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Denerim

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Denerim is the capital of Ferelden as well as an arling of the kingdom and the seat of the annual Landsmeet. It is built around the base of a mountain known as Dragon's Peak. The Drakon River crosses the city from west to east before ending in the Amaranthine Ocean.

Denerim is considered a holy city to worshippers of Andraste, as it is the place of her birth. Home of both nobility and the common people, this sprawling city has much to offer the adventurer, with its market place, magic shops, armorers and bordellos. However, one cannot let one's eye rest on a single place for too long, lest a back alley brawler or thief cut one's purse strings, or one's throat.

Background Edit

Any given Fereldan city was likely once a lone fort or castle where the region’s people could be gathered in case of attack. Over decades and ages, though, buildings grow up outside these fortifications as the dangers of war recede. This has been the case with Denerim. The core castle remains (and in fact, has grown into a full-fledged fortress) while the city has grown rapidly around it.[2]

Today, most of the streets in Denerim are made of packed dirt, with only the wealthier streets being fully cobbled. Buildings have been laid down—and thus, streets and alleys formed—haphazardly, according to no common plan. At best, buildings are arranged according to their functions. Inns and taverns are found near the city’s gates; trade markets are surrounded by shops, warehouses, and guild-houses; and in between them all, houses are packed practically on top of one another.[2] The narrow streets of the Lower Docks have an almost labyrinthine quality, and the walled-off elven Alienage is so overpopulated that several purges have been required to keep order in the last decade alone.

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Denerim heraldry

One’s social standing can be measured by how close one lives to Fort Drakon, the oldest and highest edifice in Denerim. Near the fortress can be found the Royal Palace, noble estates, wide parkways, beautiful chantries, and the homes of merchant princes. Almost all nobles who are capable of doing so maintain an estate within the city even if they use it only when a Landsmeet is called.[3]

Further down the hill, the Market District is the heart of Denerim’s bustling trade. Denerim’s Poor Quarter, near the base of the hill, has been accurately called a labyrinth, on top of being filthy from both the mud in the roads and the lack of a proper sewage system. The worst of the Poor Quarter is the Elven Alienage, which is walled off from the rest of the city.[2]

By civilized standards Fereldan cities are anarchic, and Denerim is no exception. The Fereldan penchant for personal freedom engenders a laissez-faire attitude towards law enforcement and public behavior in general. The King’s Patrol is intended more to defend the city and keep order rather than to enforce the laws, though it has expanded into the latter role, to a certain extent, over time. Even so, while the worst offenses are put down, petty crimes are often ignored and the citizenry left to their own recourses. Commerce is largely unregulated as long as taxes are paid. Businesses such as brothels and gambling halls are not only tolerated but expected.[4][5]

To the rest of the world, Denerim is most famous as the birthplace of Andraste. In typical Fereldan fashion, however, the monument erected to the prophet in the Palace District is unassuming; a great rock adorned with a simple message of peace. Worshipers come from far and wide to touch the Birth Rock and issue a quiet and respectful prayer. This is how things are done in Denerim, and the locals would have it no other way.[6]

History Edit

Denerim, the capital of Ferelden, originally began as an outpost of the ancient Tevinter Imperium. Its mages rose up a dark tower from the side of a mountain, a symbol of the Imperium's power. As the Imperium faded, the tower passed to the hands of the teyrns that ruled the region for a millennium. Today that tower still stands as Fort Drakon, immediately recognizable to any ship that approaches the rocky coast. The city that has sprung up around it has almost been carved out of the side of the mountain it rests on, and during the Dragon Age, its population has grown beyond the city's ability to cope.[6]

The city of Denerim used to host the local Circle of Magi in a tower. However, after the tower was razed, the Circle moved to Kinloch Hold in 3:87 Towers.[7]

Denerim used to belong to Teyrn Simeon, Calenhad Theirin's biggest rival in the bid for kingship over the nation that is now known as Ferelden. In 5:33 Exalted, Calenhad defeated Simeon in the Battle of the White Valley [8] and was named teyrn of Denerim.[9]

Splr dao
“We now have a dog and Alistair is still the dumbest one in the party.” — Morrigan
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Origins. Click here to reveal them.

In 9:30 Dragon, Arl Eamon calls for an extraordinary Landsmeet to put an end to the Fereldan Civil War and settle the matter of succession following King Cailan's death at the Battle of Ostagar.

