By far the most powerful and most populous of all the Peoples of the Thedas system, humans vary widely between size, colouring, build, aptitude, and religions. They are the ruling class of every planet and major colony in the Thedas system aside from the Par Vollen flotilla, Orzammar and Skyhold.
Compared to the other peoples, humans reproduce at rapid rates, allowing them to adapt to new habitats and skills much more quickly than the ancient peoples of the elves and dwarves. How they compare to the relatively new arrivals to the system, the Qunari, remains to be seen.
Only humans are able to become official rulers in the main nations, and non-humans are not able to serve directly in the Chantry or the Templars.
- Roles are Rarely Gender specific outside of the Chantry
- heights average between 5’6’’ and 6’’ but not uncommon for outliers, builds muscular to slender
- Round ears, hair that varies from blonde to red to black, skin from very pale pink to near black-brown
- eyes that do not have a tapetum lucidum (reflective lining on the retina that improves low light vision and glows like a cat’s)
- Age relatively quickly
- Shems – Elven, ‘Quicklings’
- Shemlen – Elven, ‘Quick children’
- Basra – Qunlat (derogatory) ‘useless thing’
Magic Ability – Present but still rare. Genetics play a factor but not guaranteed.
- Rythlen Theirin (Hero and Queen of Ferelden) & Alistair Theirin (king of Ferelden)
- Empress Celene I and General Gaspard, the warring Lions
- Captain Frederic Rousseau formerly of the Chevaliers and his son with Milliara, Nils DuLion
- Former Champion of Kirkwall, Garret Hawke and his brother, Senior Warden Carver Hawke
- The Advisors to the Inquisitor
- Maeve Trevelyan, one of the Heralds of Andraste
- Haylan the Enchanter, doctor within the Inquisition and former Hound of the Templars
- Theseus Trevelyan, former Templar Knight, now Knight of the Inquisition
- Almost everyone in power, really.
The elves have a poor lot in Thedas. once a thriving nation of near-immortals, now elves live either under the thumb of humans in slums called alienages, as slaves in Tevinter or as nomads that call themselves the Dalish. They have no true home, having lost each they founded to human empire builders.
No longer immortal, they still hold some characteristics of their ancient ancestors such as skin that can range from purple to golden, eyes that are inhumanly bright and can see more clearly in the depths of deep space than any human or dwarf can. And of course, their ears.
Recently, an elf has come to prominence as the Inquisitor and a Herald of Andraste. This has stirred elven populations throughout the system, to stand up against the injustices they face. A surprising number of elves also seek out the Qun, appreciating the transparent rules and roles.
- Roles are never Gender specific among the dalish, but city elves follow the human societies that they live in.
- Eeights average between 5’0’’ and 5’9’’ but it is not uncommon for outliers, and Dalish tend to be slightly taller as they are less likely to grow up malnourished.
- Their builds vary but elves are more slender by nature than humans.
- Elves have pointed ears, hair that varies from white to red to black and gem-coloured skin that ranges from blue to golden.
- Dalish elves have luminescent markings tattooed on their faces called vallaslin. The markings will often flicker in time with the elf’s mood
- In addition to having large eyes, elves have a tapetum lucidum that causes their eyes to glow like a cat’s in low light. Apparently it can be unnerving.
- Elves age and reproduce at rates comparable to a human (though slightly slower) however whenever an elf has a child with a human, dwarf or Qunari, the child appears to be fully the same race as their other parent.
- Knife Ear – common insult
- Rabbit – Orlesian insult
- Elvhen’alas – ‘Dirt Elves’, a Dalish slur for City elves
- Flat-ears – a slur for elves too friendly with humans
- Basra – Qunlat (derogatory) ‘useless thing’ for non-Qun affiliated elves
Magic Ability – Slightly more prevalent in elves than in humans, however whether this is due to the reduction of policing of mages among the Dalish, or a genetic trait is unclear.
- Dalish Elves
- Milliara Lavellan – A Herald of Andraste, Inquisitor, Former Orlesian Bard, former city elf
- Fiowyn Lavellan – Cousin to Milliara, part of the Inquisition
- Kalieth Surana – Grey Warden Enchanter, half sister to Aldes and Karya
- Aldes Lavellan – A hunter, older brother to Karya and incorrigible flirt
- Karya Lavellan – the First of what used to be Clan Lavellan.
- City Elves
- Briala, former lover of Celene I
- Sera of the Red Jennys
While at first they might appear to be short humans, Dwarves are a distinct people from humans and incapable of interbreeding. Traditionally, Dwarves live underground on sub-planet Thaig. However many dwarves have ‘ascended’, leaving Thaig to seek fortune elsewhere. Traditional dwarven life relies on a strict caste system, Once a ‘true’ Dwarf sees the sky, they are considered to be casteless, and cannot return to their past role.
To travel between planets, Orzammar dwarves use windowless ships and shuttles to ensure that they do not lose their caste, although such trips are exceedingly rare.
The Carta is a dwarven cartel that dominates the grey and blue (lyrium) markets, ruthlessly defending their business holdings with less than legal methods.
- Built short and stocky, Dwarves barely reach over 5′2″ but are dense with muscle and sturdy bone from developing as a people on sub-planet Thaig which has a super-dense core, and increased gravity compared to the human planets.
- In terms of colouring, Dwarves take after humans in range of hair, skin and eye colours, which is curious despite their ancestors living underground for so many thousands of years.
