Argent Spire (Minrathous)
The Imperial Chantry is a denomination of the Chantry centered in the Tevinter Imperium. The Imperial Chantry does not recognize the Divine of the Chantry of Andraste in Orlais, but elects its own Imperial Divine—sometimes called the "Black Divine" by the Chantry of Andraste. This "Black Divine" is known to reside in the Argent Spire in Minrathous, therefore it can be assumed that this is where the Imperial Chantry's headquarters are located. In contrast to the Andrastian Chantry, the Imperial Chantry allows male priests and has more tolerant views of mages and magic and the Imperial Divine is one of the Enchanters of Minrathous Circle.
At one point the Chantry was the same across every land it touched in Thedas, starting at its founding, when Justinia I was named the first Divine. However, the Chantry never fully defeated the magister lords of the Tevinter Imperium. When Tevinter accepted the Chantry's laws and teachings, the magisters surrendered to the Circle of Magi, but only on their terms.
The mages of Tevinter were not common peasants or surrendered children like they usually were in the southern lands. Magic is a valued trait in Tevinter, nurtured and carried through ancient bloodlines. Thus, the Chantry was trying to control Tevinter's elite, the most powerful of their highborn. As a result, the mages of Tevinter retained much influence and power even under Chantry control. Tevinter commoners also view magic as a gift and a part of their culture, so mages are respected across all social classes more than in other countries.
The Chantry struggled to maintain and spread its influence in the Tevinter Imperium. The Chantry's mistrust for magic conflicted with the native culture, which still viewed magic as a mark of honor. The Chantry held on to power in Tevinter for nearly four centuries before these incompatible beliefs finally caused open conflict.
The conflict began when Tevinter's Grand Clerics argued that the Chant of Light's commandment, "magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him," meant that magic must serve the greater good. They believed that this could be accomplished by freeing Magi to take part in government. The Chantry in Orlais demanded that they revert to the original Chant. Tevinter refused.
In 3:87 Towers, Tevinter broke from the Orlesian Chantry. Tevinter placed Valhail, a male member of their Circle of Magi, as head of their Chantry. The Imperial Divine (also known as the Black Divine) declared a celebration when the Divine Joyous II died. Outraged, the new White Divine named the next age the "Black Age" and ordered an Exalted March against the Tevinter Imperium.
There were four Marches in total as Val Royeaux's Chantry amassed armies and proceeded to invade the Imperium. However, Tevinter held its defenses. All four Marches failed to take Minrathous or force the Imperial Chantry to surrender. With their mages free from Chantry shackles, the Imperium unleashed its full magical might against its invaders. This, combined with the aid of foreign mages seeking refuge in Tevinter, caused massive casualties on the White Divine's forces.
The unsuccessful Exalted Marches ensured the divide between Val Royeaux and Minrathous could never be bridged. After Val Royeaux's retreat, Tevinter officially separated and established their own teachings. To this day the White and Black Divines both refuse to recognize the legitimacy and authority of the other. The only cooperation between them has been during the Blights and the wars against Qunari invasions.
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The principal teaching of the Imperial Chantry (and the one which led to the schism with the Andrastian Chantry), is their interpretation of the words, "magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him." The magisters interpret this to mean that magic must serve the greater good; they claim it can be accomplished by Magi ruling. The Tevinter priests altered the Chant to reflect that magic must be used in the service of all mankind for their prosperity and condemned the Chantry in Orlais. This allowed the magisters to reclaim their ancient authority and once again rule the Imperium. Meanwhile, the Chantry in Orlais remains firm in its belief that Magi are untrustworthy and should be controlled. Both Chantries condemn each other about their views on magic.
While the Chantry of Orlais believes that Andraste was divine, and was taken up to stand beside the Maker when she died, the Imperial Chantry maintains she was just a mortal prophet with considerable magical talent, even if she is a symbol of hope. While the Imperial Chantry still respects and honors Andraste considerably, they forbid the worship of her that is practiced in the Orlesian Chantry and instead focus only on worshiping the Maker.
In the Chantry of Val Royeaux, only women may become revered mothers, Grand Clerics and Divine; men are only ordained as brothers. In the Imperial Chantry men have access to all levels of rank in the Tevinter Imperium. In fact, the first appointed Black Divine was both a man and a powerful mage. This was the ultimate sacrilege to the followers of the White Divine.
Imperial Templars Edit
According to Fenris, templars are controlled by magisters and exist only to enforce the law. It does seem that the Imperial templars must act if a mage crosses the line and uses forbidden magics; they can even use the Right of Annulment. However, where that line is, is unclear since the use of blood magic seems to be common among the upper class, despite being officially forbidden.
Since the restoration of the mageocracy, the templars are under the authority of the magisters and thereby the Circle of Magi. Lambert used to be an Imperial templar and claimed that, in fact, the Templar Order has no power there.
The majority of Imperial templars lack the ability to counter magic. They are primarily soldiers.
See also Edit
- ↑ Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pg. 124.
- ↑ Prima Official Game Guide: DAO Collector's Edition.
- ↑ http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/4546148&lf=8
- ↑ Gaider, David. "Why don't mages go to Tevinter?" Bioware Social Network.