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FenHarel- The Dread Wolf

Fen'Harel: The Dread Wolf

In ancient times, only Fen'Harel could walk without fear among both our gods and the Forgotten Ones, for although he is kin to the gods of the People, the Forgotten Ones knew of his cunning ways and saw him as one of their own. And that is how Fen'Harel tricked them. Our gods saw him as a brother, and they trusted him when he said that they must keep to the heavens while he arranged a truce. And the Forgotten Ones trusted him also when he said he would arrange for the defeat of our gods, if only the Forgotten Ones would return to the abyss for a time. They trusted Fen'Harel, and they were all of them betrayed. And FenHarel sealed them away so they could never again walk among the People.
—From Codex entry: Fen'Harel: The Dread Wolf

Fen'Harel, the elven god of betrayal (or god of rebellion [1]) is also known as the Dread Wolf, He Who Hunts Alone,[2] Lord of Tricksters[3], The Great Wolf[4], Roamer of the Beyond, the old wolf[5], and Bringer of Nightmares. He was known as kin to both the Creators and the Forgotten Ones. His supposed betrayal of both clans of gods by sealing them away in their respective realms, never again to interact with the mortal world, is sometimes used to explain why the elven gods--particularly the benevolent Creators--did not intervene to prevent the fall of Arlathan.[6] Indeed, Fen'Harel has allegedly never been fond of the elven people[7] and is said to have spent centuries in a far corner of the earth after his great deception, hugging himself and giggling madly in glee.[8]

The Betrayal Edit

The deceit of Fen'Harel itself--known as the Great Betrayal--is sometimes described as a truce suggested by the Dread Wolf,[9] and other times as a hunt by the Creators and Forgotten Ones in the Heavens and the Abyss, respectively, for a blade Fen'Harel promised would stop a war.[10] It may even have been a bid by Fen'Harel to rule the Fade--or even Elvhenan itself--without the interference of the other elven gods.[11]

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.

Some evidence suggests the Betrayal was a much more complicated situation than originally believed. Cryptic conversations between Cole and Solas do not deny that Fen'Harel sealed away the other gods. However, they seem to imply that the Dread Wolf may have felt he had no choice in doing so, that in fact it was a decision made with great regret in order to save them and the elven people from internal war and civil strife, and that he expected the future to be better for the elves and was shocked to find it otherwise.[12]

Abelas also indicates that Mythal was murdered, not sealed away, and that the Dread Wolf was not responsible for what happened to her.
Splr dait
“I suspect you have questions.” — Solas
This article contains spoilers for Trespasser. Click here to reveal them.
Following the initial events of the Exalted Council and the attack by the Dragon's Breath conspiracy, The Inquisitor learns that the "Fen'Harel", or "Dread Wolf", was a mantle given to Solas by the Evanuris. He took it up in his fight against the "false gods" of the pantheon. Following their murder of Mythal, he banished them by forming the Veil. The destruction and dissipation of the elven people and their culture and marvels as a result of this caused the Dalish legends to view the act as a betrayal, while according to Solas "every alternative was worse."

Relationship with mortals Edit

Object-FenHarel Statue 2

A statue of Fen'Harel, the "Dread Wolf," found at a Dalish campsite.

When did I say that I would save you? ―Fen'Harel

Dalish elves generally consider Fen'Harel an evil god.[13] In the past, however, it is said that the Dread Wolf was called upon by elves for aid and advice in various matters, but always with a price. In spite of this, offerings of thanks were often given for Fen'Harel's help as he did follow through on promises of aid, if in an unorthodox manner. Since the fall of Arlathan, however, this practice has understandably fallen out of favor as a rule. In the modern day, statues of Fen'Harel are set facing away from any Dalish camp, as a reminder that the Dalish must always be wary, or else to protect against evil spirits.[14] Furthermore, Keepers wear rings of sylvanwood depicting Fen'Harel's betrayal of the elven gods as a reminder of their duty to protect their clan from him.[15]

