In all of the Dragon Age games, no other nation has been more notorious than the Tevinter Imperium. The first two games don’t even give them much of a spotlight, however, the third one revealed quite a bit about the magocracy and its people. Still, the fictional sovereign remains as enigmatic and puzzling as ever.
Now, with the impending advent of Dragon Age 4, things are looking pretty positive for Tevinter Imperium. For one, all hints point to the nation being a prime setting in the fourth game. Being a society ruled by the most persecuted class of people in other nations, Tevinter Imperium is drastically different. So, consider this a brochure before your digital trip into Tevinter Imperium come Dragon Age 4.
10 It’s The Oldest Human Nation
The whole continent of Thedas in Dragon Age was settled prominently by a group of people who called themselves the Tevinters. That makes them the earliest human civilization or country in the place. Other existing factions included the elves and the dwarfs.
That isn’t to say the Tevinters were the only human settlers. They actually came as one of the several human tribes, but they became the most abundant after securing their own port-city called Minrathous. After that, they eventually established dominion and their own king.
9 It’s Ruled By Mages
Initially, they relied on the traditional way kingdoms and empires were ruled. They had a king, and he had his own royal line and trusted nobles. However, the magic practitioners and scholars of Tevinter were a little too smart. They found out that they didn’t need a king since they’re too powerful.
So, one of them, an Archon named Darinius, usurped the throne and decreed that Tevinters were to be ruled by magocracy or by mages. They also changed the name of their dominion to Tevinter Imperium, signaling their progression into totalitarian leadership.
8 It Used To Rule The Whole Continent
Of course, it wouldn’t be much of an empire if it only ruled a port city. The Tevinter Imperium’s reaches became vast and spanned nearly all of Thedas. Even the current kingdoms of the Dragon Age games’ timeline such as Ferelden, Orlais, Rivain, and all their peoples were part of the empire.
Hence, much of the culture and people of those nations were influenced by the Tevinter Imperium. The Imperium’s reign lasted for more than a thousand years at this state, thanks to their autocratic rule and their proficiency in magic.
7 Sworn Enemies Of The Elves
It was only a matter of time before the Tevinter Imperium had a run-in with one of the resident races of Thedas, the elves. The territorial expansion, xenophobia, and ambition of the Tevinter mages led to an all-out war between the two empires.
The elves used to be the most dominant faction in Thedas, but the Tevinter Imperium crushed them and enslaved their entire race after sacking their capital of Arlathan. That explains the destitute and deplorable situation of the elves in Dragon Age.
6 A Slave Society
The elves’ defeat is why most of them in the current Dragon Age timeline are slaves; their status was retained even as nations like Ferelden became independent from Tevinter Imperium. As such, the Tevinter Imperium is a slave society.
The same can be said of Ferelden, but in the Tevinter Imperium, it’s noticeably worse. One character from Dragon Age 2, named Fenris, is a good example of how insane and sadistic the Tevinter mages are even as their strength dwindled.
5 It’s Where Dorian Came From
Anyone who has played Dragon Age Inquisition will know that not all mages from the Tevinter Imperium are sadistic or crazy. Dorian Pavus is merely only the latter. He’s actually a party member who hails from that kingdom.
Dorian is also of Tevinter nobility and was thus trained in many magic circles and schools. Despite the toxic environment and the superiority complex of the Tevinter mages, Dorian came out pretty fine, so it’s clear that there are some good eggs in the Tevinter Imperium.
4 The Birthplace Of Blood Magic
Then again, the Tevinter Imperium is also the birthplace of blood magic or the most controversial magic discipline in Dragon Age. Blood magic necessitates sacrifice, usually flesh or even the soul of the user to some malevolent god. That way, it tends to go awry and attract some evil entities from time to time.
That’s exactly how it went when a Tevinter magister practiced it for the first time. One of the Archons, named Thalsian, claimed to have contacted one of the old gods, named Dumat, to learn blood magic. Since then, it has been a common taboo in both the Tevinter Imperium and neighboring nations.
3 Their Gods Were Dragons
The old gods of the Tevinter Imperium are dragons, more or less. After Thalsian discovered blood magic, thanks to Dumat, he became fond of them and wanted the empire to emulate his sentiments.
Thalsian erected more temples for the old gods or dragons, and they became a more ubiquitous part of the Tevinter Imperium’s pantheon. With Dragon Age 4 supposedly being set in Tevinter Imperium, it’s high time for the series to put dragons at the forefront again.
2 Their Leaders Were Obsessed With The Fade
If they’re not glossing over their shady deals with old gods regarding blood magic, the magisters of the Tevinter Imperium are usually obsessing over the Fade. The Fade is an extra metaphysical dimension that’s tied to the physical one and separated by the Veil.
It’s a place that’s rumored to be a repository of souls and where the maker shaped the physical world. Most people would be mad to want to venture there, but Tevinter magisters are just that. One of them kept trying to break into the Fade and even succeeded with some plans to reach the Golden City, which is a former seat of the Maker.
1 They Caused Their Own Collapse
Too bad the Maker got angry at the Tevinter magisters for breaking into the fade and tainting his former home. In an act of vengeance, the Maker turned the Golden City into the Black City and apparently transformed the Tevinter Imperium expedition into the very first Darkspawn.
With wave after wave of Darkspawn suddenly appearing and assaulting Tevinter Imperium territory, they started losing their dominion. Gradually, their strength diminished after having to deal with the Darkspawn, and their provinces started vying for independence. The current Tevinter Imperium was then reduced to a shadow of its former self in the current Dragon Age timeline.