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"We have won, and the Qunari outside will soon feel our wrath. As will the whole world."

Justice: Foul sorceress! You will release these poor folk and submit yourself to justice!
Baroness: Justice? Is that what you are calling it? What of their punishment, burning my home to the ground and me within it?
Villager: Because you were stealing our children! Using their blood to feed your vanity!
Baroness: As was my due! You lived on my land, I your rightful ruler! Your blood was mine just as your lives are now!

Thedas is a dark place, where vile sorcery, slavery, and mass murder occur regularly. Darkspawn, demons, and evil spirits do everything they can to make the lives of mortals miserable, to say nothing of what mortal races do to each other. Despite all that, these few individuals manage to prove themselves as the cruelest beings in the world, they live in.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Video Games
  • Origins:
    • The greedy Arl Rendon Howe kills the family and servants of the Human Noble Warden to take control of their lands, all out of jealousy over the public love the family received. Joining Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir, Howe manipulates and carries out Loghain's most atrocious plans. Conducting a purge of Denerim's elven alienage, Howe has countless elves—including an orphanage full of children—-put to death. Responsible for torturing enemies of Loghain, Howe loves this task so much he has his quarters moved next to his Torture Cellar. Fearing the influences Loghain's daughter may have over him, the power-hungry Howe tries to persuade Loghain to kill her and tries murdering her himself when this fails.
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    • Bann Vaughan Kendells, the son of Arl Urien Kendells of Denerim, is a Serial Rapist and murderer of elven women who justifies his crimes by saying that elves aren't real people. When he appears in the City Elf Origin, Vaughan abducts the entire female half of a wedding party, including the protagonist if female, to be raped by him and his men. By the time the protagonist fights back, one woman has already been killed, and by the time the protagonist reaches Vaughan, their cousin, Shianni, has been raped by Vaughan and his friends. Unwilling to release his hostages, Vaughan instead tries to bribe the protagonist into letting him keep the women for the night and threaten to have his father burn the Denerim alienage to the ground. Such cruelty from Vaughan isn't an isolated incident, as the DLC prequel Leliana's Song features an overheard conversation where Vaughan is preparing to rape/torture one of his maids over a floor stain, and Valendrian tells of an elven dockworker's daughter who was kidnapped by Vaughan and found dead floating in the water a few days later.
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    • Marjolaine is a bard from the Orlesian Empire that took the young Leliana under her wing, only to betray her and let her be tortured the moment she became inconvenient. In the Leliana's Song prequel DLC, Marjolaine, working for the cruel Harwen Raleigh, steals sensitive Orlesian military documents to try to incite a war between Orlais and Ferelden. After Leliana takes to a quiet life in the Chnatry, Marjolaine keeps an eye on her, and sends assassins after her when she leaves with the Warden, refusing to believe she left for any reason other than revenge.
    • Leliana's Song prequel DLC: Harwen Raleigh is the commander of The Hard Line troops who fought in the first Ferelden-Orlais war and lost his lands during that war. After King Maric refused to give him new lands to rule over because of his numerous war crimes, Raleigh was forced to serve Arl Urien. Arresting many people for minor crimes or offenses, Raleigh loved to torture them for days, letting his men rape the women and then selling off his prisoners to whoever pays the most. Later on, conspiring with Marjolaine to get his hands on secret Orlesian military documents, Raleigh planned to use them to convince Ferelden leadership to attack Orlais, which would restart the massive war between nations and allow Raleigh to reclaim his lands.
    • Awakening Expansion Pack: The Baroness of the Blackmarsh was a Vain Sorceress who murdered her subjects’ children to use their blood in rituals to keep herself young. When her subjects rebelled and burned her home down, the Baroness responded by killing her subjects and imprisoning their spirits in the Fade. Denied their eternal rest, the people of the Blackmarsh have their souls feasted on by the Baroness, now a Pride Demon, and are tormented by the demons prowling the spirit world. Should any person "die" they will only be revived back in the Fade for more misery. When confronted with her crimes, the Baroness brushes them off, saying that her subjects’ lives belong to her and are hers to do with as she pleases.
  • Dragon Age II:
    • Danarius is a powerful magister of Tevinter and noted to be among the worst of them all. A consummate sadist who abuses his slaves and even murders them for sport and Blood Magic rituals, Danarius frequently abused Fenris, then named Leto, in all ways, from sexual to psychological. Having Fenris take part in an agonizing Lyrium experiment to make him a weapon, Danarius later had him massacre his own rescuers. Upon hunting Fenris down, if Danarius is successful in taking Fenris back, he destroys his mind to make him a wholly obedient slave.
    • Ser Otto Alrik is a high-ranking Templar who is infamous for his habit of illegally conducting the Rite of Tranquility on unwilling mages. Forever cut off from the spirit world, known as the Fade, Tranquil mages have undergone the spiritual equivalent of a lobotomy and are left as Empty Shells for the rest of their lives. Not content with the way things currently are, Alrik's dream is to initiate the Tranquil Solution, a plan where every mage is forcibly made Tranquil, regardless of age or ability. When this plan was turned down by Knight-Commander Meredith for being too extreme, Alrik began taking steps to carry out his plan in secret, turning mages Tranquil such as he did with Anders's first love, Karl. Also, in the mission "Dissent", while pursuing a female teenage apostate named Ella, Alrik heavily implies that he'll use the Rite of Tranquility to turn her into his willing Sex Slave, with the added implication that he frequently does this. This is proven in an overheard conversation between a newly made Tranquil mage and her former lover. In response to her lover trying to break through to her, the Tranquil mage emotionlessly responds, "I am Ser Alrik's now."
  • Inquisition: The Elder One, aka Corypheus, is an ambitious being that will stop at nothing in his quest to become a god. One of the seven Magisters of Tevinter who invaded the Golden City in a bid to usurp The Maker, Corypheus was corrupted into one of the original Darkspawn as a result and is inadvertently responsible for the Blights that constantly threaten to destroy Thedas. Having failed and been punished for his attempt to serve a god once, he has decided to become a god himself by physically entering the spirit world known as the Fade and conquering the Black City. In his mad bid for power, the Elder One tries to murder Divine Justina; causes a Breach into the Fade to tear open in the sky which kills thousands and releases murderous demons into the world; tries to brainwash the mages to serve as his army; corrupts the Templars into insane monsters by feeding them Red Lyrium which is made from people he's captured; and attempts to massacre the Templars at Therinfal Redoubt who haven't converted to the Red, attacks Haven and attempts to kill everyone within, and tricks the Grey Wardens into doing Blood Magic and Human Sacrifice to summon a demon army for him to use to conquer the world. In the end, after his plans are thwarted one time too many, Corypheus reopens the Breach to lure the Inquisitor to him, willing to destroy the world out of spite in the process.

