House is the formal term for dwarven families whose members are tied with bonds of kinship. The laws regarding houses are dictated by the caste system as well as their stature and rank within dwarven society.
The Importance of Honor to Houses Edit
Honor, or the illusion of it, is fundamental to dwarves. It shapes their lives and behavior and all elements of dwarven society. Therefore, every house and family polices itself and the honor and behavior of its members in order to avoid one of the very worst fates a dwarf can endure: being named oathbreaker and consequently shunned. This is a matter of especial importance to noble houses, as nobles are considered to set the mode for the behavior of all other castes. A house's honor is directly tied to the honor and behavior of its members and their deeds. A loss of honor for any member connotes a loss of honor for all in the house.
Known Houses Edit
Below are lists of the known dwarven houses, which are categorized depending on their caste. Houses of the same caste are then listed in an alphabetical order, while those whose status is unknown have their name italicized.
Noble Houses Edit
Noble houses are collections of noble families typically related by blood. Most noble houses were initially founded by a Paragon but some were founded by high caste dwarves not originally of noble stock, typically Warrior or Smith caste. The respect accorded to a noble house is proportional to its age and accomplishments. Sometimes impoverished noble houses will marry a child to a wealthy non-noble house to gain its wealth and to elevate the lesser house. Noble houses or important nobles alone often act as patrons to lesser houses or families as well as function as patrons to great warriors in Provings and artists of merit. The noble house gains honor as the subject of their patronage excels and achieves greater status, so the relationship is mutually beneficial.
- Branka [note]
- Brosca [note]
- Caridin † [note]
- Ferald † [note]
- Harrowmont [note]
- Ortan † [note]
- Tethras † [note]
- Voldin
Warrior Houses Edit
Warrior caste houses often pay the toll for Orzammar's safety and security. Indeed, there is not a single Warrior caste house or family that has not lost a child to the darkspawn. In spite of this, the Warrior caste is one of the most populous in Orzammar, perhaps due to the martial nature of dwarven society.
Smith Houses Edit
The Smith caste has produced many Paragons, owing to the importance of smithing inventions to dwarven society. As a result, there have been many noble houses comprised of smiths, and these houses are often sponsors of exceptional young smiths.
Miner Houses Edit
Houses of the Miner caste can be considered to have a great deal of influence, particularly in Orzammar, which was the ancestral home of the Smith and Miner castes, though they only rarely push their influence with the nobility.
Houses of Unknown Caste Edit
|“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.
- House Branka may become extinct if the Warden kills Branka during A Paragon of Her Kind quest.
- House Brosca is found if the Warden is of Dwarf Commoner Origin and survives the events of the Fifth Blight, thus becoming a Paragon.
- House Caridin is typically an extinct house and it's last member, Caridin may also be killed during A Paragon of Her Kind quest.
- House Ferald's last member, who voluntarily joined the Legion, due to his great personal sacrifice but also due to his noble descent, the Legion of the Dead could be considered as the heir of House Ferald and be elevated to minor nobility however with restrictions during the The Dead Caste quest.
- House Harrowmont becomes extinct if Bhelen Aeducan becomes the next King of Orzammar during A Paragon of Her Kind quest.
- House Ortan is re-established if the Warden completes Lost to the Memories quest.
- House Tethras ceases to exist by being exiled into the surface.