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We live by the Stone, guided by the Ancestors, who speak with the voice of the Provings, and whose memories the Shaperate keeps forever in lyrium. ―As told by Shaper Czibor[1]
The Ancestors

Ancestors, guard my son, for he is lost in darkness. Mothers, keep him safe, for you know what it is to mourn. ―Filda

The Ancestors are a fundamental element of dwarven culture and life. Not quite a religion, the dwarven system of belief instead reveres the duality of the Stone and the Ancestors. Ancestors are worthy dwarves who have been properly interred in the Stone – "returned to the Stone" in dwarven parlance – and who therefore function as guides to their descendants, their noble deeds instructing the dwarves who follow them, and their voices heard in the justice meted out in Provings. They are regarded as honored and deeply respected spirits and all dwarves strive to live lives that honor both their Ancestors and the Stone.

The Shaperate, the repository of all dwarven knowledge, history, and genealogy, records the deeds and words of the Ancestors, and thus their memories, in the Memories via lyrium.

Ancestors and the Stone Edit

In dwarven belief, the Ancestors and the Stone are both inextricably linked but quite separate. Dwarves of worth who are returned to the Stone upon death become Ancestors after the words of a ritual[2] are said. The unhonorable and possibly the casteless or surface dwarves are said to be outright rejected by the Stone so that their failings may not weaken her.[3][4] They are abandoned in desolate caverns[3] for enternity as restless and often malevolent spirits[5][6] or as rock wraiths.[7] Neither the Stone nor Ancestors are gods to the dwarves, as dwarves have no gods, but Ancestors could not exist without dwarves being interred in the Stone, and the Stone itself is believed to be the ultimate progenitor of the "Children of the Stone." The Stone is not considered able to intercede in the lives of dwarves in the same way as the Ancestors. The Stone created dwarves, it shelters and supports dwarves, and dwarves heed its lessons and dangers,[8] but it is the voices of the Ancestors, and their blessings or lack thereof, which are primarily believed to impact dwarves in their day-to-day life.

Ancestors and Paragons Edit

Paragons are dwarves who have achieved a level of success, or completed a task deemed so impossible or glorious, as to be viewed with an unprecedented level of respect, beyond even that of the Ancestors. Unlike Ancestors who become so simply by living worthy lives before their deaths and internment, Paragons must be elected by the Assembly, and a noble house is then formed in their name. Paragons who are nominated while alive are viewed as something akin to a living Ancestor, whose words and actions hold immense weight with the dwarven people.[9] Such "living Ancestors" are very unusual as Paragons are rarely named and are often nominated posthumously, so living Paragons – and consequently living Ancestors – are of immense value.

Voice of the Ancestors Edit

The Ancestors are believed to speak to dwarves predominantly through the outcomes of Proving matches, giving or withholding blessings to combatants in matters of honor, judicial,[10] who fought in the Provings to political debates, or the succession of rulers.[5] Dwarves believe without question that a match cannot be won without the blessing of the Ancestors. In spite of this, matches in the Proving Grounds are sometimes rigged in order to assure favorable outcomes despite this being considered an affront to the Ancestors.

See also Edit

Ico codex entry Codex entry: Dwarven Faith
BlessingOfTheAncestors Blessing of the Ancestors

References Edit

  1. Codex entry: Dwarven Faith
  2. Codex entry: Third Legionnaire's Journal
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 126
  4. Codex entry: The Casteless
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 22
  6. Such as the shades resembling dwarves found in underground location such as the Ortan Thaig in Dragon Age: Origins.
  7. Codex entry: Rock Wraith
  8. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 21
  9. As the decision of the Paragons Caridin or Branka is used to decide the matter of the next King of Orzammar during A Paragon of Her Kind questline.
  10. Codex entry: The Proving

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