In 9:31, Denerim is attacked by the darkspawn horde. The Warden leads the army they have gathered to Denerim's gates in an effort to save it from utter destruction. After fighting their way through the city, the Warden vanquishes the Archdemon Urthemiel on top of Fort Drakon, thus putting an end to the Fifth Blight.
Splr wh
“"Do not follow me," I said, and slipped into the shadows.” — Morrigan
This article contains spoilers for Witch Hunt. Click here to reveal them.
By 9:32, Denerim has fully recovered from the war. Trade has been restored and pilgrims visit once again the birthplace of Andraste. However, the Alienage still lags behind, and its buildings are still not repaired.
Splr dai
“Whatever we were before, we are now the Inquisition.” — The Inquisitor
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Click here to reveal them.
If the Inquisitor allies with the Qunari in Demands of the Qun, a Venatori plot to burn the city down is uncovered. This plot can be successfully thwarted depending on war table actions. If not stopped, Denerim will take significant damage.
Splr dait
“I suspect you have questions.” — Solas
This article contains spoilers for Trespasser. Click here to reveal them.
In 9:44 Dragon, barrels of gaatlok are found hidden in Denerim's palace as part of a Qunari plot to take out the southern leadership and pave the way for their invasion. The Inquisitor discovers the plot during the Exalted Council and the barrels are removed before they can be detonated.

Map Edit

The PearlWarehouseMarket DistrictArl of Redcliffe's EstateThe AlienageFort DrakonBann of West Hill's EstateK's HideoutDeserted BuildingDark AlleyRansom Drop LocationRun-Down Back StreetArl of Denerim's EstateRoyal PalaceCity GatesDirty Back AlleyArl of Denerim's EstateMap - Denerim
About this image

Click (or mouse over) any location for details.

Places Edit

Ico Area Map Abandoned Orphanage
Ico Area Map Alarith's Store
Ico Estate Arl of Redcliffe's Estate
Ico Estate Arl of Denerim's Estate
Ico Estate Arl of Denerim's Estate - Dungeon
Ico Area Map Back Alley - random encounters
Ico Estate South Wing of Bann Franderel's Estate
Ico Area Map Cyrion's Home
Ico Other Location D's Hideout
Ico Back Alley Dark Alley
Denerim City Gates Icon Denerim City Gates
Ico Denerim Market District Denerim Market District
Ico Other Location Deserted Building
Ico Back Alley Dirty Back Alley
Ico Area Map Dirty Hovel
Ico Village Elven Alienage
Ico Castle Fort Drakon
Ico Area Map Genitivi's Home
Ico Area Map Gnawed Noble Tavern
Ico Other Location K's Hideout
Ico Area Map Marjolaine's Home
Ico Area Map Market Warehouse
Ico Estate Palace District
Ico Other Location Ransom Drop Location - part of the Trial of the Crows quest
Ico Estate Royal Palace
Ico Area Map Run-Down Alley
Ico Area Map Run-Down Apartments
Ico Back Alley Run-Down Back Street
Ico Area Map Side Street - scripted encounter
Ico Area Map Tevinter Hospice
Ico Other Location Tevinter Warehouse
Ico The Pearl The Pearl
Ico Area Map Valendrian's Home
Ico Area Map Wade's Emporium
Ico Area Map Wonders of Thedas

Companion remarks Edit

One of your companions may make interesting remarks at certain spots:

  • Entering the main market square
  • Approaching the Wonders of Thedas
  • Display in the back of the Wonders of Thedas
  • Entering the Gnawed Noble Tavern
  • Entering The Pearl brothel
  • Fountain outside Eamon's estate
  • Entering Alienage gate
  • At the vhenadahl tree in the Alienage

Banter Edit

Party banter may be triggered at the following spots:

  • Northwest part of the market district, just south of entrance
  • Entrance to Arl Eamon's Estate
  • Inside Wade's Emporium
  • In the side corridor of the Gnawed Noble Tavern

Notes Edit

  • In order to leave Denerim, at the bottom of the map, click on the scroll 'Wide open world'. Unlike other locations, Denerim does not have an exit location.

Trivia Edit

  • For a period during the Orlesian occupation of Ferelden, the City of Amaranthine was the capital instead of Denerim.[10]
  • Denerim used to be the teyrnir of the King, but it was reduced to an arling, as the King's domain is all of Ferelden.[11]
  • A branch of the Imperial Highway ends in Denerim, which is also its easternmost point.
  • "Where Willows Wail" is a lullaby local to Denerim and villages to the south. It was originally cataloged with other poems of war common to the Alamarri, though recent discoveries suggest an older elven connection.[12]

When waked, we walked where willows wail,
Whose withered windings wont wassail.
We weary-worn with wited wale,
were wavering with wanion ward.
When wishing waned, we wighters warred.
When wolfen wan, we wastrels warred.

Gallery Edit

External links Edit

BioWare's Denerim Page

References Edit

  1. Searle, Mike. "Traveler's Guide: Ferelden Details", Dragon Age: Origins Collector's Edition: Prima Official Game Guide.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Blood in Ferelden, pp. 90
  3. Dragon Age: Origins Collector's Edition: Prima Official Game Guide
  4. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Blood in Ferelden, pp. 90-91
  5. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 47
  6. 6.0 6.1 Denerim. Bioware Wiki.
  7. Kinloch Hold. BioWare wiki.
  8. Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 2
  9. Codex entry: History of Ferelden: Chapter 1
  10. Codex entry: The Port City of Amaranthine
  11. Codex entry: Politics of Ferelden
  12. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 201.

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