Object-Paragon Branka

Statue of Paragon Branka

Paragons are the elite of the dwarven culture, the pinnacle of dwarven excellence, and the one exception to the rigid caste structure as they can be drawn from any caste, even the casteless.[1]

Background Edit

They are the noble warriors, politicians, smiths and even children that all others seek to emulate, and they function as essential role models to all dwarves. While dwarves have no gods, a Paragon is like a god in the eyes of dwarves[1] which is attributed to the fact that the dwarves venerate their Ancestors, so a living Paragon is considered as a living Ancestor. The word of a Paragon surpasses in weight even the word of a king—even if the former's title does not grant official power.[2]

Dwarven cities are decorated by monolithic lifelike statues of Paragons from days past. They are most prominent in the Hall of Heroes inside the surface gates where the giant statues appear to hold up the ceiling. This is meant to impress—and perhaps intimidate—visitors to Orzammar and to convey upon dwarves heading to the surface all that they are leaving behind.

Hirol's Tomb II

Paragon Hirol's sarcophagus

King Endrin Stonehammer is the known as the First Paragon of the dwarves and is also the most famous.[3][4]

Election of Paragons Edit

There are few living Paragons as many dwarves are named Paragon only after their death.[1][5] The act by which one becomes a Paragon can vary. Typically it is a feat of bravery in warfare or an incredible invention, but it can also be something as simple as embodying the ideals and tasks of one's caste to an unprecedented perfection.[1][6] However some have earned the rank for less important pursuits such as writing particularly good rhymes or brewing stronger ales.[7] A Paragon is elected by the Assembly, which is no easy feat and often involves long debate and even bloodshed.[8] When a Paragon is chosen a house is immediately created in the name of the Paragon, and their name is recorded in the Memories, the records of the dwarves.

In ancient times, the best warriors of Grand Provings were named Paragons and many statues were constructed in their honor.[9]

Known Paragons Edit

  • Aeducan: He lived during the First Blight and led the armies of Orzammar against the darkspawn at a time when they had almost completely destroyed the dwarven empire. It is said that his election to Paragon had but one dissenting vote; the one who cast that vote was savagely hacked to death by his fellow deshyrs[10], allowing the election to pass unanimously. He is the founder of House Aeducan.
  • Astyth the Grey: She is the first female Paragon of the Warrior caste. Astyth founded the Silent Sisters, and members of that order cut out their tongue in emulation of her. At 1:95 Divine, Astyth became a Paragon when she sacrificed her life for the king.[11]
  • Bemot: He is the founder of House Bemot and became a Paragon and king in one move during the Fourth Blight. He was born as a commoner. His statue can be found in the Hall of Heroes.
  • Branka: She became a Paragon in 9:10 Dragon[12] and the only to be elected in four generations. She is also the founder and head of House Branka and the wife of Oghren. She's an ill-tempered smith who invented a smokeless coal. She went into the Deep Roads on a secret mission in 9:28 Dragon, taking her entire household with her except Oghren. Her statue can be found in the Hall of Heroes.
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  • Bianca Davri: At 9:41 Dragon she is under consideration for Paragon status for her invention of a steam powered mechanical thresher and seeder. If successful, she will be the first surface dwarf ever to be nominated as Paragon.
  • Child Paragon: The deeds and name are unknown, the memorial in Caridin's Cross has been worn away by time or vandalized by darkspawn.
  • Caridin: He is the Paragon who created the Anvil of the Void. He originally descended from House Ortan but after his elevation to the Paragon status he created his own house. When he died, the secret of how to make war golems died with him.
  • Ebryan: A Paragon who wrote the book Songs That Only Nugs Can Hear in 5:84 Exalted.[13]
  • Egon Wintersbreath: One of the greatest dwarven warriors, he is known for mounting the defense of the Kingdom of Hormak against the darkspawn until it fell in -35 Ancient. He later left for the surface after learning about the decree of High King Threestone who ordered the Deep Roads leading to Orzammar to be sealed, claiming that he would "rather die under an alien sky than be buried in the Stone that betrayed [them]."[14]
  • Orseck Garal: He is an ancient king of the dwarven empire. After his death, he was succeeded by his friend and ally Endrin Stonehammer who named Orseck Garal as Paragon on his deathbed.[17]
  • Orrick Garen: He is the only king who became a Paragon during his reign. Garen lived in the early Exalted Age and is responsible for sending numerous units of the Legion of the Dead into the Deep Roads to find his outcast son.[18] Furthermore, as a tribute to his son, every heir of House Garen assumed the name Tethras.[19]
  • Gherlen[20]/Gherlon[21] the Blood-Risen: He was born casteless but he ventured to the surface and after he gained enough prestige from his adventures, he returned to Orzammar and became a Paragon and king by overthrowing the previous ruler. His tale is still honored by dwarven adventurers.
  • Heidrun the Deep: His deeds are unknown. The Paragon is buried in a grandiose tomb in the Heidrun Thaig which is named after him.[22]
  • Hekkat: A Paragon who discovered the means that allowed dwarves to build structures of massive height and breadth.[23]
  • Hirol: He is a Paragon who considered himself outside of the caste system and made several improvements on Caridin's original golem designs. He is also the founder of the noble House Hirol. His tomb can be found in the Trade Quarter of Kal'Hirol.
  • Hrildan: A female Paragon who is featured in the Hall of Heroes. There are also carvings made out of her.
  • Lantena: A female Paragon who is featured in the Hall of Heroes.
  • Lynchcar: A Paragon who lived during the Steel Age. His deeds are not known but he is mentioned in a book of poetry.
  • Moroc the Maul: A legendary warrior, Moroc was present at the Grey Wardens founding in -305 Ancient (890 TE). His contributions are a key reason that here is no loss of caste associated with becoming a Warden.[4]
  • Ortan: A Paragon and founder of House Ortan who composed a grand epic of the Seven Brothers and the Ortanic Symphony. The Ortan Thaig is named after him.[27] His statue can be found in the Hall of Heroes.
  • Endrin Stonehammer: He succeeded Orseck Garal as the king of the dwarven empire. Stonehammer was named Paragon on his deathbed.[3][17]
  • Tethras: A Paragon and founder of House Tethras. He descended from the lineage of Paragon Orrick Garen. His noble house was banished to the surface in 8:98 Blessed for fixing Proving matches.
  • Vollney: A Paragon and founder of House Vollney whose deeds are not yet known, but it is known for becoming a Paragon by the narrowest margin in the history of the dwarves; one single vote.[29]
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  • Heldane Zadol: Also known as the "Weaponsfather", he is a Paragon who lived in Hormak and pioneered the art of folding steel, and whose blades are therefore coveted.[4][31]

