Religion and identity intertwine in the eyes of many Thedosians, whether their own practice or the practices of others. Some values dissociate with the everyday livelihoods of its followers, while others’ constantly interject. Whether life is managed by deity or unknown force, Thedosians attach themselves to finding out what they don’t know or allow others to tell them how to live.
Elves were first to populate Thedas. It is unknown how long civilization spanned before the Quickening, but for years they believed in a pantheon of gods. The world was created by Mythal, the All-Mother god of justice, and Elgar’nan, the All-Father god of vengeance. Other gods embody different values and roles, like Dirthamen: the God of Knowledge. Fen’Harel, the Dread-Wolf and trickster god. According to the Dalish, before the fall of the Elven city Arlathan, the pantheon fell victim in a fight against another set of gods called the Forgotten Ones. In an attempt to rob both sides of Arlathan, Fen’Harel locked all other gods away and left the Elves to their fate. The Quickening happened shortly after, ridding the Elves of their immortality. Whether true or simply a story, the only remains of the pantheon exist in old statues and lingering Dalish stories. If these gods exist, they have been silent for centuries. However, the Dalish continue to revere them even today.
Humankind first believed in seven dragon deities called the Old Gods. Before Tevinter was a formal nation, mages called Dreamers were capable of accessing the Fade at will. The Old God Dumat began speaking directly and teaching blood magic to the Dreamers. In response, temples everywhere raised up to worship the Old Gods. Later, Dumat reportedly promised the Dreamers the Golden City, a City of light that extends beyond the Fade. Those magisters in turn enacted a blood ritual on a massive scale to physically enter the Fade, the first successful attempt known, and reached the City. But Dumat betrayed them, turning the magisters into the first Darkspawn. Afterwards, worship of the Old Gods diminished.
The Chantry tells us. The Chantry decrees. The Chantry speaks many things and, as the largest faith in Thedas, is now the central power known to civilization. It follows the lessons of Andraste, a woman who rose up against the corruption of magic. Mankind’s pride, or rather the pride of mages, caused the Darkspawn threat. If the world bands together in the name of peace, the Maker will supposedly return to the world and craft it into a paradise. Or so the Chantry says, as its martyr Andraste fueled the belief that the Maker was the one true god. Since the time of Andraste, the Chantry has extended its reach. Becoming the most powerful organization in Thedas, it offers humanitarian aid for the poor and sick, teaches and manages mages, and engages its own magic-policing military. The Andrastian Chantry is the most widely known and influential religion.
Instead of revering gods, Dwarves trust in the might of their own hand, the accomplishments of Dwarves that came before them, and the Stone. The earth, rich of minerals, gems, and lyrium, is the Stone and any actions Dwarves take will affect her. If a person acts for good of civilization, the Stone strengthens. Paragons, ancestors and the living who have advanced civilization through their craft, are the best examples. If a Dwarf shames themselves, the Stone weakens. Dwarves believe that at death, all Dwarves who have lived for the Stone will return to it.
Everyone has a place and duty. The Qun is a religion focused on order, started by philosopher Koslun, who emphasized mastery and balance are the true principles of life. In giving up freedoms, one will find peace in order. Qunari of Par Vollen follow devotedly, participating in society that is separated by three heads called the Triumvirate. The Arigena leads everyday affairs in mercantile and production. The Ariqun manages Qunari roles in society. The Arishok leads the military, safeguarding all Qunari. With recent events like the Kirkwall occupation showing the danger of the Qun, Thedosians will soon have to face a very real threat.
In present day, Thedosians are at a standstill. With the rise of an unknown entity named the Elder One, more citizens lose their identity in faith. While difficult for those who have followed their respective religion for so many years, it may be time to find truth to the realities of Thedas’s past. But that- is a story for another day…