Old Gods are beings that were worshipped by a significant number of Thedosians, specifically the mages of the Tevinter Imperium, thousands of years ago. The mages worshipped them in the form of dragons. Legend holds that it was the Old Gods who initially taught mages how to use magic. It is widely believed—if not generally accepted as self-evident—throughout Thedas that the archdemons are the sleeping Old Gods, tainted and corrupted by the darkspawn.
Early history and imprisonment Edit
We dreamed up false gods, great demons
Who could cross the Veil into the waking world,
Turned our devotion upon them, and forgot you.—From Threnodies 1
The true nature of the Old Gods is unknown. The Old Gods are not creators and even the people of ancient Tevinter attributed the creation of the world to the Maker, although by a different name.
The Chantry teaches that when the Maker turned his back on spirits, some of them grew jealous of the living. Those powerful enough whispered to the living in dreams claiming that they were the true gods, the creators of the world and the living should bow down before them. Eventually, the living summoned them through the Veil. In the mortal realm these spirits took the form of dragons, winged Old Gods that ruled over the land. The living started to worship them instead of the Maker, an act recognized as the "Original Sin." In fury the Maker cursed the Old Gods, imprisoning them in underground tombs where they would slumber eternally.
Some accounts suggest that the Old Gods began whispering to humanity from the Golden City in -2800 Ancient, three hundred years after the arrival of humans in Thedas. They taught the dreamers of the Neromenian tribes magic, and these dreamers became the priests and kings of their people. Originally the Neromenian tribes worshiped fallen heroes reborn as dragons, and with dreamers as their leaders they began to instead worship the dreamers' gods, also as dragons.
Scholars assume that the Old Gods must have been real at one point, but most agree that they were actual dragons of a magnitude not known today, and impressive enough to frighten ancient peoples into worshiping them. Some even claim that these dragons slumber as a form of hibernation, not as a result of the Maker's wrath.
Worship in Tevinter Edit
The demons who would be gods,
Began to whisper to men from their tombs within the earth.
And the men of Tevinter heard and raised altars
To the pretender-gods once more—From Threnodies 5
Legend maintains that the minds of the Old Gods continued to roam the Fade like any other dreaming individuals' mind would, and they were able to contact Neromenian dreamers once more. Honorary Archon, Thalsian accredited his discovery of blood magic in -1595 Ancient to the Old God Dumat and established the first temples dedicated to the Old Gods to show his gratitude.
Four centuries later, in -1195 Ancient Darinius founded the Tevinter Imperium and established the magisterium from the priesthood of the Old Gods. In the days of the Tevinter Imperium, the Old Gods were a pantheon of deities widely revered by most citizens, with temples and priesthoods dedicated to their veneration, such as the acolytes of Dumat, who swore oaths of silence in homage to their lord. Dragons became equated everywhere with Imperial power. Holidays were popularly celebrated in tribute to the Old Gods, namely the Festival of Urthemiel, which spanned an entire week.
Then a voice whispered within their hearts,
You are the Lords of the earth!
Go forth to claim the empty throne
Of Heaven and be gods.—From Threnodies 8
In -395 Ancient seven magisters, each a high priest to one of the Old Gods physically entered the Golden City. The Chantry holds that they did so at the behest of the Old Gods in a failed attempt to usurp the Maker's throne, an act recognized as the "Second Sin". The City turned black and the magisters were cast out as the first darkspawn, inadvertently causing the First Blight. While the Chantry insists that the darkspawn tainted Old God Dumat and turned him into the first Archdemon, some ancient lore says it was Dumat who created the darkspawn and not the other way around.
The event of the First Blight led to a crisis of faith across the Imperium, shaken at the devastation their own god relentlessly championed. Several temples were razed by betrayed believers, slaughtering priests to the Old Gods as retribution for their unheeded prayers. Today, cults devoted to the Old Gods are rumored to still exist in some places, but the religion has since been for the most part replaced with the monotheistic worship of the Maker.
The Call Edit
All darkspawn constantly hear the call of the slumbering Old Gods and search for them. When they find one, they corrupt it and it becomes an Archdemon, proceeding to unite them into a horde and unleash a new Blight. Hence many believe that with the death of all Old Gods the Blights will end. At some time after their Joining, Grey Wardens also start hearing this call. This is the actual Calling and the moment when Grey Wardens know they must descend into the Deep Roads to find their death in battle lest they become fully tainted, nothing more than ghouls.
Bregan describes the call of the Old Gods as a sound of "terrible beauty" and "awful yearning", while the Architect considers darkspawn pursuit for the ancient dragons as a never-ending aspiration towards a perfection they can never have, as it is corrupted in the instant they touch it. Cole hears the call in the Western Approach and feels that it has "an urgency that sped his heart" and is different from the song of lyrium.
The Old Gods Edit
The Tevinters worshipped seven Old Gods. The first—and the leader of the others—was called Dumat, the Dragon of Silence.
- Dumat, the Dragon of Silence and the archdemon of the First Blight
- Zazikel, the Dragon of Chaos and the archdemon of the Second Blight
- Toth, the Dragon of Fire and the archdemon of the Third Blight
- Andoral, the Dragon of Slaves and the archdemon of the Fourth Blight
- Urthemiel, the Dragon of Beauty and the archdemon of the Fifth Blight
- Razikale, the Dragon of Mystery
- Lusacan, the Dragon of Night
A Chantry scholar conjectured that there might have been an unknown eighth Old God represented by constellation "Draconis" that was stricken from historical record.
- The Grey Wardens know the locations of the prisons of each of the Old Gods; however, they are deep underground and cannot easily be accessed by the Wardens without cutting through thousands of darkspawn.
See also Edit
- ↑ David Gaider (2010). "The Chantry, The Maker, The Old Gods: questions" . BioWare Social Network. Retrieved on March 23, 2015.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Dragon Age: Origins Collector's Edition: Prima Official Game Guide
- ↑ Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 12
- ↑ Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 121-122
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Codex entry: The Old Gods
- ↑ Mentioned by the Sten as an Arishok in Dragon Age: Those Who Speak, chapter 2.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 122
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 3, p. 6
- ↑ Codex entry: Dumat, the Dragon of Silence
- ↑ Codex entry: The Chant of Light: The Blight
- ↑ Codex entry: Corypheus
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Conversations with Corypheus in Dragon Age 2 Legacy DLC and in Dragon Age: Inquisition during In Your Heart Shall Burn and Doom Upon All the World.
- ↑ According to the memories of Corypheus' servant.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Corypheus's Memories
- ↑ Codex entry: A Different Darkspawn?
- ↑ Chatting With David Gaider.
- ↑ Dragon Age: Last Flight, Chapter 3
- ↑ Dialogue between Solas and Blackwall.
- ↑ Dragon Age: The Calling, Chapter 6
- ↑ Dragon Age: Asunder, Chapter 9
- ↑ Dragon Age: Asunder, Chapter 11
- ↑ Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, pp. 122-123
- ↑ Mentioned in Dragon Age: The Calling.