Dragon Age: Origins, BioWare's Spiritual Successor to the legendary Baldur's Gate franchise, Dragon Age: Origins (November 3, 2009) is the first installment of the Dragon Age series. It takes place in the world (actually continent) of Thedas (an abbreviation of "The Dragon Age Setting"), a Dark Fantasy version of the Standard Fantasy Setting. It draws inspiration from sources as diverse as The Wheel of Time, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and has a brimful of Fantasy Counterpart Cultures and Black and Grey Morality.
Thedas is under constant threat from an Always Chaotic Evil race of subterranean monsters called Darkspawn. Every so often, the Darkspawn form armies and surge to the surface en-masse, an event known as a Blight. In response, an elite band of warriors called the Grey Wardens was formed specifically for the purpose of fighting Darkspawn and defeating the Blight. The plot of Origins consists of three parts:
- The first part (the original game) places you in the role of a newly conscripted Grey Warden as you take arms against the Fifth Blight, only to find yourself in a nasty Last of His Kind situation and tasked with uniting the fractured political landscape of Ferelden against the Darkspawn threat.
- The second part unfolds in the Expansion Pack, Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening and concerns the efforts of a Grey Warden (which can be the same one from Origins) as they rebuild the forces of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden while dealing with the aftermath of the Fifth Blight and delving deeper into the motivations and origins of the Darkspawn.
- The third part is told in the DLC "Witch Hunt", which takes place two or three years after the end of Origins. It chronicles the search for Morrigan, an enigmatic companion (and possible love interest) in Origins who disappeared after the conclusion of the Fifth Blight.
Several other pieces of DLC were released in between the aforementioned parts, ranging from side stories to What If? scenarios.
The sequel, Dragon Age II, was released in 2011 on March 8th in North America and on the 11th in Europe. The third game in the series, Dragon Age: Inquisition was released on November 18th, 2014 in North America and November 21st, 2014 in Europe.