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Uthenera (literally "long sleep" or "endless dream"; also translated as "immortal"[1]) is a prolonged slumber practiced by ancient elves.

Dalish stories Edit

Legends tell that ancient elves were immortal in the sense that they neither aged nor died from natural causes. Yet their elders eventually became weary of life and memories. Then they would voluntary enter a slumber-like state known as uthenera. While their bodies would remain in the mortal realm, their spirits would cross the Veil and wander the shifting paths of the Beyond, accompanied by two children of Mythal - Falon'Din and his twin brother Dirthamen This state did not necessarily equal death, as some would return after centuries of sleep and share the secrets of dreams with the People. Yet many would never wake up: their bodies would deteriorate and they would in fact die.

The Dalish claim that in the time of Elvhenan uthenera was viewed as an act of reverence. An elder would retire to a chamber that was one part bed and one part tomb and, to great ceremony from all the extended family, would succumb to slumber. The family would continue to visit the chamber to pay respect to the one who made such a sacrifice. The Sundermount in the Vimmark Mountains is a notable site where elven elders came to sleep.

In Elvhenan Edit

Splr tme
“I have no wish to discuss our family's bloody history. I know it quite well, thank you.” — Empress Celene
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According to Felassan, some elves in uthenera were able to reach "perfection" and draw sustenence from the Fade rather than dying in their sleep. Elves in uthenera were tended by servants to prevent discomfort from waking them, and who bathed them in scented oils to provide them the spark of wisdom on their journey.[2]

An elf who had perfected themselves no longer required the potion of water, honey and herbs used to keep mages alive during uthenera (this was determined by brushing the potion on the lips at the full moon and determining at the new moon if it had been imbibed or not). Such elves were moved into beds of pure white, signifying their achievement.[3]

In the days of Arlathan, Dreamers were also sometimes approached by earnest supplicants. These individuals would enter the Dreamers' burial/bed chamber and walk a labyrinth truly visible only to elves; if in earnest, they would find the answers they sought in their dreams.[4]

In modern Thedas Edit

According to the Dalish, elves started aging with the arrival of humans, and the practice of uthenera began to fade.[5]

Splr dait
“I suspect you have questions.” — Solas
This article contains spoilers for Trespasser. Click here to reveal them.
In fact, they lost their immortality because Solas created the Veil.

Still elders would come to slumber even to the places built by humans, such as the Brecilian Ruins in Ferelden, and visitors would offer tribute to the gods on their behalf.[6] The ritual performed before laying an elf to rest involved collective prayer at an altar followed by a robed figure pouring water into a pool while standing waist-deep in it.[7]

Elves ceased the formal practice of uthenera after the fall of Arlathan.[5][8] Some elders may still roam the Fade and preserve ancient knowledge even as their bodies are long dead.[8]

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.

Solas was in uthenera before joining the Inquisition.[9]

Abelas and other Sentinel elves frequently enter uthenera and wake only to defend their temple.

Trivia Edit

See also Edit

Ico codex entry Codex entry: Uthenera
Ico codex entry Codex entry: In Uthenera
Ico codex entry Codex entry: A Carved Elven Tablet
Ico codex entry Codex entry: Arlathan: Part One
Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: Enasalin

Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Vir Dirthara: A Flowering Imago

References Edit

  1. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 32
  2. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 265.
  3. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pg. 317.
  4. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire, pgs. 328-329.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Codex entry: Uthenera
  6. According to the spirit of the Arcane Warrior in the Lower Ruins.
  7. Codex entry: A Carved Elven Tablet
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 3, p. 24
  9. Implied through dialogue in Skyhold, made explicit in end credits easter egg

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