Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne
David Gaiden 3 March 2009
Set thirty years before the events of Dragon Age: Origins , this novel tells the back-story of characters important to the game as well as explaining how Ferelden, the setting of Dragon Age: Origins, achieved independence from Orlais, an event referred to many times in the game.
The novel opens with the country of Ferelden occupied by the neighbouring Orlesian Empire. Queen Moira, who sought to expel the Orlesians, has been murdered by traitor nobles, but her son Maric has escaped. While attempting to flee the assassins who killed his mother, Maric encounters Loghain, who is part of a band of Fereldan outlaws. Having no real alternatives, Maric joins up with them. However Maric is not able to stay at the outlaw camp long, as an Orlesian army looking for Maric attacks. Yet, Loghain is able to lead Maric to safety by taking him to the Korcari Wilds, a region avoided by most due to its danger. Here they meet the mysterious Witch of the Wilds, who enables them to pass through the Wilds safely. She provides this help on the condition that Maric makes her a promise. The specifics of this promise are unknown. She also tells Maric that a Blight will one day come to Ferelden and gives him a cryptic warning about Loghain: "Keep him close and he will betray you, each time worse than the last".
After escaping the Wilds, Maric and Loghain are led to the remaining rebel army by Maric's betrothed, Rowan Guerrin, just in time to defeat an Orlesian army about to attack them using Loghain's aptitude for strategy. The next few years see Maric, Loghain and Rowan become close friends as they strengthen the rebel army until it is in a position to take Gwaren, a Fereldan town. Katriel, an elf woman who claims to be a messenger, warns them of an impending attack on Gwaren and they are able to repel it. After this, Katriel and Maric begin a relationship. However, Katriel is a spy for Meghren, the Orlesian King of Ferelden. She provides Maric with false information that convinces him to attack the town of West Hill. This attack results in massive loss of life for the rebel army, and Maric, Loghain and Rowan being separated from the remainder of the army.
Regretting her deception and developing real feelings for Maric, Katriel leads Maric, Loghain and Rowan to the Deep Roads, a series of underground tunnels, in order to return to Gwaren. After facing the dangers of the Deep Roads, including giant spiders and darkspawn, and escaping in the company of a dwarven warband, whom Maric convinces to join the rebellion, the group reach the surface. Once they return to Gwaren, they find the remnants of the rebel army and once again secure the town against an Orlesian army sent to wipe out the last remnants of the rebellion. Maric's miraculous return inspires nationwide revolution by the Fereldan people against Orlesian rule, and Meghren's heavy-handed efforts to restore order only cause further insurrection and his reluctant allies amongst the Fereldan nobility to side with Maric.
By this time, Loghain and Rowan have formed a romantic bond (in part due to Maric abandoning Rowan for Katriel), but Loghain has also discovered Katriel’s betrayal and reveals it to Maric, omitting that Katriel had reneged on her orders out of love for Maric. After discovering her actions, Maric kills Katriel in blind rage, only to discover later that Katriel had been loyal out of love for him; Loghain wished to impress on Maric the importance of a king doing what has to be done, as opposed to what he wants to do. Following her death, Loghain encourages Rowan to become Maric’s wife and queen, for Maric and Ferelden’s benefit. She agrees (though the relationship between Maric and Loghain becomes much colder as a result of this and Katriel's death) and with increased momentum and growing outrage at the continuing cruelty of the Orlesians, there is now widespread support for Maric and the rebel cause. Victory is all but assured for the rebels. Maric also exacts justice on the traitor nobles who murdered his mother, luring them to a meeting under the pretense of a truce, then killing them for their crimes, before Loghain and Rowan break the back of Meghren's armies at the Battle of River Dane, ensuring Meghren's downfall and the eventual defeat of the occupation.
The novel closes with Mother Ailis, a Chantry priestess who once lived within the outlaw camp, telling Maric and Rowan’s son Cailan stories of his father; after three more years of war, Denerim fell to the rebels after a long siege, Meghren was overthrown and executed for his crimes and Maric is crowned as king. Ailis tells that Maric has become a popular king, Loghain has become a powerful lord and has married and had a daughter, and that Rowan has died after a long illness. After relating this, Ailis hobbles after Cailan, who has run off into the distance.
Dragon Age: The Calling
David Gaider 13 October 2009
The novel is set approximately fourteen years after the events of The Stolen Throne and focuses on King Maric Theirin, a young Duncan and the Grey Wardens.
Having reclaimed the throne, King Maric finally allows the legendary Grey Wardens to return to Ferelden after two hundred years of exile. When they come, however, they bring dire news: one of their own has escaped into the Deep Roads and aligned himself with their ancient enemy, the monstrous darkspawn. The Grey Wardens need Maric's help to find him. He reluctantly agrees to lead them into the passages he traveled through years before, chasing after a deadly secret that will threaten to destroy not only the Grey Wardens, but also the Kingdom above.
