- “The city! It was supposed to be golden! It was supposed to be ours!”
Corypheus is a Tevinter magister who heeded the call of the Old God Dumat and demands Hawke and all present to show him the respect due a magister, not realizing that the time of the Imperium has long since passed. Certain fragments of his post-awakened ramblings lead Hawke and the others to conclude that he truly was one of the magisters who entered the so-called Golden City and returned as one of the first darkspawn.
Some time after the First Blight in 1004 TE, the Grey Warden Sashamiri imprisoned Corypheus in a tower stemming from the Deep Roads in the middle of the Vimmark Mountains. Interrogation proved futile, as any Warden in his vicinity became mysteriously drawn to his influence. When removed from the area, they would have forgotten anything prior, and would be left dazed.
Interestingly, it appears that Corypheus emits a type of Calling to anyone bearing the Taint, similar to the Old Gods, which draws darkspawn and Warden alike to his prison.It is revealed that years before the events of Dragon Age II, Malcolm Hawke was responsible for restoring the seals on Corypheus' prison using blood magic, which the Wardens use from untainted mages since before the founding of the Chantry.
Corypheus is the main antagonist in the Legacy DLC for Dragon Age II. He is the final boss of the Legacy quest. The Grey Warden Janeka wants to utilize him as a weapon to combat the Blight, while the former Warden-Commander of the prison, Larius, wishes to kill him before he escapes the prison due to the weakening seals. Eventually Corypheus is released and speaks briefly to Hawke and their companions before attacking them in confusion.
As Hawke delivers Corypheus the final blow, Corypheus will look at Larius or Janeka and faintly smile. Then as Corypheus is struck down, Larius or Janeka can be seen shuddering in the background before stumbling. Corypheus' eyes will also glow upon seeing Janeka or Larius.Regardless of who you side with, Janeka or Larius will ominously thank Hawke for their assistance in a very different tone of voice from before and leave. It is possibile that Corypheus, though defeated, has possessed the body of the surviving Warden to escape his prison, similar to how the Archdemons can possess bodies of the nearest Darkspawn, should a non-Warden strike a fatal blow to them.
- See Corypheus (strategy).
- "Be this some dream I wake from? Am I in dwarven lands? Why seem their roads so empty?"
- "You! Serve you at the temple of Dumat? Bring me hence! I must speak with the first acolyte!"
- "You look human. Are you not citizens of the Empire? Slaves then, to the dwarves? Why come you here?"
- "Whoever you be, you owe fealty to any magister of Tevinter. On your knees! All of you!"
- "Dumat! Lord! Tell me. What waking dream is this?"
- "The light. We sought the golden light. You offered... the power of the gods themselves. But it was... black... corrupt. Darkness... ever since. How long?"
- "Dumat? Have you forsaken me? I am your faithful servant..." (if Anders is in the party)
- "If I cannot leave with you, I will leave through you! I seek the light!"
- "Feel the chill! You cannot outrun it! You cannot escape!"
- "You are stronger than I thought! But not strong enough!"
- Defeating Corypheus earns the player the achievement "Conductor". Classical Greek κορυφαῖος (koryphaîos) means "conductor of the chorus", possibly explaining the achievement's title.
- Even though he is asleep, he is able to communicate with those who have the darkspawn taint, including Grey Wardens. This causes Larius and Anders great distress.