Mabari war hounds are a breed of dogs magically bred by the Formari.
Each mabari chooses their master for life in a process called imprinting. Although fierce combatants, a mabari companion is shown to be a highly sociable animal, and though not capable of speech, they can clearly respond to speech with growls, whines, barks and several other actions that demonstrate intelligent comprehension.
Of all the dog breeds that the Fereldans have produced, none are so highly regarded or so widely famed as the Mabari. Justly renowned, the Mabari are intelligent war hounds fully capable of understanding speech and interpreting complex commands. The bulk of Mabari will bond with a single warrior, whom they will fight beside and follow until death takes them, for there are many stories of Mabari avenging a fallen master before lying down beside his corpse to join him.
Mabari are huge mastiffs with a touch of wolf blood that stand as tall as a dwarf and just as wide. Their masters (or “partners” as many of those paired with Mabari prefer) will often choose a distinct style of war paint to mark them with so that they can better pick them out from other Mabari at a distance in the midst of a combat. Correspondingly, many Fereldans that frequently fight alongside Mabari will scent themselves with distinctively pungent body paint called “kaddis” which allows the dogs to easily mark them as allies. Due to their great value “feral” Mabari are all but unheard of.
In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden may have a mabari dog join their party, either by virtue of being high-born, or by helping to care for a sick dog at Ostagar. After the battle, the dog will find the party on the road, slightly ahead of a horde of pursuing darkspawn.
Even if the dog is not accepted after Ostagar, the Return to Ostagar DLC affords the Warden another opportunity; the mabari will be revealed to have survived the darkspawn infestation and will be alive and willing to accompany the party.
Players who have The Black Emporium DLC for Dragon Age II will obtain a mabari war hound, named Dog in the default tradition of Dragon Age: Origins. This mabari can be summoned as a small fifth party member akin to a Ranger summoning animals.
Mabari skills EditCharge Dread Howl Growl Overwhelm Shred
- Ostagar's Kennel Master states that mabari were bred by a mage to be intelligent enough to understand and perform complex commands.
- Fenris claims that mabari were originally bred in Tevinter and when the magisters came to Ferelden during an invasion some of the dogs defected and joined local tribes.
- In Act 3 of Dragon Age II, Hawke's mabari catches a burglar and scares him into an armoire during the quest Beware of Dog.
- The Dalish tell their dogs to "take the Dread Wolf by the ear if he comes." As in human culture, dogs are seen as protectors against unwanted wild beasts.