We die in the eyes of our brothers so we can fight without fear. It offers redemption for the greatest sacrifice.

The Legion of the Dead is an independent branch of the dwarven army that answers directly to the monarchy of Orzammar. It is considered to be the most intimidating and devastating force in the dwarven military and many attribute this to the fact that the Legionnaires consider themselves to be already dead.

Background Edit

The Legionnaire

The Legionnaire tarot card

We have survived one more night, my brothers and sisters! One more night to deliver vengeance on the spawn that stole our lands! One more night to spill their blood and hear their cries of terror!

The Legion is a military organization not unlike the Grey Wardens in that it accepts anyone from any level of society. Many join the Legion to avoid punishment for various crimes or to regain their honor. Others join to have their debts forgiven, thus restoring their Houses' lost honor. Some even join for the glory, and the Legion accepts them all the same.

Before they permanently leave Orzammar and enter the Deep Roads, the Legionnaires undergo a symbolic "funeral" where last goodbyes are spoken to friends and relatives and all ties to their former lives are cut. It begins with chanting and toasts, then the dwarves bid farewell to their friends and loved ones.[3] This funeral clears the dwarf's name and restores their family's lost honor.[4] They are recorded as dead in the Memories, viewed as having found glorious and redemptive death in battling the dwarves' eternal nemesis, the darkspawn. The Legionnaire must then work to make this a fact through a courageous and honorable death.

Legionnaires are typically marked with grim tattoos and equipped with heavy armor. When a Legionnaire dies in battle the Legion entombs him or her, thus returning them to the Stone.[5] The Legion celebrates the fact that the fallen has finally found peace.

Non-dwarves may also join the Legion, but this is very rare. The only known human to join the Legion was a man named Sir Aurelian Pentaghast who was disgraced when he attempted to assume the throne of Nevarra in 8:60 Blessed.[1][6]

The headquarters of the Legion of the Dead used to be located in Bownammar, also known as the City of the Dead, an impressive fortress which was designed by the Paragon Caridin. In 9:13 Dragon, it was abandoned to the darkspawn with great regret.[7] As the Legion's activities spread in a large portion of the Deep Roads and not only around Orzammar, they regularly create sturdy crates which contain clothing, food and weapons in various locations in case they are needed.[8]

The second death Edit

Warrior's Grave

A Legion grave located in the Ortan Thaig.

Rest well, my friends. For one hundred and twelve nights you lasted. Now it is time for you to return to the Stone, in the sight of the First Paragon.
—a funeral rite by Nalthur[2]

When a Legionnaire dies, there is a second funeral to return them to the Stone. If it is possible to do so, the remaining Legionnaires bury their fallen brethren. The bodies of the dead are placed in sarcophagi which are sealed within graves in order to protect them from being defiled by darkspawn.[2][9]

The nature of the Legion, however, means that as their numbers dwindle the very last of them will not be buried and given their return to the Stone.[2]

Involvement Edit

Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne Edit

Legionnaire Warrior - HoDA

A legionnaire warrior in Heroes of Dragon Age

In 8:99 Blessed, Prince Maric Theirin enlisted the aid of Nalthur and his soldiers, who were members of the Legion of the Dead (and had previously rescued the Prince and his companions from a darkspawn attack), in reclaiming the throne of Ferelden as part of the Fereldan Rebellion. He was able to have their aid by assuring them that he would tell the dwarves in Orzammar about their deeds, and bury them in the Stone, not in the surface. The dwarves apparently hold great respect for the word of the human kings, as this alone was enough to motivate even the most tentative of the Legion to leave the familiar environment of the Deep Roads for the surface. In the ensuing fight in Gwaren, the dwarven regiment destroyed half of the chevalier force. Some months afterwards, the Legionnaires participated in the Battle of River Dane as well, which was a crushing defeat for the Orlesian occupiers. However, Nalthur, as well as the rest of his regiment, were killed in the fight.

Dragon Age: Origins Edit


A legionnaire scout in Heroes of Dragon Age

When the Warden and their party reach the Dead Trenches, they meet a group of Legionnaires led by Kardol, who appears to be a high-ranking member of the Legion. He can later be persuaded with Master Coercion to bring the Legion to the surface to help with the Fifth Blight. Alternatively, if the Warden is of dwarf origin, Kardol happily offers to back the Warden. When initially asked about his plans for the Blight, Kardol states the Legion will cut off the darkspawn's retreat once the Archdemon is defeated, although if they are brought to the surface, he will personally fight alongside the Warden in battle against the Archdemon. Provided they come to the surface, the Legion supplies troops known as Legion Of The Dead Avengers to join the battle alongside regular dwarven troops, equipped with the distinctive armor set of the Legion and battleaxes.

