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Dragon Age II has gamers wondering what the future holds for BioWare's fantasy epic, but some answers can be found by examining the past. The developer has mapped out centuries of history for Thedas (the continent where the Dragon Age series takes place), and these excerpts from BioWare's timeline contain several clues as to central themes and key locations you'll explore in the series' next entry.
- See also: Ages
- 620 Ancient Times: Kirkwall, the last of the great Imperial cities, is founded in the distant Free Marches by the powerful archmage, Eremius Krayvan. Elven slaves were brought in by the thousands to work the stone quarries, and suffered hardships that would give the city a dark and bloody reputation. In time it became known as the “City of Chains,” the center of the Imperial slave market and the destination of all those captured by the spread of arcane rule.
- 25 Ancient Times: As the borders of the Imperium receded, Kirkwall became one of their lone outposts within a distant and violent frontier. The surrounding territory was quickly divided into what would become Orlais, the barbarian Free Marches, as well as the new elven homeland of the Dales. Despite its isolation, Kirkwall fought off many invading armies and did not fall until the slaves within the city finally rebelled, executing their Tevinter rulers in an orgy of violence. Possession of the fortress city remained contested for centuries to come, but it would never again rejoin the Imperium.
- 7:60 Storm Age: The brutal qunari occupation of Kirkwall was defeated by Orlesian forces, who installed a chevalier as interim ruler of the profitable trade city. The move was opposed by the allied cities of the Free Marches, as well as by many elves who briefly had become equal citizens under the Qun. Rebellions within Kirkwall and threats from other trading partners prompted Orlais to withdraw. For the first time, the nobles of Kirkwall were free to decide their own government, and the first Viscount of Kirkwall is appointed.
- 9:21 Dragon Age: Lord Marlowe Dumar is appointed the new Viscount of Kirkwall, replacing Perrin Threnhold, a tyrant killed by the city’s templars “for the good of all.” It is noted by many, however, that Threnhold’s abuses were only opposed after he tried to have the templar order expelled. It is said that Dumar holds power at the sufferance of the templars, and that their order has grown extremely powerful in Kirkwall during his reign. They have become the center of Chantry strength in eastern Thedas and hold their Circle of Magi in a terrifying, iron grip.