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A fool trusts his eyes. A wise man fears every rock is a deepstalker. ―Dwarven saying[1]


Deepstalkers, called tezpadam by the dwarves, are small lizardlike creatures found throughout the Deep Roads and underground caverns. They are vicious predators of the dark that carve small tunnels through the stone in search of prey, usually nugs.[1][3][4]

Appearance Edit

Scaled like a lizard but with the head and frightful maw of a worm, the deepstalker walks and leaps on two powerful hind legs and uses extended tail to stay balanced.[5] It is able to curl up into a ball that will be indistinguishable from the stone around it.[4]

Behavior Edit

Deepstalkers hunt in packs, generally by burrowing underground and then striking when their prey is in their midst.[1] Another common way is to camouflage themselves and when the bait is close to launch a surprise attack.[6][7] They run and jump at their victims, attacking with razor claws and lamprey-like mouths full of serrated teeth. If they encounter a group, deepstalkers do not attack unless they have a major numerical advantage, but instead they wait until someone from the group is separated.[7] Some deepstalkers are capable of spitting either acid or paralytic poison from venom glands.[5] Although a single deepstalker poses little threat to any experienced explorer, packs can be quite lethal.[3]

Deepstalkers are sometimes domesticated.[8]

Tales Edit

Many dwarven tales for children involve deepstalkers. They are intended to instruct the young dwarves or simply make them laugh.

How the Deepstalker Came to Be Edit

In a time only the Stone remembers, a warrior named Gason won honor and glory for his house. He won a dozen Provings and defended his thaig against a legion of darkspawn. But though he was bold, Gason was also selfish and unkind, with a temper like spitting magma. He would rant and rage, mock and malign, until eventually Gason's friends turned their backs on him, his house crumbled, and he was cast into the Deep Roads.

How the Deepstalker Came to Be

Cover image of the tale

There in the great darkness, Gason's anger roared up so bright it blinded him. He snatched up his sword and began to attack the carvings honoring noble Paragons that lined the walls. One! Two! With each blow of his sword, he cursed the Paragons and the Stone Herself in a voice that echoed from one end of the Deep Roads to the other.

But the Stone always hears the voices of Her children, for good or for ill. As the carvings fell in ruins at Gason's feet, each chunk of rock uncoiled, becoming a horrid creature with a maw full of teeth. One! Two! Hundreds rose and surrounded Gason in a pack, devouring him bite by bite before scattering into the dark.

The creatures, which we call tezpadam, stalk the Deep Roads to this day. They can curl up like tiny stones, waiting to pounce upon trespassers as they pounced upon Gason so long ago. And that's why you're not to play noisy games near the entrance to the Deep Roads. They just might gobble you up too.

—A common tale said to be originally told by Paragon Ebryan[9]

Veata Tezpadam! Edit

Veata tezpadam translates to "Stop, deepstalker!" in the common tongue.

Mindless he wanders, all unwary,
Where small dwarven should not tarry.
Veata tezpadam!
Your eyes are shining, bright and merry.

The quarters' light distant and dim,
Here in the cave he's wandered in.
Veata tezpadam!
How quick you are on silent limb.

Small hands collide with cavern wall.
Upon the ground, a missing ball.
Veata tezpadam!
Your brothers hear the high-pitched call.

He turns to see they've circled round,
All grinning at his winning sound.
Veata tezpadam!
What becomes of who you found?

Within the quarter, heard no more
Are songs behind the nursery door.
Veata tezpadam!
Asleep upon the cavern floor.

—A dwarven nursery rhyme, this poem is performed in singsong style for dwarven toddlers[10]

Types Edit

Stalkers come in several types. Spitters have venom glands and can spit secretions that slow or injure their prey. Jumpers hurl themselves at their targets, knocking them down and making the kill easier. The most common variety scares and distracts its prey, allowing the rest of the pack to close in.[1][4]

Abilities Edit

Dragon Age: Origins Edit

Shriek Overwhelm Overwhelm
Scare Scare
Acid spit icon Acid Spit
Slowing spit icon Slowing Spit

Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit

  • Cold Vulnerability
  • Electricity Vulnerability

Gallery Edit

See also Edit

Ico codex entry Codex entry: Deepstalker (Origins)
Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: Deepstalker

Longbow of the Griffon icon Tezpadam's BaneTezpadam's Bane
Unique Bow
Lyrium traces a delicate reinforcement of this bow's curve, promising true aim and swift death. Someone has made small notches along the limbs, counting hundreds of kills.
Requires: Level 21

Damage: 187-193
+12% Armor Penetration
+41 Dexterity
+7% Sunder on Hit
On kill: target explodes for 150% weapon damage

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Codex entry: Deepstalker (Origins)
  2. Encountered but not fought in the Deep Roads Grotto.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Codex entry: Deepstalker
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 163, 177, 182
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Game Master's Guide, set 2, p. 24
  6. Dragon Age: Origins: Prima Official Game Guide, p. 146
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dragon Age: The Calling, pp. 230-231
  8. Tame deepstalkers may be encountered in Carta Hideout.
  9. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 209
  10. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 211