off.
  • Multinational Team: Just like the Grey Wardens, the modern Inquisition is made up of members from different nations, races, and creeds.
  • Nay-Theist: Bioware has stated that the restored Inquisition is a faction strictly separate from the Chantry and even possesses some anti-Chantry ideals in its doctrine.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Following the discovery of Skyhold, the Inquisition becomes this. However, it really sticks in one of the epilogue reels, which says the Inquisition has basically become a nation.
  • Order Reborn: The Inquisition is restored during the Mage-Templar War, since the Templars are too busy fighting to deal with the Fade tears.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: While a bulk of the modern Inquisition seems to be made up of human soldiers, many of the companions and agents are people from all races and walks of life who joined to save Thedas and stop the Elder One.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Literally the entire purpose of the "Connections" branch of the Inquisition. Maintaining good diplomatic relations and having friends in powerful places allows the Inquisition to amass more power and influence.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: The only real reason that the second Inquisition even gets off the ground is because the Herald of Andraste appears with a mark that lets them seal rifts (specifically the Breach). Several times, you're even told to encourage rumors about you being The Messiah to win popular support. Nobody wants to be the guy who said "piss off" to the savior of the world.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The entire reason that the Inquisition exists: men and women who are united to fulfill a cause urgent to the whole world and can't be bound by the restrictions or protocol of one particular organization or state.
  • Screw the Rules, It's the Apocalypse!: The Inquisition was always going to form (as per Divine Justinia V's decree), but the appearance of the Breach made it necessary. As such, most members feel justified in whatever they need to do to stop the world from ending.
  • Seeker Archetype: Their purpose is to find out who is opening the Veil tears and is causing the general unrest and upheaval and find a way to stop them. Though it was founded by the Divine, the new Inquisition has no real Chantry oversight or control; the idea is to let no outside influences interfere with their mission. Yes, she's aware this could end badly. But there aren't really any better options. By the time the Inquisition sets off on it's own anyone in the Chantry with sufficient authority to command it is dead in any case.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Records on the original Inquisition are scarce, due to the general hysteria of their time period. Some say they spread a reign of terror, others that they policed mages with a fair hand and their poor reputation was the result of pissing off influential people who wrote the history books.

     The Qunari 

"Anaan esaam Qun."Lit. 

The Qunari are the fanatical followers of the Qun, a spiritual and social belief system which calls for absolute adherence and a detachment from personal worth. Feared by the nations of Thedas, the Qunari can technically be any species, though the system was created and is perpetrated and run by the nameless race of horned giants from across the sea.

For examples, please see the entry on the Races page.

     The House of Crows

The Antivan Crows send their regards.

A legendary and infamous guild of assassins based out of the country of Antiva.

  • Army of Thieves and Whores: The Crow's origins are invariably, well, bad.
  • Badass Bisexual: It is considered favorable for Crows to be willing to seduce members of both sexes, as it potentially makes their assassinations easier. Zevran takes this for all its worth and runs to hell and back with it.
  • Child Soldiers: Crow 'recruitment' often involves buying children on the margins of society and putting them through Training from Hell.
  • Contract on the Hitman: The usual punishment for failure.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: A fairly direct example as Zevran is almost invincible by the end of Dragon Age while the regular Crows are killed like any other mook.
    • Doubled if the Grey Warden decides to become a Crow.
  • Genre Blind: The Crows who insist on pursuing Zevran.
  • Gilded Cage: In Zevran's own words. A Crow good enough to survive gets money, respect and plenty of admirers - "but that does mean doing what is expected of you, always. And it means being expendable."
  • Honey Trap/Death by Sex: Zevran reveals that the Crows tend to raise physically attractive assassins so they can easily seduce their targets if need be.
  • Murder, Inc.: The biggest example in the series, with an appropriately nasty reputation to boot. Fear of being murdered by the Crows has even kept ambitious generals from invading Antiva.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Counted as one of the more influential factions in Antivan politics (at least, more important than its royalty), and effectively the country's national military.
  • Paper Tiger: For all their dire reputation, there are signs that the Crows aren't as powerful as they like to pretend. They certainly can't stand up to the likes of the Warden and Hawke, for one thing, and should Zevran survive the events of Origins, it's discovered that he's waging a one-elf war against the Crows... and winning. Lampshaded in Mark of the Assassin:
    Tallis: You'd think the Crows would be better at this, they've been doing it for ages.
    • In Inquisition Dorian tells an Assassin Inquisitor that the Crows are not considered all that good by Tevinter's standards.
    • Antiva in general is a study in this trope. According to the Codex, they have never won a war without foreign help, have been invaded and conquered multiple times, and acknowledge their military strength to be laughable at best. The Crows being as easily killed, contrary to their invincible reputation, could merely be a demonstration of a lie being told so often everyone assumes it to be true which is outright confirmed in a codex entry about Queen Asha of Antiva.
  • Race Fetish: Exploited. Zevran notes that the Crows like to recruit elves because humans find them very attractive, as well as non-threatening since most elves are second-class in human society.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Crows are expected to stay for life, whether they like it or not. Any members who try to leave are marked as targets for the remainder of their (usually short) lives.
  • We Are Everywhere: Though based in Antiva, the Crows have agents spread through the continent. If someone calls on their services, they can usually dispatch assassins quickly and efficiently from local members.
  • We Have Reserves: The organization's leadership makes it very clear that they value their assassins' lives far less than their success in missions.
  • The Worf Effect: Against targets on the level of the player characters or their companions, the Crows usually end up as nothing but stepping stones.
  • You Have Failed Me: "No-one fails the Crows and lives!"... in theory.

