Dragon Age: A Sword of Glass
"On the Origin of Darkspawn, and Further Lessons"
[Expert caligraphy courses over this fine parchment]
It is with only the barest of courtesy that I reply to your outlandish theory to be entered within the archives. The Cathedral of Val Royeaux is a place of learning, knowledge, and light, where the Chant echoes through her hallowed columns at all hours of the day, dispelling darkness borne of ignorance and petty superstition. Your treatise on the roots of foul darkspawn, as well as warnings of the Fifth Blight, are all that the Chantry seeks to rectify. Unlearned, unrecognized, and bearing no title, training, or expertise within the Chantry or elsewhere, you have shamed this institution with your wild musings and unbridled imagination. Enclosed is the original document you submitted to Sister Montella, who herself is livid with implications that she, a respected Historyan and Archivist, would be presumed to have knowledge less than a nomadic minstrel spinning wild tales, like yourself. You will find your document enclosed, as it has no place within the Cathedral, and nearly as much bearing within Orlais.
The Maker’s servant,
Brother Yulavae, Archivist
[This note appears hastily drawn, though with a practiced hand, on crude parchment with stains of dirt, water, and even blood distorting and running through the ink]
On the Origin of Darkspawn, and Implications Thereof,
The Fifth Blight has risen. I have seen for myself the great Archdemon Urthemiel rallying her legions within the Deep to spread death and chaos upon the land of Ferelden and beyond. The blessed prophetess Andraste has watched over my travels to ensure that I remain vigilant in my observations, and am able to relate the dangers of the coming darkness back to Her Children, before we are once again overwhelmed by decades of suffering and poisonous Blight. However, my role, as tasked by Andraste herself, is not one of gathering armies and battling the darkspawn hordes, but in understanding. Collecting information that we might one day know best how to strike back at this foe where he lairs, ending the darkspawn threat permanantly. It is with this in mind, that I say that the darkspawn are irrelevant.
The dwarves of Orzammar and Kal Sharok know it best, and to speak with one on this matter is to invite a sudden end to conversation: darkspawn do not come from the blackened Golden City, they do not fall from the heavens as sin-tainted raindrops. They come from underground.
And so is the Golden City blackened With each step you take in my Hall. Marvel at perfection, for it is fleeting. You have brought Sin to Heaven And doom upon all the world. -Threnodies 8:13
It is within Threnodies wise words that we find the truest fact behind the nature and origin of the darkspawn. Tevinter mages, who sought to userp the Maker’s throne, cast out. This is correct, but the mages merely entered the Fade not only with themselves, but with their great beast, the Archdemons. Within the Tevinter Imperium, young Magisters still whisper stories of the Old Gods, great dragons who taught humans magic which they could use to battle the Elves of Arlathan. However, the mention on the dragons has been stricken from the records preceeding the rise of the First Blight. There certainly were seven of these Old Gods, who had certainly existed and even interacted with the Ancient Tevene, to the extent that they were revered by many within the Imperium. Let us make no mistake, this is not a coincidence. Twisted and cursed by their own corruption, the dragons are the first darkspawn, the archdemons that slumber beneath the ground. For what end? The blood mages, ever seeking more power, entered into the Fade, and found nothing but demons and death awaiting them and their great dragons. Demons have no love for darkspawn, dragons, or anyone else, and so fierce was their counterattack against the Tevinters, that they and their dragons were forced to retreat underground, where the lyrium stems from the well of the world, to block the reprisal by the outraged demon hordes. And there, the dragons called to their servants.
Spreading its corruption, tainted by the raw power of the Fade, the archdemons melded, warped, and twisted those Tevinters who heard their call. The blood mages who had traded humanity for power found themselves with neither, unable to resist the dragon’s hold upon them. The Archdemons, ever cunning, waited, strengthening their numbers by sending their minions against the great Dwarven kingdoms, and bolstering their own forces. The Archdemon Dumat was the first to judge his time had come, awakening when his followers had gained sufficient numbers, and began his assault upon the world of the living. Although he and the three Archdemons that followed him were eventually defeated at the hands of the Gray Wardens, each victory came at a great price for dwarves, humans, and elves alike. And the dragons continue to plan, continue to scheme. To what end, I could not speculate, suffice to say that the Old Gods once, through the Tevinter Imperium, once ruled over all of Thedas, and have shown themselves to be intelligent, methodical beasts of great patience, with a talent for corrupting all mortal races, bending them to their will, or subjugating them. They will strike again, as the Fifth Blight is already on the rise, underneath the proud, barbaric nation of Ferelden. Blessed Andraste guide my steps.