Fourteen years after reclaiming the throne of Ferelden and defeating the Orlesian occupation of his country, King Maric Theirin is approached by Genevieve, Commander of the Grey Wardens of Orlais. Genevieve's brother, Bregan, has been captured by the darkspawn; she warns that Bregan knows where the Old Gods are buried, and the darkspawn gain this knowledge, they will use it to trigger a Blight in Thedas. Maric and Loghain are the only two living people to have ventured through the Deep Roads near to where Bregan is being held captive and Maric, despondent over his wife's death and his failure as a father, and remembering a warning given to him by a mysterious witch of a Blight coming to Ferelden, volunteers to guide the Grey Wardens into the Deep Roads. Thus he comes to travel with a band of Wardens led by Genevieve including a young Duncan, an Orlesian elven mage named Fiona, the Avvar Kell ap Morgan, the Silent Sister Utha, the warriors Julien and Nicolas and Kell's dog and also Grey Warden, Hafter.
Bregan had ventured into the Deep Roads for his Calling (a Grey Warden practice that involves a Warden ending their life by launching a suicidal attack into darkspawn territory before the taint consumes them) but is saved from being killed by the Architect, an unusually intelligent darkspawn emissary. The Architect claims to want to slay the Old Gods to free the darkspawn from their siren call, consequently ending the threat of future Blights. This, the Architect claims, would facilitate peace between mankind and darkspawn but concluding such a peace would demand a huge price. The darkspawn taint turns creatures into ghouls, all except the Grey Wardens who are made, at least temporarily, immune to the taint by their Joining. Mankind and darkspawn could only exist in harmony if the darkspawn taint is introduced to all mankind across Thedas. Bregan eventually agrees to assist the Architect in its plans.
The Grey Wardens and Maric venture into the Deep Roads and find Bregan and the Architect, but not before stumbling upon the horrors of the Deep Roads, with the group losing most of their number. However, some trinkets given to the Wardens by First Enchanter Remille allegedly to prevent the darkspawn from sensing the Wardens have instead served to rapidly accelerate the progress of the taint in them. Only Duncan, protected by an ebony-black enchanted dagger he stole from Remille, remains immune. The group is ambushed by darkspawn and nearly killed, though the Architect manages to save and take them prisoner in Kul-Baras. Eventually Genevieve and Utha agree to join Bregan and the Architect to destroy the Old Gods, though the full extent of the Architect's plans is not revealed to them.
Only Duncan, Fiona and Maric escape the Deep Roads, only to find themselves tricked and captured by First Enchanter Remille and taken to the Circle of Magi's Tower which was taken over by Orlesian Circle mages and templars. There, they re-encounter the Architect, Bregan, Genevieve and Utha. It is revealed that the Architect and Remille are in cahoots; the Architect has granted Remille knowledge of darkspawn magic and Maric as a captive for the Orlesian Emperor in exchange for his help in spreading the taint in all the major cities of Thedas. However, the Architect's plans are thwarted when Loghain, having learned of the Orlesians taking over the tower, arrives with a Fereldan army to recapture it, and Bregan and Genevieve renounce the Architect's plans. Bregan, Genevieve and Remille are killed in the final showdown, but the Architect and Utha escape.
Fiona and Duncan leave to visit the Warden headquarters in Weisshaupt. Free of Remille's trinket, Fiona recovers from the artificially accelerated taint, and the Warden mages think she may actually be the first Warden to be free of it forever and thus avoid the Calling. Duncan and Fiona return to Ferelden: Duncan to be second-in-command of the Wardens in Ferelden, where Maric has agreed to their return to the kingdom after 200 years of exile despite the protests of Loghain and others, and Fiona to see Maric. She and Maric had become lovers while in the Deep Roads. Fiona became pregnant and bore Maric an illegitimate son, Alistair, who, like all children of elves and humans, appears fully human. She gives the child to Maric, to be raised in ignorance of the elven heritage that brought her little but pain. She returns to Weisshaupt, permanently recalled to lead the hunt for the Architect. Duncan offers to watch over the child in secret and ensure that he is kept safe.
Dragon Age: Asunder
David Gaider 23 December 2011
The story takes place in Orlais and starts in 9:40 Dragon, three years after the events of Dragon Age II Act 3, but prior to Varric's interrogation by Cassandra Pentaghast.
A mystical killer stalks the halls of the White Spire, the heart of templar power in the mighty Orlesian Empire. To prove his innocence, Rhys reluctantly embarks on a journey into the western wastelands that will not only reveal much more than he bargained for but change the fate of his fellow mages forever.