     The Mages' Collective 

An organization of "apostates", ie renegade mages, operating in Ferelden, who work to protect other apostates and assist them where necessary.

  • Comes Great Responsibility: One of their major tenants. While willing to take risks in research and to skirt the law, they will not tolerate abuse of magic and will turn on those who they learn of doing so.
  • Good Victims, Bad Victims: They'll go to any lengths to support apostates who wish to escape the Circles. They offer no such protection for apostates who turn out to be blood mages, and will actively try to take them out themselves.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: While it is an organization of well-meaning apostates wanting to be free of the Circles, they don't tolerate maleficars and will pay people to slay them.
    • Stop Being Stereotypical: This might be due to maleficarum undermining their message that apostate mages can be peaceful and benign.
  • For Science!: One of the goals of the organization is to support research into magical phenomena and natural studies that are normally restricted by the Chantry. Due the need for secrecy overriding safety and communication, they tend to have mixed results. One of their largest successes is learning to harness the unheard of power of the Breach into the Rift Mage school of magic in a handful of months.
  • Heroic Neutral: While the Collective does defy the oppressive Chantry law and is known to hire agents to kill maleficars or demons they learn of, the organization as a whole attempts to remain as politically neutral as possible to avoid bringing the attention and wrath of official factions. They even refused to take sides during the mage rebellion despite their own fugitive status.
  • La Résistance: Subverted; they do operate outside of the Chantry's control and collaborate with other apostates, but they have no real interest in bringing down the Chantry. They're more of a support network than a guerrilla organization.
  • Magical Society: They're well organized despite the secrecy their position requires.
  • Screw The Rules, I Have Lyrium!: They're certainly not above using the Templars' addiction to the stuff in order to protect themselves.
  • Underground Railroad: They provide aid for mages who manage to escape the Circle and their families.
  • Undying Loyalty: Part of their activities include protecting the families of apostates from Chantry reprisals.

     Friends of Red Jenny 

A loosely-connected organization of servants, slaves, lower-class criminals, and other peasants who take "requests" from the downtrodden who want abusive nobles to get what's coming to them. And what's coming to them might be as harmless as a Pie in the Face or as harsh as a brutal death.

