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Apostates are mages who are not part of the Circle of Magi and are thus considered "rebel mages."[1] There are two main types of apostates: hedge mages and general apostates, who were never part of the Circle, and rogue mages, who have fled from the Circle. The Templar Order is charged with finding apostates and either capturing or killing them. Maleficarum are a branch of apostate mages considered most dangerous.

Background Edit

Morrigan Concept Art

Morrigan, an apostate and Witch of the Wilds

Once, the term only described mages who willfully left the Circle and the path the Chantry had laid out for them. However, as the Andrastian Chantry is the dominant religion in Thedas, the Chantry assumes that everyone born in Thedas is a follower of that faith. Anyone who disobeys the laws of the Chantry is thus regarded as betraying their faith, and labeled apostate. The Chantry believes that apostates are at greater risk of being possessed by demons and becoming abominations.

This Chantry policy also includes the Dalish elven mages including the clan keepers who are however left alone as long as the clan remains isolated from the rest of the world. Although Saarebas are already controlled by the Qunari, the Chantry also treats them as apostates.

Mages within the Grey Wardens are technically apostates, but are granted reprieve from templar attention upon recruitment. The harboring of apostates—even blood magic practicing maleficarum—is a point of contention between the two orders, and is only tempered by its relative rarity, due to the Wardens' conservative recruitment standards. Nonetheless, the Wardens are expected to act appropriately if a mage grows beyond their control, else the templars consider the mage's immunity forfeit. Apostates who gain the favor of influential and powerful political figures may also be granted the same reprieves if the apostate's arrest would be considered too impolitic. An example of such rare occurrences would be apostate Champions of influential Free Marches cities.

No matter how a mage has become apostate, the Chantry treats them alike: Templars begin a systematic hunt to bring the apostate to justice. In almost all cases, "justice" is execution. If there is some overriding reason the mage should live, the Rite of Tranquility is employed instead.[2]

Witches of the Wilds constitute a separate group of apostates.

Hedge magic Edit

Hedge magic (a derogatory term created by the Chantry[3]), also known as "arcanist derangement"[3] among scholars, is a form of magical expression different than that of typical mages. Hedge mages are untrained magic-users who wield powers developed outside of conventional teaching[1]. Some of these hedge mages are not even aware of their nature. Undeveloped, their abilities can express themselves in a variety of ways, which the hedge mage might attribute to faith, or will, or to another being entirely (depending on the mage's nature).[2]

Hedge magic was studied extensively by Magister Allineas at the height of the Towers Age. He coined the term "arcanist derangement" and posited that magical talent is like a flowing river. When expressed through a mage, it finds a proper outlet through spellcraft. Left to its own devices it flows unexpectedly, and thus hedge mages are created.[3] Once becoming a hedge mage, there is no turning back – they cannot learn and cast spells as normal mages know them.[4]

“Hedge mages” and “witches” do not always employ forbidden magic, quite often their talents lie in the creation of charms, the use of curses and the ability to change their own forms.[5] Their abilities may include being able to commune with spirits, as well. Still, those mages possess power no Circle spell could replicate and their unpredictable ability is deemed a threat by the Chantry.

Prior to the Circle's formation, hedge magic was commonly practiced in the form of ancient traditions and rituals, with knowledge handed down from one generation of practitioners to the next. Examples of hedge mages include the so-called "witches" of the Chasind wilders and the "shamans" of the Avvar barbarians.[2] Qunari Saarebas are also essentially hedge mages with the focus on destruction.[6]

Hedge mages live chaotic lives, and are frequently lured into darkness, temptation and sometimes even insanity. Their lives are often short as a result of this wild talent. The term "arcanist derangement" reflects this propensity toward madness in such mages.[7]

Solas is, by definition, a hedge mage.[8]

Maleficarum Edit

Main article: Maleficar

Maleficarum actively pursue dangerous and forbidden schools of magic, including blood magic.[1] Many apostates do not practice forbidden schools of magic, but the stigma is so intense that most apostates are looked upon as maleficar.

Notable apostates Edit

Apostate mages

Apostate mages[9]

For a complete list, see :Category:Apostates.

Codex entries Edit

Ico codex entry Codex entry: Apostates
Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: An Honest Answer Regarding Apostates
Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: The Hedge Witch
Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: Cold-Blooded
Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: Apostate's Courage

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 105
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Codex entry: Apostates
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dragon Age: Asunder, p. 285.
  4. Interview with David Gaider
  5. Shapeshifter
  6. Interview with David Gaider
  7. According to Pharamond in Dragon Age: Asunder
  8. Patrick Weekes Twitter.
  9. Dragon Age RPG Player's Guide, set 2, pg. 59.

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