Despite this wariness, Fen'Harel is reputed by the Dalish to continue to interact with elves in their dreams, sporting with them or dispensing dark knowledge at his whim.[16] He is also said to gleefully patrol the Fade, feasting on the souls of the dead.[17]

In spite of Fen’Harel’s reputation, however, he has been known to be invoked by Dalish elves to express dismay at unexpected events ("By the Dread Wolf!"), to demand the annihilation of an enemy (“Dread Wolf take you!”), when all seems lost,[18] and as a wary farewell (“May the Dread Wolf never hear your steps”). Furthermore, some Dalish elves still erect shrines to him and make offerings; perhaps as a form of appeasement, but still a sign that the fearful wariness in which the Dread Wolf is held by modern-day elves is not absolute.[19]

Exalted Plains - Shrine to Fen'Harel

A shrine to Fen'Harel in the Crow Fens (Exalted Plains).

Dalish elves do still honor Fen'Harel in their own way; it is simply not the same as how the other gods are worshipped. Dalish elves do not bring statues of him with them as they might do with those of the Creators, as his always remain outside elven camps and nevertheless remain a way to honor him no matter where they are. Therefore, Fen'Harel's statues remain common in the Dales at large in any place outside of a Dalish settlement, explaining their comparative ubiquity.[20]

Splr dait
“I suspect you have questions.” — Solas
This article contains spoilers for Trespasser. Click here to reveal them.
The Dread Wolf appears embarrassed by his poor reputation among the elves, the Dalish in particular.[21]
Splr dar
“Victory is in the Qun.” — Tallis
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age Redemption. Click here to reveal them.
Mask of Fen'Haral

The Mask of Fen'Harel

A Dalish clan staying in the Free Marches was in possession of an artifact called Mask of Fen'Harel. When combined with elven blood and activated in a Dalish place of power, such as the Mythal's altar atop Sundermount, the artifact was capable of tearing the Veil and thus opening a portal into the Fade. Using the Mask, a Qunari Saarebas addressed Fen'Harel as though the Dread Wolf was able to hear him.

Fen'Harel is mentioned as well in the uncommon text The Emergent Compendium.

Splr tme
“I have no wish to discuss our family's bloody history. I know it quite well, thank you.” — Empress Celene
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age: The Masked Empire. Click here to reveal them.
One Dalish Mage, Felassan did not hold with the common Dalish wariness of the Dread Wolf, and in fact knows a great deal about him, even going so far to take his name from one tale of Fen'Harel's "mercies". His tales of the Dread Wolf portray the god more as a clever antihero--rather than a malevolent being.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit

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.
Solas The Tower

In the Temple of Mythal, it is revealed that Fen'Harel was perhaps more a god of rebellion--"the rebel god"--than of deception, and that many Dalish myths portray him and his past incorrectly.[22] Furthermore, the ancient elven Sentinel Abelas confirms that the Dread Wolf had no part in the betrayal and murder of the goddess Mythal: one of the many crimes ascribed to him.

Fen Harel TOM

A statue of the Dread Wolf in the Temple of Mythal

In the aftermath of the Breach, it is revealed during a conversation between Solas and Flemeth that the Orb of Destruction Corypheus had been using was given to him by Solas, who is known to Flemeth as "Dread Wolf". Solas claims that he had given the orb to Corypheus seeking to unlock its true power—something he could not accomplish on his own, as he was too weak after awakening from his long slumber. Solas seems remorseful for his actions, recognizing that he deserves punishment. He claims, however, that while "[he] should pay the price," he cannot face this punishment yet, as the People still need him. He apologizes to Flemeth, which she answers with an embrace and an apology of her own. Following this exchange, Solas seems to affect Flemeth in some way and strands of light emerge from her body. She then collapses in his arms, seemingly petrified and devoid of color. When Solas raises his head, his eyes glow with the same light that had emanated from Flemeth.[23]