  • Beneath Notice: How they operate. Their ranks are made up of servants, outcasts, slaves, hired help and other lower classes. Basically people whom the nobles ignore. If you piss off a gardener, word might spread to the maid and she might slip some poison into your favorite wine.
  • Collective Identity: Sera is unsure if there ever was a single Red Jenny, but the name is ominous enough to provide a useful boogeyman for nobles so they don't think too hard about the loose assortment of servants and beggars that really comprise the network.
  • Expy: They're essentially a less destructive version of Project Mayhem from Fight Club, just without the fight clubs.
  • The Fagin: Some of them are people who employ the poor and impoverished to help them scam or con the rich.
  • Gossip Evolution: Since most Jennies get their mark from the grapevine (disgruntled servants who complain to someone who complains to someone who eventually complains to a Red Jenny, and then said Jennies getting their marks from word-of-mouth inside their ranks), it's almost impossible to tell which nobles get exactly what was coming to them, and how many are a case of Disproportionate Retribution. See Vengeance Feels Empty.
  • Heroic Neutral: The Jennies are more reactive than proactive.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: So they think. Their main goal is to stop nobles and other powerful people from preying on the weak. That said, they're not above petty crime or the occasional assassination. They also tend to keep the spoils of their exploits for themselves, rather than giving any of the money to the poor they claim to want to help.
    Sera: Someone got a laugh, someone got paid, and someone got even.
  • Karmic Thief: What they actually are. They tend to rob their noble targets blind, and then keep the spoils for themselves. But hey, it's against abusive nobles who got their wealth by exploiting the common folk, so that makes it okay for Red Jennies to pocket that same money for themselves.
  • Mysterious Employer: In the first two games; they hire the Warden to pinch something from Irving's office, and pay Hawke to wipe out nine of Kirkwall's street gangs.
  • Rule of Cool: The name Red Jenny is theorized to have been decided by this.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Most of the time, Red Jenny only goes after genuine bastards. Sometimes, Red Jenny goes after honest people who just happened to attract the wrong kind of resentment. There's no way to tell: the Friends of Red Jenny basically operate on the honors system, and the hatred of the small for the great isn't always based in genuine abuse.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: They have no organization outside of individual cells, no real vision of the future or plans for social change, and no real broader goal beyond the day-to-day spleen-venting that forms their M.O. Sera balks at the idea of organizing for a higher purpose than random requests from peasants, considering the idea to be "thinking like a noble".
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: One bit of flavor text in their codex entry is advice from father to son not to bother with Red Jenny; sure, eventually in an absolute sense someone might eventually do something to get back at the person he's grumpy at, but he'll probably never know it for himself. And who knows what Red Jenny'll do to the guy? Does he want that on his conscience?
  • We Are Everywhere: Since the rich and powerful always need servants to do the menial tasks for them, the Friends of Red Jenny have plenty of numbers and can be anyone at any time.

     The Legion of the Dead

A dwarven army of dedicated to combat the Darkspawn deep in their territory. Their ranks are gathered from casteless, criminals, exiles, and anyone else willing to die for their cause. To ensure dedication to their task, each member's past is forgotten and they are listed as officially dead so that they can fight without fear.

  • Army of Thieves and Whores: The bulk of the group is made up of various criminals or other desperate dwarves. Being forced to join is sometimes a punishment tantamount to execution in Orzammar.
  • Badass Army: They are the only group with more experience fighting Darkspawn than even the Grey Wardens.
  • Driven to Suicide: Female members of non-Tainted species are typically captured and converted into Broodmothers, which is basically zombie gang-rape times one thousand. Female Legionnaires would rather kill themselves than suffer that fate.
  • Fate Worse than Death: What happens to any un-Tainted woman the Darkspawn capture alive. She will be forcefully converted into a Broodmother and give birth to their hordes thousands at a time.
  • Hopeless War: They gladly throw themselves into the endless enemy fully expecting to die in the process by design.
  • The Last Dance: The central concept behind the Legion is that all its warriors are already dead and, therefore, they should fight like there was nothing to lose and there was no tomorrow.
  • Legion of Lost Souls: They are a last refuge of some of the most desperate of Orazammar.

    The Venatori 
“When the Venatori rise, when a new god burns the Imperium’s corruption to dust...”

An armed cult of Tevinter supremacist nationalists working to sow chaos in other nations across Thedas to further the machinations of their mysterious deity, the Elder One, whom they believe will restore the Tevinter Imperium to its glory.