During The Dead Caste quest, the Warden can deliver an insignia to the Shaperate which will possibly elevate the Legion to minor nobility because one of their former members was the last member of House Ferald. Furthermore, a fully adorned Legionnaire who interacts with a shrine faces the Gangue shade which is believed to be the gangue — the waste and unstable rock — which must be cut away from the raw Stone that encircles and protects the dwarves.[10]

If a dwarven Warden requests military aid for Orzammar as their boon and Bhelen Aeducan is King, the combined Ferelden-Orzammar offensive successfully drives the darkspawn all the way back to Bownammar.[11]

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening Edit

The Warden-Commander of Ferelden meets a Legionnaire scout named Sigrun whose unit was wiped out in an unsuccessful attempt to retake Kal'Hirol from the darkspawn. Inside Kal'Hirol, they find an injured Legionnaire named Jukka who warns them of the Children before succumbing to his wounds.

Dragon Age II Edit

Legacy Edit

It is revealed that for ten years, Paragon Garen sent many Legionnaire units to Corypheus' Prison in search of his exiled son who was falsely accused of murdering his sister. The Legionnaires were trapped in the prison and eventually died. Some of their bodies were found by Hawke at the tower base.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit

As a result of the alliance between Orzammar and the newly re-established Inquisition, one legionnaire, Korbin is assigned to aid the Inquisition in their conflict on the surface.

Splr dai
“Whatever we were before, we are now the Inquisition.” — The Inquisitor
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A sudden series of earthquakes in the aftermath of The Breach interfere with a Legion of the Dead investigation on behalf of the Shaperate and seriously imperil Dwarven mining trade. The Legion reach out to their traditional allies, the Grey Wardens for aid in investigating the matter but are unable to contact them. The legion then turns to their second choice, the re-established Inquisition to aid in an expedition to find the source of the quakes and neutralize them.

Joined by the Inquisitor personally, Lieutenant Renn and Shaper Valta range far into the Deep Roads, eventually breaking a darkspawn nest and establishing a Legion camp in the Ruins of Heidrun Thaig.

Known Legionnaires Edit

Two Legionnaires

Two members of the Legion of the Dead

Notes Edit

  • Kal-Sharok has its own version of Legion of the Dead known as the Rock-Knockers. They are less stoic and less committed to inevitable death, honorable or not.[21]
  • The heraldry of the Legion of the Dead is a stylized dwarven skull that's often colored white or grey, depending on the color surrounding it. It is emblazoned upon many of the Legion's armor, be them personal suits or shields.

See also Edit

Ico codex entry Codex entry: Legion of the Dead
Deephelm module Helm of the DeepHelm of the Deep
Heavy helmet
Steel (Tier 3)

Armor: 1.75
Fatigue: 2.48%
+2 constitution
+10 mental resistance
+10 physical resistance
Ico helm massive Rock-KnockerRock-Knocker
Massive helmet
Red Steel (Tier 5)
Requires: 36 strength

Armor: 2.70
Fatigue: 3.60%
+25 physical resistance
Ico armor massive Legion of the Dead armor setLegion of the Dead armor set

Dragonbone (Tier 7)

Armor: 28.76
Fatigue: 35.10%
+3 willpower
+4 attack
Set: +3 damage
Set: +3 constitution
Classico LegionScout Legionnaire Scout
Ico armor med Legionnaire Scout armor setLegionnaire Scout armor set
Item set
Dragonbone (Tier 7)
Requires: 34 strength

Armor: 17.51
Fatigue: 14.63%
Rune slot Rune slot Rune slot
+15% cold resistance
+6 attack
+3 dexterity
+25 stamina

-15% fire resistance
Set: +1.5 armor
Heraldry icon Heraldry: Legion of the DeadHeraldry: Legion of the Dead
Shield heraldry
The crest of the Legion of the Dead can be applied to a suitable shield.

+20 to all attributes
Defender Mail Icon Legionnaire's PlateLegionnaire's Plate
Common Heavy Armor

Armor: 76
+2% Melee Defense

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Codex entry: The Last Descent
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, p. 317
  3. Based on dialogue between Sigrun and Anders in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.
  4. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 22
  5. Probably in a cairn as great warriors are typically interred in cairns, as noted in Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 22
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 128
  7. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 141
  8. Dragon Age: The Calling, p. 391
  9. As seen with the sarcophagi found in the catacombs of the Dead Trenches or with the Warrior's Grave.
  10. Codex entry: The Gangue Shade
  11. Epilogue (Origins)#Orzammar
  12. Codex entry: Rock Wraith
  13. Codex entry: Second Legionnaire's Journal
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Codex entry: The Dead Caste
  15. 15.0 15.1 Codex entry: Topsider's Honor
  16. Codex entry: Third Legionnaire's Journal
  17. Codex entry: First Legionnaire's Journal
  18. Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 2, p. 40
  19. Codex entry: In Praise of the Humble Nug
  20. Mentioned by Sigrun during the last part of Sigrun's Roguish Past.
  21. Based on the Rock-Knocker description.