Flemeth/Mythal intended to sacrifice her power to him, knowing Solas/Fen'Harel's drive to restore the elven people, so long as she can pass her god-hood to Morrigan.[24]

Trespasser Edit

Splr dait
“I suspect you have questions.” — Solas
This article contains spoilers for Trespasser. Click here to reveal them.
Trespasser Dread Wolf Mural

A fresco of the Dread Wolf, suspected to be a self-portrait

Notes The Inquisitor finds reveal Fen'Harel led a rebellion against the other elven gods known as the Evanuris. His original name, however, was Solas. Though meant to be an insult, Solas took the name "Dread Wolf" as a badge of pride, as it inspired hope in his friends and fear in his enemies as he fought against the false gods of the pantheon - in reality, mortal mages - called the Evanuris.

In their lust for more power, the other Evanuris murdered Mythal, whom Fen'Harel saw as the best of "the first of [his] people," a voice of reason and one of the only decent beings among the elven pantheon. As punishment, Fen'Harel was driven to create the Veil, banishing the Evanuris forever in torment and causing the legend of his supposed betrayal. Furthermore, Solas claims that had he not banished the Evanuris, they were sure to destroy the world.

Lifting the Vallaslin

The Dread Wolf removes the vallaslin of the false gods from fleeing elven slaves

During the height of the Evanuris' power, Fen'Harel fought as a powerful protector and rebel who worked to free slaves bound by vallaslin and granted them sanctuary from their tyrannical masters. His people defended the valley in which the sanctuary sat, and he protected them all. Many the Dread Wolf freed joined him in his fight for freedom from the gods.[25]

In contemporary times, Solas' unswerving dedication to restore the elves' glory has amassed him many followers among the elven populace across Thedas. None can guess how vast the agents of Fen'Harel are, but many of them span across Thedas and some were even embedded in the Inquisition. Fen'Harel hopes to restore the People and the world to what it was--the world of the ancient elves--even if it means destroying Thedas and its people, including modern day elves. This had in fact been his initial plan: to use the Orb of Fen'Harel, as well as the Inquisitor's mark (which would not kill him), to remove the Veil and restore the People after Corypheus died unlocking its power.

Fen'Harel has vowed to walk the solitary path of the Din'Anshiral in order to restore the elven people at any cost. Following the Exalted Council's final events, it is revealed that some elves have begun to leave the Inquisition, and others from their roles as servants throughout the land, seemingly to join the Rebel God's cause.

Prior to this fateful decision, Fen'Harel had made use of his agent, Felassan, to take control of the eluvian network in order to further his plans to restore the People. When Felassan failed, the Dread Wolf killed his old friend and personally wrested control of the mirrors from Briala, as well as the Dragon's Breath.

Fables of the Dread Wolf Edit

H ashwarria 0

An Image of Fen'Harel

The Courser and the Wolf Edit

"You know what the Dalish say to their dogs? “Take the Dread Wolf by the ear if he comes.""
"Long ago, a clan lived on the Silent Plains. It was a terrible, lonely place where the sun was forbidden to shine. Their Keeper had a coursing hound. They had run down deer and hares and wolves together when they were young. But they had grown old together, Keeper and hound, and now only dozed before the campfire, dreaming of hunts."
"But then the Dread Wolf came, for the Keeper was wise and kind—the things Fen’Harel hates above all else. At night, he tried to steal into the Keeper’s dreams, to twist his mind and turn him against the People. But even in dreams, the courser guarded his master. He caught the Dread Wolf’s scent and gave chase across the Fade."
"Fen’Harel tried to shake his pursuer, but the hound ran as coursers can only run in their dreams. Even the wind couldn’t have fled that hound. He ran the Dread Wolf down and grabbed him by the tail! Fen’Harel howled, so loud that the Veil shook and even the stars scattered in fear. But the hound wouldn’t let go."
"Neither hound nor Wolf gave in. Finally, Fen’Harel bit off his own tail to escape, and away he fled. Ever since, the Dread Wolf thinks twice about playing his tricks when dogs are on guard."
Merrill, First of the Sabrae Clan[26]