Other Media (by release/publication date)

  • The Stolen Throne: King Meghren is the tyrannical cousin—and rumored incestuous lover—of the Orlesian Emperor, exiled for offending said cousin to rule Ferelden in his stead. Despising Ferelden and its people, viewing them as "uncultured dogs", Meghren vents his hatred out by tormenting his people, mostly through torture parties or mass executions and vehemently refusing to make any sort of appeal to them. Notable examples include intimidating a young noble over a birthday present just to get a kick out of his fear, and at another point beating a servant boy to an inch of his life. Despite all this, he expects the people of Ferelden to cater to him and is offended when they ask anything of him, or rebel against him. When a rebellion by Queen Moria rises against him, Meghren has her decapitated with her head impaled on a spike—a frequent punishment of his—and resolves to hunt down and eventually kill her son Maric. This war results in high casualties on both sides, with Meghren frequently asking for Orlesian support, only to carelessly send his men to their deaths. When he believes Maric has been killed, only to learn of his survival, as the majority of Ferelden rise or turn against him, he flies into a rage, ordering the mass execution of anyone and everyone who sympathizes with the rebels.
  • IDW comic book: The nameless witch is the leader of the small group of bandits who has fun by traveling through the territory and killing, pillaging and burning everything they find. Having several villages and farms burned, the witch stumbles upon the adopted family of the child mage Gleam while she was away, and took everything from them, before killing them and setting the farm on fire. As Gleam, her friend and her younger adopted brother decide to track the bandits down, they find her and her gang burning down their latest village, killing everyone there, including children. After easily defeating the heroes, the witch plans to sell Gleam to the Man of Light, before she abandons her gang, when the Templars arrive and attack them.
  • Blue Wraith & Dark Fortress (& "Paying the Ferryman"): Magister Nenealeus is a powerful Tevinter slaver who is famous for putting all his slaves through especially harsh abuse and suffering. Sending Cedric Marquette to retrieve a magical sarcophagus and information about red lyrium, which led to many deaths, Nenealeus choose Shirallas among the elven slaves to serve as the subject of his next experiment, while ordering the rest of the elven slaves to be killed. Transforming dozens of his human underlings into feral blue humanoids, who remain in extreme pain before they explode, and sending them as "bombs" to kill the heroes and Qunari warriors, Nenealeus reached the Dark Fortress and completed his experiment, transforming Shirallas into an "ultimate warrior", openly planning to use him and his dragon to wage a bloody war upon the entire Thedas.