The Tapestry of Splintered Mirrors is a series of parallel timelines in which the major events of Thedas' history during the Dragon Age were altered by the slightest twists of fate.
- 1 Background
- 2 Histories of Thedas
- 2.1 The Saga of Scoundrels
- 2.2 The Canticle of Casters
- 2.3 Daughters of the Dragon
- 2.4 An Age of Darkness
- 2.5 Song of Spirit and Blood
- 2.6 The Blood and Magic of Elves
- 2.7 Dances of Silk and Steel
- 2.8 Wars of the Broken Age
- 2.9 Requiem of the Martyrs
- 3 Trivia
The Tapestry of Mirrors was an artifact in the Black Emporium that allowed those who looked into its depths to see the image of others who might have shared their destiny. To most, it appeared to be a trick mirror that showed only nuanced changes, while to others it showed the results of a vastly different life, or in rarer cases, different individuals entirely.
The Heroes of Fereldan
In Thedas during the Dragon Age, the Hero of Fereldan was a unique title that referred to one of eight individuals who lived in the Blighted nation together. Before the battle of Ostagar, the Warden-Commander, Duncan, sought to recruit multiple individuals spread across Fereldan.
However, the situation escalated in Ostagar and Duncan was only able to recruit one of the prospective Wardens, who proceeded to become the Hero of Fereldan.
These Wardens were:
- Luciel Tabris, an elf from the Denerim alienage and daughter of Duncan's friend, the rogue Adaia. Her's is the clearest splinter in the Mirror's image.
- Vasher Amell, a human from the Fereldan Circle of Magi. He was the cousin of the Champion of Kirkwall, best friend of Meryam Surana, and in his own shard and became the father of Kieran.
- Adare Aeducan, princess of Orzammar, second in line to the throne, exiled for the alleged murder of her older brother.
- Zosia Cousland, the Warden who would become the tyrannical Queen of Fereldan. Her splinter is seen as darkened by smoke and blood.
- Meryam Surana, an elf from the Fereldan Circle of Magi. She lived in Lothering before being taken by the Circle, and was the best friend of Vasher Amell.
- Kvothe Mahariel, a Dalish Elf who had contracted Blight sickness.
- Mistle Brosca, a castless dwarf from Orzammar.
- Logain Cousland, a secret apostate who became the Prince-Consort of Fereldan by marrying Queen Anora, and twin brother of Zosia Cousland.
- Valyn Aeducan, one of the princes of Orzammar, second in line for the throne after the unexpected death of his twin, Adare. Exiled for the murder of his older brother.
- Following his death, the Grey Wardens of Ferelden were lead by Ela Kader.
The Champions of Kirkwall
Unlike the Heroes of Fereldan, the Champion of Kirkwall was always the first daughter of Leandra Amell and the apostate Malcolm Hawke. However, Hawke's place in the Tapestry was odd in that it was her very identity rather than the person with her role that was in flux due to slight circumstantial changes to fate.
As such, the Champion was known as:
- Mierin Hawke, known as a smuggler, a duelist, assassin, and a pirate who fought for the rights of mages. Her splinter is the clearest in the Mirror's image.
- Kamala Hawke, a mage who struggled for her own kind, but ultimately turned her back on them.
- Cirilla Hawke, a half-elf warrior who sought adventure and defended the downtrodden.
- Malata Hawke, a sociopathic blood-mage who sought power for its own sake. Her splinter is seen as darkened by smoke and blood.
- Kacha Hawke, a duelist who sought renown and recognition for her skills, only to be overshadowed by her own legend.
- Devi Hawke, a mage, a smuggler and money lender who couldn't resist the call to action.
- Shallan Hawke, a mage struggling with the weight of having killed her father on accident.
- Sumeya Hawke, a reaver and berserker who won fought many battles in the defense of Kirkwall.
- Pyrre Hawke, an assassin trained in Kirkwall with a morbid fascination with death and a matching sense of humor.
The Inquisitors of the Second Inquisition
In 9:41 Dragon, Divine Justinia assembled a conclave in the Temple of Sacred Ashes during the Mage-Templar War to broker peace. Many remarkable individuals were in attendance, and when the Temple was destroyed, one survived, saw the rise of a new Inquisition, and eventually became its leader.
However, the slightest change of circumstance would change who survived, creating sweeping changes to Thedas.
The Inquisitors reflected in the Tapestry were:
- Gwenna Cadash, a carta dwarf who attended the Conclave to establish new contacts for her clan's lyrium trade. Her splinter is the clearest.
- Jasnah Trevelyan, a powerful mage originally from the Ostwick Circle of Magi who sided fully with the Mage Rebellion. She attended the Conclave because she knew her sister and many other members of her family would be in attendance.
- Sulema Adaar, one of a pair of Vashoth twins hired by Justina's advisors for security at the conclave.
- Nona Lavellan a Dalish elf, the First of Clan Lavellan, who stood in attendance to inform the Keeper of the outcome of the Conclave, and provide advanced warning should the situation deteriorate. Her splinter is darkened by smoke and blood.
- Vlora Adaar, one of a pair of Vashoth twins hired by Justina's advisors for security at the conclave.