- Dwarven reproduction rate is slow, and the population has been in decline for centuries, aggravated by the attacks by Darkspawn on former strongholds.
- Dwarves have exceptional hearing, and Dark dwarves often speak about the ‘song’ of the stone which allows them to find veins of minerals and other important geolithic features
- Surfacers – Ascended Dwarves, dwarves who have seen the sky, stars or sun
- Dark Dwarves – ‘True dwarves’ who have not ascended
- NugScats – Casteless Dwarves
Magic Ability – None, although Dwarves are skilled at enchanting magical effects into items they are completely unable to perform magic or even dream.
- Varric Tethras – famous author, blogger and podcaster
- Dagna Smith – formerly of the Smith Caste, now a renowned researcher and enchanter
- Deep Dwarves
- Orzammar’s King
The Flotilla known as Par Vollen arrived in the Thedas System some time ago, but still not much is known about the People known as the Qunari. Initial scans appear to show that Qunari are the result of gene splicing, but such technology has never been known to produce viable individuals, let alone a fertile species of people.
- In the Qun roles are specified by Gender, but Gender is not specified by the sex one is born with. Qunari men hold martial roles such as Sten, Arishok and Ben Hassrath while Qunari women hold spiritual and guidance roles, and are considered to be the true power behind the Qun. Tal-Vashoth and Vashoth however tend to follow societal norms of the area they live.
- Qunari are the tallest and most muscular of the people in Thedas system. Averaging 6-9 feet, their size is made more impressive when one considers the horns many of them grow.
- Like elves, Qunari have pointed ears, though they are smaller in relation to the Qunari’s skull. They also have inhuman skin tones, but while elves are ‘gem’ toned, Qunari tend to have skin the colour of metal.
- Qunari often wear body and face paint made from substances that offer special protection against the hazards of space and battle. A trait unique to them, Qunari are able to survive in the void of space for brief periods of time with little side effect.
- No one is certain about the aging rate of Qunari, as most met by non-Qun forces are killed in action or some other violent means.
- Ox men – common insult
Magic Ability – Minor, seen as extremely dangerous, mages in the Qun are referred to as Saarebas and mages in the Qun are harshly treated if not outright killed. However mage Qunari exist among the Tal-Vashoth and Vashoth in small numbers.
- Of the Qun
- Sten, Veteran of the Fifth Blight
- The Arishok of Kirkwall
- The Iron Bull
- Vashoth (not of the Qun, and never were)
- Peanut and Tanim Adaar
There are many theories and legends that surround the origin of Darkspawn and the Blight, the truth is that no-one knows for sure how the Blight or Darkspawn came to be. A true Blight occurs when Darkspawn rally around an Archdemon, developing a hive-mind. The Darkspawn horde then launches an attack upon non-infected populations, poisoning the land they inhabit and infecting or killing the individuals they find there.
The only known way of ending a Blight is to kill the Archdemon, and the only way to do that is to sacrifice a Grey Warden… until the 5th Blight when the Hero of Ferelden managed to slay the Archdemon without losing her life.
Darkspawn have overrun most of the sub-planet of Thaig save for a few holdouts like Orzammar, and now inhabit the deep caverns and mines on most Thedan planets. As a result any subterranean ventures deeper than a kilometer
- Savage, varying vastly in size, shape and ability
- inhabit most of Orzammar
Magic Ability – Present in a few darkspawn, but these type of individuals are rarely seen outside of true Blights.
- The Archdemon of the 5th Blight
- Red Lyrium
The Chantry teaches that all spirits are Demons waiting to trick unwitting mages into allowing themselves to be possessed. This is absolutely not true, although it is a belief that continues to be pervasive and colour the perception of the any contact with spirits even if they’re benevolent.
Spirits reside in the fade, and while some do twist into demons either of their own will or through mangled summoning rituals, many spirits are happy to stay in the Fade.
Basic Traits – Vary too wildly to specify. Spirits represent an aspect of the physical world.
Magic Ability – Innate and extensive. Spirit are magical beings by nature, and reside in the fade. They can become demons if they are summoned into the physical dimension and are twisted against their nature.
- Faith/The Divine
Basic Traits – Vary, but tend to follow the ‘sins’ taught by the Chantry: sloth, despair, pride, rage, desire (too often thought of as lust), but there exist others not yet known. The Inquisition has only recently identified Fear demons as being distinct from despair.
Magic Ability – Innate and extensive. Demons are magical beings by nature, and exploit their abilities to possess or ensnare a mortal to experience life through them.
- The Nightmare
Golem are exceedingly rare. Aside from the deep roads and the golem serving Minrathous, only archival footage exists of the Golem that once served with the Grey Wardens in the third blight.
- Not squishy, no obvious gender roles but always best to ask the golem which pronouns they prefer. They hit hard
- Inorganic, crafted by Dwarves from lyrium, crystsal and metal with a soul bound to them to animate the otherwise dead object.
- Very tall, Golem are said to get as large as 20 feet tall, but modern history shows they range from 7 to 12 feet
- Often (but not always) paired with a control mechanism. Either in the form of a non-replicable program or, in the case of truly ancient Golem, a rod mad of the same crystal as the Golem’s ‘heart’.
Magic Ability – None, but inherently magical beings as dwarven souls are enchanted into the Golem’s body.