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The Stone

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The stone

a shrine to The Stone in Kal Repartha

Drink deep of the ale while it's still cold.
Marvel at the breadth of the hall.
Once you couldn't move for the host.
The Stone now embraces them all.
 ―Shaper Tole[1]

The dwarves believe that they are the Children of the Stone, born of the earth itself. According to Shaper Czibor, this veneration of the Stone has been practiced for two thousand years by the dwarves.[2] They refer to the Stone as "she". Being practical, the dwarves venerate her, but do not worship her as a god. The Stone is believed to be a living and a shifting entity with a will that surrounds and guides the dwarves. She supports them, shelters them, and offers them the most priceless gifts of the earth, such as ore, gems, and lyrium.

Influence of the Stone Edit

Dwarves experience a unique and all-encompassing relationship to their progenitor, the Stone. They are born of it, they serve it in their deeds, and they feel its impact upon their lives in many ways. In Orzammar, the Shapers who maintain written records in lyrium are said to document the Stone. Dwarves from the miner caste are able to find lyrium veins by ear[3] and some of them claim that they hear the Stone sing.[4] Before the darkspawn, the Stone once held an empire—dozens of thaigs—and according to the dwarves, the Archdemons are sleeping deep in the very Stone itself.[5] The dwarves who fight the darkspawn, including the Legion of the Dead, are believed to fight for her.

Dwarves who live underground possess an ability called "Stone sense".[6] This ability provides subterranean navigation and dwarves believe that it is derived from their connection to the Stone.

Return to the Stone Edit

Dwarves entomb their dead to return them to the Stone.[7] Nobles and Paragons are entombed in vast and elaborate crypts while commoners are encased within stone cairns. Dwarves of lesser caste are buried in mausoleums in which the dead from many houses are interred together. Failing that, they are buried in the dirt, though this is never ideal.[8]

The spirits of the worthy who were not blind to the Stone's influence and lived by her are believed to return to and to rest in the Stone after the words of a ritual[9] are said. In death their spirits become part of the Ancestors who guide and care for their descendants for eternity as well as make the Stone stronger.[8] They are deemed to speak to future generations with the voice of the Provings. The most worthy, the Paragons who are the greatest examples of lives spent in service to fellow dwarves, are believed to join with the Stone in life and to become the living Ancestors.

The unworthy and possibly the casteless or surface dwarves are said to be outright rejected by the Stone so that their failings may not weaken her.[8][10] Even during their lifetime, the surface dwarves lose their connection to the Stone. The spirits that are rejected by the Stone are believed to be unable to rest, and after their death they become rock wraiths[11] or other restless and often malevolent spirits[12] wandering remote caverns.[8]

The Gangue Edit

Dwarves believe that the Stone is not pure, for she bears a corruption as old as balance. For the dwarves to prosper the gangue — the waste and unstable rock — must be cut away from the raw Stone. Each dwarf must carve the worst of themselves away, but the Legion of the Dead bears a unique responsibility to protect the Stone herself from the darkness that afflicts her. The gangue can also be translated from Old Dwarven as "impure spirit-of-the-stone" and manifests as demons bound into the rock.

Splr dao
“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.
The Warden or their ally in a special set of armor can activate the Legion of the Dead Relic in the Dead Trenches and summon the Gangue Shade.
Splr da2
“There are men who embrace destiny; these are the ones that change the world forever.” — Flemeth
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age II. Click here to reveal them.
A similar but far more fearsome concept is the Poison of the Stone, Malvernis. Though an abomination rather than a demon, it was specifically sealed away by the dwarves.
Splr dai
“Whatever we were before, we are now the Inquisition.” — The Inquisitor
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Click here to reveal them.
The Inquisitor discovers five ancient dwarven tombs in the Hissing Wastes. Each of them is sealed, and lighting braziers with veilfire in the correct order breaks the seal, while choosing the wrong order releases demons from the rocks. The Venatori who study the chambers note that "gangue" is carved into the walls. If Cole is present when the demons are summoned, he comments that "They were Dwarves. They think they still are. They sound like dust tastes."

Notes Edit

See also Edit

Ico codex entry Codex entry: Dwarven Faith
Ico codex entry Codex entry: The Shaper's Life
Ico codex entry Codex entry: The Gangue Shade
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Demons of the Stone
StrengthOfStone Strength of Stone

References Edit

  1. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 9
  2. Mentioned during the The Chant in the Deep quest.
  3. Codex entry: Lyrium (Origins)
  4. Codex entry: The Crosscut Drifters
  5. Codex entry: Orzammar History: Chapter One
  6. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, p. 360
  7. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 22
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 126
  9. Codex entry: Third Legionnaire's Journal
  10. Codex entry: The Casteless
  11. Codex entry: Rock Wraith
  12. Such as the shades resembling dwarves found in underground location such as the Ortan Thaig in Dragon Age: Origins.
  13. BSN David Gaider (2010). "The Chantry, The Maker, The Old Gods: questions" . The BioWare Forum. Retrieved on April 9, 2012.
  14. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 143
  15. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 86

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