- Eilonwy Lavellan, a Dalish Hunter who fought to avenge her sister.
- Fela Trevelyan, an artificer who defied her family to support the Rebel Mages.
- Kiral Trevelyan, a mage from Ostwick, sent to the Starkhaven Circle of Magi, and later the Kirkwall Circle of Magi after the tower in Starkhaven burned down, in part due to Kirla's actions. He is the twin brother of Jasnah Trevelyan and older brother of Fela Trevelyan.
- Ha Lin Cadash, a carta dwarf who attended the conclave to make sure her sister's first solo job went smoothly.
Histories of Thedas
In all eight realms of possibility, Thedas' history was shaped by the heroes of the Age of the Dragon. Always beginning with the Fifth Blight, these histories varied wildly for the want of a nail.
The Saga of Scoundrels
Thedas' history during the Dragon Age and beyond was forged by many hands, but the most famous figures of the Age were not its kings, soldiers, or mages. It was its scoundrels. Heralding from each race, the Legendary Rogues stood at the heart of events that shaped the world.
Their exploits were the subject of many songs and stories, but the most famous were the collected works by Varric Tethras, which after numerous reprints became known to history as the Saga of Scoundrels.
The Scoundrels were women of vastly different backgrounds with similar training and disdain for the Chantry, which led many to erroneously believe they had some connection before the events that would make them legends.
The Legendary Rogues
The heroes of Thedas were:
- Luciel Tabris, the Warden-Commander of Fereldan and vanquisher of the Fifth Blight.
- Mierin Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall.
- Gwenna Cadash, the leader of the Inquisition.
The Canticle of Casters
The history of Thedas has always been shaped around and by mages. So it should be of no surprise that the most famous heroes of the Dragon Age, which saw the Mage-Templar War, were themselves mages.
The Canticle of Casters was an unauthorized collection of Varric Tethras' biographies that was eventually censured by the Chantry, which led to it becoming a best seller.
The Mage Heroes
The titular Casters were human mages, and were wildly considered to be the greatest of the Age. They were:
- Vasher Amell, the Warden-Commander of Fereldan and vanquisher of the Fifth Blight.
- Kamala Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall.
- Jasnah Trevelyan, the leader of the Inquisition.
Daughters of the Dragon
Perhaps it is appropriate that the most famous heroes in the Dragon Age were themselves marked by dragons. The women who would become known as the Daughters of the Dragon were Reavers, legendary warriors who gained extraordinary strength from consuming dragon blood.
Despite their name, which entered common parlance due to the book of that title, the Daughters were neither a cult or a sorority, and indeed had never met one another before becoming Reavers. This misconception is, ironically, not actually present in the book, which is a collection of individual stories penned by Varric Tethras.
The Ladies of War
These Reavers were:
- Adare Aeducan, princess of Orzammar and Hero of Fereldan, vanquisher of the Fifth Blight;
- Cirilla Hawke, Champion of Kirkwall and dragon hunter
- Sulema Adaar, a qunari mercenary.
An Age of Darkness
The Dragon Age was not a time of heroes. The great villains of the Age left scars throughout Thedas that never truly healed. It is for this reason that the century is just as likely to be referred to as the Dark Age as the Dragon Age.
Beginning with the Fifth Blight, every cataclysm that befell Thedas was met with tyranny and bloodshed. Circles were annulled, werewolves ravaged the lands, multiple Dalish clans were slaughtered to their last, Grey Wardens were exiled from Orlais and countless atrocities were commited in the name defeating the enemies of Thedas.
The Villains Who Fought Monsters
The villains responsible for the state of affairs were:
- Zosia Cousland, Queen of Fereldan and vanquisher of the Fifth Blight.
- Malata Hawke, a blood mage who sparked tensions between the Qunari and the South, and between mages and Templars, for years.
- Nona Lavellan, the Herald of Andraste driven to madness, by the study of Rift Magic.
Song of Spirit and Blood
Despite the Chantry's stance on Blood Magic, and indeed the view across much of Thedas, it is perhaps strange to consider that the greatest heroes of the Dragon Age were, in fact, Blood Mages. However, what set these legendary women apart from the hordes of vile Maleficarum of the same century is speculated to be what was inside them.
For scholars of the era have concluded by piecing together accounts that these blood mages were inhabited by virtuous spirits that tempered the influence of potential demons attracted by blood magic.
Their respective biographical stories were written by Varric Tethras and compiled without his permission into a volume titled The Song of Spirit and Blood, which included notations by many famous scholars attempting to discern the meaning of Tethras' metaphors.
The Sirens of the Spirit and Blood
The legendary women who balanced spirit and blood magic were:
- Meryam Surana, a Circle Mage and Grey Warden bonded to a Spirit of Command, and turned to blood magic to kill the abomination Uldred during the Fifth Blight.
- Shallan Hawke, an apostate scholar inhabited by a Spirit of Learning. The first recorded instance of her blood magic was during the Qunari invasion, but evidence suggests earlier use.
- Vlora Adaar, a Qunari mercenary possessed by a Spirit of Valor, who used both spirit magic and blood magic in the study if necromancy.