The Slow Arrow Edit

The god Fen'Harel was asked by a village to kill a great beast. He came to the beast at dawn, and saw its strength, and knew it would slay him if he fought it. So instead, he shot an arrow up into the sky. The villagers asked Fen'Harel how he would save them, and he said to them, 'When did I say that I would save you?' And he left, and the great beast came into the village that night and killed the warriors, and the women, and the elders. It came to the children and opened its great maw, but then the arrow that Fen'Harel had loosed fell from the sky into the great beast's mouth, and killed it. The children of the village wept for their parents and elders, but still they made an offering to Fen'Harel of thanks, for he had done what the villagers had asked. He had killed the beast, with his cunning, and a slow arrow that the beast never noticed.
--Felassan, to Briala[27]

The Noble and the Dread Wolf Edit

Felassan: "There was a young noble in fair Arlathan, and it happened that the elven king lost one of his two daughters to a serpent's bite. At the ceremony to commemorate her life, the young noble saw an elven lady so fair and perfect that his heart broke--but by the laws of ancient Arlathan, he was forbidden to speak with her during the ceremony, and he did not learn who she was, so he could not ask her family to court her. The young noble prayed to the gods that he might meet the elven lady again. He prayed to Mythal for love, and Dirthamen for the secret of the elven lady's name, and to Andruil for luck in the hunt for this woman. And finally, he made an offering to Fen'Harel...and the Dread Wolf was the only one who answered. In a dream that night, he told the noble what he needed to do to see his heart's love again. Do you know what he said?"
Briala: "Kill the king's other daughter."[28]

Fen'Harel and the Tree Edit

"In the story, Fen'Harel was captured by the hunting goddess, Andruil. He had angered her by hunting the halla without her blessing, and she tied him to a tree and declared that he would have to serve in her bed for a year and a day to pay her back. But as she made camp that night, the dark god Anaris found them, and Anaris swore that he would kill Fen'Harel for crimes against the Forgotten Ones. Andruil and Anaris decided that they would duel for the right to claim Fen'Harel.
He called out to Anaris during the fight and told him of a flaw in Andruil's armor just above the hip, and Anaris stabbed Andruil in the side, and she fell. Then Fen'Harel told Anaris that he owed the Dread Wolf for the victory and ought to get his freedom. Anaris was so affronted by Fen'Harel's audacity that he turned and shouted insults at the prisoner, and so he did not see Andruil, injured but alive, rise behind him and attack with her great bow. Anaris fell with a golden arrow in his back, badly injured, and while both gods slumbered to heal their wounds, Fen'Harel chewed through his ropes and escaped."
--Felassan, to Briala[29]

The Betrayal Edit

The carvings tell the story of the Betrayal. The Dread Wolf tricking all the gods away from the world. Long ago, there were two clans of gods. The Creators looked after the People. The Forgotten Ones preyed upon us. And one god who was neither. Fen'Harel, the Dread Wolf. He was kin to the Creators, and in the old days, often helped them in their endless war against the Forgotten Ones. We barely even remember all their names, let alone who struck the first blow, who was wrong...
Fen'Harel was clever. He could walk among both clans of gods without fear, and both believed he was one of them. He went to each side, and told them the other had forged a terrible weapon, a blade that would end the war. He told the Creators it was forged in the heavens, and the Forgotten Ones, that it was hidden in the abyss. And when the gods went seeking it, he sealed them both in their realms forever. Now he alone is left in the world.
--Merrill to Hawke during Memento of the Dalish (diplomatic option in the middle of the conversation)

Where Willows Wail (Roughly Translated) Edit

We/it lost eternity or the ruined tree of the People,
Time won’t help when the land of dreams is no longer our journey.
We try to lead despite the eventual failing of our markings.
To the inevitable and troubling freedom we are committed.
When we could no longer believe, we lost glory to war.
When the Wolf failed/won, we lost the People to war.