Dragon Age: The Masked Empire
Patrick Weekes 8 April 2014
Empress Celene of Orlais rose to the throne of the most powerful nation in Thedas through wisdom, wit, and ruthless manipulation. Now, the empire she has guided into an age of enlightenment is threatened from within by imminent war between the templars and the mages, even as rebellion stirs among the downtrodden elves. To save Orlais, Celene must keep her hold on the throne by any means necessary.
Fighting with the legendary skill of the Orlesian Chevaliers,Grand Duke Gaspard has won countless battles for the empire and the empress. But has he fought in vain? As theCircle fails and chaos looms, Gaspard begins to doubt that Celene’s diplomatic approach to the mage problem or the elven uprisings will keep the empire safe. Perhaps it is time for a new leader, one who lives by the tenets of the Chevalier’s Code, to make Orlais strong again.
Briala has been Celene’s handmaid since the two of them were children, subtly using her position to help improve the lives of elves across Orlais. She is Celene’s confidante, spymaster, and lover, but when politics force the empress to choose between the rights of Briala’s people and the Orlesian throne, Briala must in turn decide where her true loyalties lie.
Alliances are forged and promises broken as Celene and Gaspard battle for the throne of Orlais. But in the end, the elves who hide in the forests or starve in the alienages may decide the fate of the masked empire.
Dragon Age: Last Flight
Liane Mericel 16 September 2014
The Grey Wardens are heroes across Thedas once again: the Archdemon has been defeated with relative ease and the scattered darkspawn are being driven back underground. The Blight is over. Or so it seems.
Valya, a young elven mage recently recruited into the Wardens, has been tasked with studying the historical record of previous Blights in order to gain insight into newly reported, and disturbing, darkspawn phenomena. Her research into the Fourth Blight leads her to an encoded reference scrawled in the margins of an ancient map, and to the hidden diary of Isseya, one of the last of the fabledgriffon riders. As the dark secrets buried in Isseya's story unfold, Valya begins to question everything she thought she knew about the heroic Grey Wardens. . . .
In 9:41 Dragon Age, the elven mage Valya and a group of mages from the Circle of Magi inHossberg join the Grey Wardens at Weisshaupt for safety from the ongoing Mage-Templar War. With rebel templars rampaging through Thedas and rebel mages assembling a terrifying army atAndoral's Reach, the Wardens are the only safe harbor for both neutral mages and templarsseeking to flee the conflict. The organization is beginning to see groups of both seeking asylum and purpose.
Upon reaching Weisshaupt, Valya is tasked to search the fortress' library for accounts of Wardens abandoning their posts and behaving unusually, as well as records of talking Darkspawn, beginning with the Fourth Blight. From these instructions, Valya locates a lyrium-laced war map inscribed with Elvish, which leads her to a hidden journal detailing the last days of the elven blood mage Warden and griffon rider Isseya and her brother, the legendary hero Garahel who ended the Fourth Blight.
As she reads Isseya's first hand account fo the battles during the Exalted Age, the journal reveals that during the Wardens' struggle to defend and evacuate Antiva City, as well as secure the assistance of the Free Marches in ending the Fourth Blight, Isseya was tasked by the First Warden to put the Wardens' griffonsthrough a Joining ritual. This ritual ultimately led to the creatures' corruption. As Garahel and the Wardens attempt, along with the dwarven Warden-Commander of Antiva, Turab, to secure Antiva City and also make diplomatic ties with Starkhaven's ruling family, the Vaels, Isseya also begins to regret condemning the griffons to madness and death.
In secret she contrives a way to remove the taint from griffon hatchlings and contain it within herself, accelerating her own corruption but--hopefully--protecting the new generation of the Wardens' battle brothers and sisters. This effort becomes particularly poignant after Garahel falls slaying the archdemon Andoral during the Battle of Ayesleigh, along with the deaths of many of the mature griffons and their Warden riders in the final battle of the Fourth Blight.
Isseya manages to purge the taint from a clutch of eggs obtained from Amadis Vael's griffon. Amadis was Garahel's lover and the eggs of her griffon, Smoke, were sired by Garahel's griffon, Crookytail. Convinced the Wardens of the Exalted Age are not fit stewards of the griffons and hoping those of the future will be, Isseya uses magic to hide the eggs in suspended animation in a remote location that would later become home to a statue of Andraste, the "Red Bride." Isseya then takes her griffon, Revas, on one last flight before secreting her journal away at Weisshaupt rather then live in a world without the noble creatures.
Driven by her research to find this treasure in the present day, Valya then travels with a small group of companions to the site and is able to reanimate the eggs. They hatch, one chick in particular looking identical to Garahel's Crookytail. The hatchlings appear to be free of the taint, bringing Valya hope that they will rise again.