  • Agent Provocateur: A favored tactic of theirs to deal with organizations that could become powerful enemies. They insert undercover agents to sow chaos through propaganda and/or magic to bend them to their will.
  • Bad Samaritan: One of their tactics for recruiting powerful forces is to pose as benefactors when the target is desperate, then immediately betray them and force them to serve their cause after whatever deal they struck is agreed on. More often than not, they secretly caused the circumstances that left the target desperate enough to deal with them in the first place.
  • Evil Sorcerer: They are a terrorist faction from The Magocracy, so that is a given, though not all of their members are mages (see Slave Mooks).
  • Foil: To the Red Templars. They are both radical factions that broke off from their original organizations and came to enforce the Elder One's will. The irony is that they originally belonged to organizations that opposed each other, as templars are supposed to persecute mages (specially ones that exploit non-mages like in Tevinter) and in other circumstances, they would easily been enemies.
  • Force and Finesse: The "finesse" of the Elder One's followers who depend on espionage and trickery as well as non-physical combat in magic. Venatori in general prefer to allow others to fight for them such as their demons and enslaved troops or to manipulate from the shadows with spies or blood magic.
  • God-Emperor: Their end goal. They believe that the Elder One will elevate them to god-kings and leave them to rule Thedas in his stead when he takes over the Black City and becomes the Top God.
  • Interservice Rivalry: After the creation of the Red Templars, the Venatori and the former become bitter rivals for the favor the the Elder One. While the two factions don't directly undermine each other for fear of the Elder One's wrath, they will gladly capitalize on any failures from the other side to strengthen their positions as his top servants.
  • Religion of Evil: Unlike other Tevinters, who follow the Imperial Chantry (a more magic-friendly version of the Chantry), the Venatori worship a sinister figure that demands they plunge the world into chaos so that he may take control. This figure is one of the Darkspawn Magisters who entered the Golden City and unleashed the First Blight.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: It's stressed that the Venatori are renegades from Tevinter and their values with Dorian noting that the Imperium disavows involvement with them (though he cynically notes that some magisters privately agree with the Venatori), while Josephine regards their ambitions as folly since the Imperium's values they seek to restore no longer exist. The current Archon Radonis acknowledges their threat, since he requests the Inquisition to siege a Venatori stronghold in the border to Nevarra and in Magekiller, he employs a skilled mage assassin to eliminate four of their senior members.
  • Slave Mooks: Their non-mage members such as warriors and brutes are actually slaves, as evidenced by the fetters and collars in their bodies.

     The Red Templars 

A splinter group of former Templars and Seekers who were converted to servants of the Elder One. Taking inspiration from Knight Commander Meredith, they use the newly-discovered red lyrium to gain increased power at the cost of increased aggression.

  • Always Chaotic Evil: Their consumption of red lyrium makes them paranoid and hyper aggressive towards all life.
  • Body Horror: Red Templars start off with only red eyes, but accumulate more mutations as their infection grows. At the end stages, their bodies are twisted masses of crystal and flesh that barely resemble humans.
  • Body to Jewel: Red Templars slowly transform into red lyrium itself. They knowingly force this fate on civilians they capture to feed their addictions.
  • The Corruption: Red lyrium empowers them far more than the regular blue lyrium, but slowly consumes them in both body and mind.
  • Faith–Heel Turn: Those who willingly joined abandoned their previous faith in Chantry dogma for worship of their self-styled new god, the Elder One, and have no hesitation in executing the atrocities he demands of them.
  • Force and Finesse: The "force" of the Elder One's followers who depend almost entirely on direct military might. Given the after effects of red lyrium, very few of them would even consider more subtle approaches.
  • Gemstone Assault: Those more advanced in their mutation can shoot shards of red lyrium crystals at opponents for a ranged attack.
  • Human Resources: The easiest way to produce red lyrium is to harvest it from the bodies of those who die from overuse and covert into crystal. As such, Red Templars are known to kidnap entire villages and use them as incubators to keep up a steady supply of new red lyrium.
  • Interservice Rivalry: While they and the Venatori both serve the Elder One, neither faction is fond of the other. They won't directly undermine their rivals, if only out of fear of the Elder One's wrath, but will gladly take advantage of any of their rivals' failures to enhance their own position.
  • Kill It with Ice: For unknown reasons, they gain a weakness to ice attacks.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Many of their ranks joined willingly to strike back at the abuses of the Chantry upon themselves and even the mages they used to guard. Those few with more noble sentiments quickly devolved into much worse villains than their former masters were.
  • Psycho Serum: Regular lyrium already leads to mental degradation. Red lyrium not only does that, but induces extreme aggression and paranoia in a fraction of the time, enhancing physical abilities to inhuman levels all the while.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The first physical transformation red templars undergo is gaining glowing red eyes.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: They abandoned the Chantry to serve as the enforces of the Elder One's will. Thanks to the red lyrium and the Elder One's indoctrination, nothing remains of their former compunctions: they gladly slaughter or enslave anyone that their new god demands them to. Starting with any of their former Templar/Seeker brethren that escaped their initial conversion campaign. Even the most hardened of normal Templars and Seekers are horrified to see what their fellows have become.
  • Rock Monster: The longer someone takes red lyrium, the more it consumes and deforms them. The most advanced cases of this seen are Red Templar Brutes: near mindless giants almost entirely made of jutting red lyrium crystals that are completely unrecognizable from their original forms.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Extended use of red lyrium leads to certain, painful death. Within a few years of beginning dosage, the taker will either die from their now-petrified organs failing, be driven into a violent madness, or be converted into red lyrium crystal entirely.

Alternative Title(s): Organization Tropes


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