--Documented by minstrels assisting the University of Orlais in cataloguing folktales of Thedas[30]

See also Edit

Ico dagger FangFang
Varies (Tier 4-7)
Requires: 18 dexterity

Damage: 5.20
Critical chance: 3.90%
Armor penetration: 5.80
Strength modifier: 0.85
+6 attack
+6 damage vs. beasts

+3 cunning
+5% melee critical chance
+6 attack
+10% critical/backstab damage
+1 nature damage
Plot item DA2 Sylvanwood RingSylvanwood Ring
Amulet gold DA2 Fen'Harel's ToothFen'Harel's Tooth

+15 defense
+239 nature resistance
Bonus to evade traps
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: The Rebel God

Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Constellation: Fenrir

Text ico Ancient Mosaics
Text ico The Treachery of the Wolf
Text ico Qunari Notes

Trivia Edit

  • Dalish elves sometimes practice a savage game with human prisoners called "Fen'Harel's Teeth," wherein a prisoner's clothes are taken and their hands lashed together. The prisoner is given hard leather leggings with small nails driven into them to cause pain, and given a hundred-count head start before the clan gives chase.[31]
  • The Emprise Du Lion region is a part of the Dales, and so retains a few elven artifacts, including two statues of wolves, to which passing Dalish clans make offerings of flowers.[32]
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.
  • Though his current persona of Solas is a mage, the tale of "The Slow Arrow" appears to portray the Dread Wolf as an archer. Ancient elven folktales also tell, provocatively, of a trickster warrior leading a rebellion against tyrants.[33]
  • Mythal and The wolf were close friends and had greetings among their agents to recognize each other. [34]

References Edit

  1. Codex entry: The Rebel God
  2. According to Keeper Lanaya following the quest Nature of the Beast.
  3. Codex Entry: Arlathan: Part Two.
  4. According to Tamlen.
  5. Codex entry: Torn Notebook in the Deep Roads, Section 2.
  6. Codex entry: Arlathan: Part Two
  7. Green Ronin. Dragon Age Set 2 Tabletop Player's Guide, pg. 23.
  8. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 121
  9. Codex entry: Fen'Harel: The Dread Wolf
  10. According to conversation with Merrill regarding the Sylvanwood Ring gift.
  11. Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1, pg. 143.
  12. According to dialogue with Solas, and banters between Solas and Blackwall.
  13. According to Tamlen.
  14. According to an elven Inquisitor when examining the statue of Fen'Harel in the Temple of Mythal.
  15. According to Merrill regarding the Sylvanwood Ring.
  16. Green Ronin. Dragon Age Set 2 Tabletop Player's Guide, pg. 23.
  17. Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1, pg. 143.
  18. According to Dragon Age: The Last Court.
  19. Per description of the shrine in Ghilan'nain's Grove in the Exalted Plains.
  20. The Bittersweetest Thing.
  21. He appears puzzled and confused by the Dalish curse "May the Dread Wolf take you!" during the DLC's final conversation, particularly if romanced.
  22. According to Codex entry: The Rebel God, the suffix "harel" and word "harellan" (trickster, or traitor to one's kin), may actually derive from the more ancient Elvish words "harillen" (opposition) or "hellathen" (noble struggle).
  23. Video of the ending of Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  24. Reddit post-credit scene explained.
  25. Note: Ancient Mosaics
  26. According to conversation with Merrill at the Hawke Estate with The Black Emporium DLC installed.
  27. Patrick Weekes. The Masked Empire, pg. 73.
  28. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 183.
  29. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 319.
  30. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 201.
  31. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 221.
  32. According to a letter found near a wolf statue in Alphonse's Passage, signed by the local mayor.
  33. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, pp. pg 66..
  34. As seen here.

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