- “Its gates forever shut.
Heaven has been filled with silence,
I knew then,
And cross'd my heart with shame.
Bride of the Maker
Our Lady Redeemer
Lady of Sorrow
Andraste is the prophet whose teachings later served as the foundation for the formation of the Chantry, which later becomes the dominant religion of Thedas. She was the spiritual wife of the Maker, the being whom the Chantry worships.
- “And thus fell the eye of the Maker upon Andraste, she who would be raised up from outcast to become His bride. From her lips would fall the Chant of Light, at her command would the legions of righteousness fall upon the world.”
According to some scholars, Andraste was born into the Ciriane tribe in -203 Ancient (992 TE) in Denerim, which was then a fishing village. Her mother was an Alamarri woman named Brona and her father was the chieftain of one of the largest Alamarri tribes in what is now northern Ferelden. When her sister Haliserre died in a violent incident under mysterious circumstances, Andraste was left with a sickness that made her unable to bear children for a decade. She also was known to display strange behavior, such as becoming still for long moments in an trance-like state, after which she would report voices as if from a lost memory and talk of strange auras or the sound of bells. Andraste was a woman who rose to greatness, first as a slave of the Tevinter Imperium, then as a prophet, war leader, and religious icon.
- See also: Tears of Andraste
According to legend, before the Maker spoke to Andraste, she despaired at the fate of her fellows. At that time, every night, her husband Maferath would come to console her and each time Andraste would tell him of her despair while shedding a single tear, which Maferath captured in a vial. On the thirtieth night the vial was full, and when dawn came Andraste saw her first vision of the Maker. Even though this legend is popular and has been passed on for ages, a part of it isn't in the Chant of Light.
From an early age, Andraste suffered troubling dreams of a deity known as the Maker. Over time she began to interpret these dreams as the answer to questions that plagued her, and she came to believe that the Maker was the supreme being who had abandoned the world when his people took up the worship of the Old Gods, those beings worshipped in particular by the Tevinter Imperium. According to Chantry canon, after having fled the Imperium and marrying the warlord Maferath, Andraste appealed to the gods but her prayers went unanswered. She would sing, and one day the Maker, enchanted by her voice, invited her to join Him at His side. She instead encouraged Him to return to humanity and forgive them, compelling her fellow Alamarri and others to accept the one true god of Thedas.
To the world, Andraste was an escaped slave from the Tevinter Imperium who came to power after the First Blight had ended and the archdemon Dumat was slain. She fought against the Imperium, which had been significantly weakened by the First Blight. As part of the Exalted Marches, she conquered most of the south while fighting to destroy the magisters, whom she blamed for the Blight. The people she led in her campaign were the barbarian ancestors of the Fereldans, the Alamarri. She also joined forces with the elven leader and former slave Shartan and his people, as they shared a common enemy in the Imperium. To the Imperium, Andraste was an opportunist, a barbarian taking advantage of their weakness. She led her rebellion against the Tevinter Imperium in the first Exalted March under the Maker's sanction. Andraste's March was greatly successful due in part to several unfortunately concurrent natural disasters, including droughts, famines and flooding, which decimated the Imperium's farmland and, consequently, troops—a form of divine punishment, which Disciple Cathaire, one of her war leaders, contends. According to the Chantry teachings, the reason the Imperium did not fall entirely to her army was because of Maferath, Andraste's mortal husband. Feeling that the barbarians had overextended themselves, he made a deal with the magisters to keep the south in exchange for turning Andraste over to them. She was burned at the stake in Minrathous. Her death is known as the second sin, which caused the Maker to turn from humanity once again. Yet, because of her, the Imperium, for all intents and purposes, was greatly weakened, and the Chantry was formed, focused around her teachings.
Archon Hessarian, who ordered Andraste's execution, was the first person converted to following the Chant of Light. According to the Chant, the Archon saw the error of his ways as soon as Andraste was burned. It was he who put the sword through her heart to put her out of her misery, which is why the sword is a symbol of mercy in Andrastian lore. Later, he repented her execution entirely, though Chantry dissenters claim Hessarian only converted because he could not stem the tide against Andraste's followers, who were only emboldened by the death of their leader, and he repented his actions as a means to stay in power.
He turned on his former ally Maferath and ushered the way for the Tevinter Imperium to eventually become an Andrastian nation, though the Chantry as an organization did not yet exist at this time. As for Maferath, when his betrayal became common knowledge, his people abandoned and eventually murdered him.
