New Lore for The Dragon Age Races

Over on the Bioware Blog, Chris Priestly has given us a sneak peak at some codex pieces on the lore behind Surface Dwarves, The Dalish, and The Qunari. These pieces of lore provide an interesting light on the stories of these races, and open some possibilities to how they'll play out in Dragon Age 2. We'll be diving into what this might mean after the break.

The Dwarves

Varric, your Dwarven companion in Dragon Age 2. A Surface Dwarf of noble lineage, he may not see himself as "casteless" as others.

In Dragon Age: Origins, Dwarven society is being stifled by a millenia-old caste system that leads to in-fighting amongst the nobility and the casting off of those born without a caste, deemed unworthy to even pick up a weapon in defense of their city. The Warden can shake this up a little, mainly by naming Bhelan as king or bringing the names of Kal'Hirrol's casteless defenders to the Shaperate.

The truly interesting part of this blurb is the division within those who leave Ozrammar for the surface. The Surface Dwarves - those who leave the caverns of Ozrammar and lose their caste - are divided into two sects, the traditionalist Kalnas and the egalitarian Ascendants. This newly explored division opens possibilities with Varric, a Surface Dwarf formerly of the Noble caste. A member of the Merchant Guild, the manly-chested rogue may likely be a Kalnas. If this is the case, your interactions with casteless and Ascendant dwarves may lead to some rivalry with him. This part is pure speculation, of course, but it'd be an interesting avenue for the DA writers to explore.

The Dalish

Velanna, a Dalish keeper. The Templars, expectedly, would frown on her work.

This piece focuses on the tensions between the Dalish elves and the Human Chantry. Well-explored during Origins, as the Dalish never stop reminding you, this codex focuses more on the Chantry position towards the Dalish Keepers.

Of course, the Chantry considers anyone who practices magic outside the Circle to be apostates, and punishable by death. And the Keepers, taking on the role of preserver of what little history of the Dales remains, practice ancient Elven magic in hopes of passing it down. Where this may come to a point is with Merrill, an assistant keeper and likely companion. Bringing the keeper into the city of Kirkwall, run by the Chantry's templars, no less, may lead to the predicament of either handing the tiny companion over to the Chantry, as you could do with Anders in Awakening, or defending her from the Templars, which may play into your position in the city.

The Qunari

Concept art detailing ranks in the Qunari forces. Second from the right is likely a mage, with lash marks and what appears to be a mouth sewn shut.

The Qunari remain a very enigmatic people in Thedas. Sten may have shed some light on the value of "equality" in the philosophy of the Qun, and a rather curious way of treating mages, but the workings of Qunari society remain a mystery. This codex piece gives us some more insight on what has not been seen through the Warden's eyes, and may give us a taste of what Hawke will experience.

The piece tells us that, while most who've seen these horned people can only gleam from what they've seen in the Qunari army, there actually exists a rather philosophical and spiritual side to the people, and that the Qunari people see themselves as parts of a greater body.

What this means is open to interpretation, given that Hawke is unlikely to go anywhere near the Qunari homelands during the events of Dragon Age 2. There will be a Qunari invasion of Kirkwall during the events of Dragon Age 2, so perhaps Hawke will be expected to do some diplomacy as the Champion, therefore opening the world to aspect of their society not previously seen in the series.

What are your thoughts on this post? Do you see anything that might be opened up for exploration in game?

Source: On Dwarves, Elves and Qunari - Bioware Blog