The Blood and Magic of Elves
The ninth Age saw much of elves rising above their presumed station, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that the great heroes of the era were either of the People or tied to them.
The Champions of the Elvhen
The heroes of Elven History and culture were:
- Kvothe Mahariel, the Hero of Fereldan and a Bard originally of Clan Sabrae. He wrote many songs of his Clan, and eventually married the Witch of the Wilds, Morrigan, who worked tirelessly to preserve ancient histories and magics, perhaps especially that of the elves.
- Devi Hawke, while not an elf herself, the Champion of Kirkwall fell in love with a Dalish Elf from Clan Sabrae named Merrill, and did much to help her beloved save the clan and their history.
- Eilonwy Lavellan, of Clan Lavellan, was a Dalish hunter who led the Inquisition with a drive to better the lot of elves everywhere. She fell in love with an apostate named Solas, who knew much of what her people had lost.
Dances of Silk and Steel
Throughout Thedas, dueling has long been seen as a sport and diversion for nobility. There are, however, those who treat the art as a matter of life and death. And in the Age of the Dragon, the world was saved many times by the quick wits and blades of heroic duelists.
The greatest duelists of the Dragon Age were:
- Mistle Brosca, the Hero of Fereldan and a casteless dwarf who learned the art of dueling from Isabela, and fighting dirty in Dust Town.
- Kacha Hawke, a young woman who relished dueling for sport. She earned her fame dueling the Arishok, becoming the Champion of Kirkwall.
- Fela Trevelyan, Inquisitor and artificer who found a love of dueling after fighting for the hand of her beloved, Josephine.
Wars of the Broken Age
In perhaps the most tragic twist of fate, Thedas' most influential heroes saw one another as enemies. Each sought to be the one to lead Thedas to glory, and believed the others were in some way responsible for the ruination of the world. While each legendary figure made great stride, much was lost due to their clashing ideals.
The competing champions of Thedas were:
- Logain Cousland, the Hero of Fereldan, Prince-Consort and disputed King of Fereldan, Logain was an apostate who raised an army of werewolves at the expense of a Dalish clan.
- Sumeya Hawke, a warrior who fought against injustice where she saw it, becoming a champion of the mage cause.
- Kiral Trevelyan, a power-hungry mage-supremacist who took control of the Inquisition and turned it into his own personal army
Requiem of the Martyrs
During the Dragon Age, terror reigned, and it was only through greatest sacrifice that anything approaching peace could be achieved. Even the greatest heroes of the age are recognized as much for their sacrifice as for their accomplishments.
Those who gave everything for Thedas were:
- Valyn Aeducan, a dwarven prince-turned-Warden who left behind two sons when he slew the Archdemon of the Fifth Blight
- Ela Kader, Warden-Commander of Fereldan following the Fifth Blight.
- Pyrre Hawke, an assassin who saw death in every shadow, who sacrificed herself by engaging in an unwinnable battle to allow her allies time to escape.
- Ha Lin Cadash, Inquisitor of the Second Inquisition.
With the exception of Luciel Tabris, the given names of all the characters in this collection of worldstates were taken from fantasy literary characters. In the case of Tabris, the literary reference is in her middle name, Sabetha.
- Luciel Tabris' middle name, Sabetha, is shared with a major character in the Gentleman Bastard series, by Scott Lynch.
- Mierin Hawke and Logain Cousland share names with major characters in the Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan.
- Gwenna Cadash, Ha Lin Cadash, Adare Aeducan, Valyn Aeducan, and Pyrre Hawke were named after major characters from the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne, by Brian Staveley
- Pyrre Hawke and Ela Kader share names with major characters from the prequel novel Skullsworn.
- Vasher Amell shares a name with the titular character in Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson.
- Kamala Hawke shares a name with the protagonist of the Magister Trilogy, by C.S. Friedman
- Jasnah Trevelyan, Shallan Hawke, and Malata Hawke are named after characters in the Stormlight Archive series, by Brandon Sanderson.
- Sulema Adaar shares a name with the protagonist of The Dragon's Legacy, by Deborah A. Wolf.
- Zosia Cousland is named for the protagonist of The Crimson Empire trilogy by Alex Marshall.
- Nona Lavellan shares a name with the protagonist of The Book of the Ancestor series by Mark Lawrence.
- Meryam Surana, Sumeya Hawke, and Kiral Trevelyan are named after major characters from the Song of Shattered Sands, by Bradley P. Beaulieu
- Vlora Adaar shares a name with a major character in the Powder Mage series, and the protagonist of its spin-off series, Gods of Blood and Powder, by Brian McClellan.
- Kvothe Mahariel, Devi Hawke, and Fela Trevelyan are named for major characters in the Kingkiller Chronicle, by Patrick Rothfuss.
- Eilonwy Lavellan shares a name with a major character in the Chronicles of Prydain, by Loyd Alexander.
- Mistle Brosca and Cirilla Hawke are named for characters in the Witcher Saga, by Andrzej Sapkowski.
- Kacha Hawke shares a name with one of the protagonists in the Duelist Trilogy, by Julia Knight.