Andraste bore two children, but it is unknown if any of her descendants still live, as all of her scions were born female, and thus they took their husbands' names in marriage. There have been many claimants in the centuries since, saying that they were related to Andraste, but the Chantry has disavowed each of them. To date there are no known legitimate heirs to Andraste's blood. Andraste was too weak to bear children when she married Maferath, but since he was a barbarian chieftain, he needed an heir, so he sired three sons with the concubine Gilivhan, whom Andraste adopted as her own. Years later, however, she did manage to give Maferath two children: daughters named Ebris and Vivial. The daughters were never counted as heirs, but were still allowed to have relationships and families. Ebris partnered and had children, but was as weak as her mother, and died of plague in her late twenties. Her daughter, Alli Vemar, was married, but died in an accident before she could have any children. The other daughter of Andraste, Vivial, fell in love with the Tevinter mage named Regulan. Before their marriage, the two went into exile, and all records of her and her daughters were destroyed by Andraste herself.
After her death, a group of people named Disciples of Andraste was created for the purpose of protecting her remnants and continuing her legacy. They moved her remnants to the Frostback Mountains and a temple was built around it. Eventually, however, only the Guardian stood still in his post and protected the ashes, as the rest of the disciples believed that Andraste had been reborn into the form of a high dragon. This temple commemorates her memory and prevents the unworthy from viewing her remains. The remains stayed in the mountain, undisturbed for many years and eventually rumours began to spread that her ashes held curative properties.
The official belief of the Imperial Chantry is that Andraste wasn't, in fact, the Maker's Chosen, but rather "just" an extraordinarily powerful mage. This view, which is considered heretical by the Andrastian Chantry, can also be found in a book called "The Search for the True Prophet". Chantry art frequently depicts her as a warrior bearing a sword and shield or as a robed motherly figure, however.
Furthermore, the newly revealed portions of the formerly-apocryphal Dissonant Verses of the Chant of Light seem only to ascribe more "mundane" visions and periods of immobility to Andraste rather than magical powers, and in fact describe her and her warrior army being nearly bested by the magical attacks of Tevinter during her rebellion. Similarly, many of the miracles ascribed to Andraste's communion with the Maker are now commonly believed to either have natural explanations or to be coincidental underground Darkspawn incursions. Some individuals, such as Empress Celene, similarly suspect that Andraste's views were likely more political than idealistic.
The prophet is said to have been born in Denerim where a memorial stone, known as the "Birth Rock", stands in the city's Palace District. It is a site of pilgrimage to her followers who come to touch the rock in her honor. However, the Orlesian city of Jader also claims this prestige.
Customs and Culture Edit
At the beginning of Matrinalis, there is a holiday named "All Soul’s Day", and the Chantry uses the holiday to commemorate the death of Andraste, with public fires that mark her immolation and plays that depict her death. In Chantries across Thedas, it is more popular to depict Andraste praying rather than as the conqueror with a sword and shield.
Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit
After the explosion that kills Divine Justinia V and the conclave, the Inquisitor finds themselves in the Fade and suffering from memory loss of how they got there. The Inquisitor meets a spirit who they remember reaching out to, which many believed is how the Inquisitor was imprinted by a mark on their left hand, which has the ability to close Fade rifts across Thedas. The Inquisitor escaped the Fade through a rift and was found by the Inquisition. Through companion dialogue, it is revealed that many believe that the spirit is Andraste and that she granted the ability to the Inquisitor to save Thedas. Thus, those believers call the Inquisitor the "Herald of Andraste".It is long left ambiguous what the spirit who helped the Inquisitor was. However, during the Inquisitor's push to halt the chaos at Adamant fortress, it is revealed that the spirit bore the semblance of Justinia V and not Andraste.
- Before the developers decided on the name of Andraste, she was named Augusta.
- It appears that many Andrastians suspect, as a matter of salacious debate, that Shartan and Andraste were lovers during her rebellion against the Magisters of Tevinter.
- According to banter between Sera and Cassandra Pentaghast, Andraste may have been a redhead. Background art from Dragon Age: Those Who Speak and artwork in Dragon Age: The World of Thedas portray her as a blonde.
See also EditCodex entry: Andraste: Bride of the Maker Codex entry: Andraste's Mabari
| -7600 Ancient|
|Arlathan (0 FA–6625 FA) · Endrin Stonehammer (1st century TE) · First Blight (800–992 TE) · Caridin (†947 TE?) · Andraste (992–1025 TE) · Dales (1030–1314 TE) · Inquisition (1095–1214 TE) · Emperor Kordillus Drakon I (†1239 TE)|| -1 Ancient|
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