Paragon-Elect Edit

After the rediscovery of Kal-Sharok, it is revealed that in a time after the kingdom was completely isolated in -15 Ancient and considered lost to the darkspawn horde[33] the dwarves of that city changed the way Paragons are worshipped and nominated as well as the type of their power. Paragon Elect is the highest elected government office. Furthermore, the practice of nominating Paragons changed from recognition of past deeds into recognition of promised deeds. In Kal-Sharok Paragons are not rendered as giant statues like Orzammar, but as massive posthumous wall carvings that span lengths of the Deep Roads.[2] The dwarves of Kal-Sharok do not recognize the Paragons of Orzammar and likewise, Orzammar does not recognize their Paragons.[34]

Known Paragon-Elects Edit

  • Sturhald-Sharok[35]

See also Edit

Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Paragons Known and Lesser Known

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 12
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 127
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne p. 355
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 10
  5. Codex entry: Life in Orzammar
  6. There have been Paragons of the Servant caste who embodied the ideals of duty and service to such a degree that they were elevated to Paragons.
  7. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 126
  8. As noted in Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 12. Feuds have erupted as the result of the naming of a Paragon, because the creation of a new noble house, in effect, dilutes the power of the Assembly.
  9. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 20
  10. As mentioned by scholar Gertek to the Dwarf Noble.
  11. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 71
  12. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 137
  13. Codex entry: Nug (Origins)
  14. Based on the description of Wintersbreath (Inquisition).
  15. Codex entry: A Journal on Dwarven Ruins
  16. Codex entry: Dwarven Inscriptions: Hissing Wastes
  17. 17.0 17.1 Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 26
  18. Codex entry: First Legionnaire's Journal, Codex entry: Second Legionnaire's Journal, Codex entry: Third Legionnaire's Journal
  19. Mentioned by Varric Tethras.
  20. Dragon Age: Origins Prima Guide Collector's Edition, Traveler's Guide.
  21. Mentioned by Rica Brosca in the beginning of the Dwarf Commoner Origin.
  22. Monument to Heidrun the Deep
  23. Note: The Lost Outpost Plaque
  24. Codex entry: Amgeforn the Lonely Vigil
  25. Codex entry: Ivo Family Crest
  26. Codex entry: Blood Ring
  27. Mentioned by Orta.
  28. Codex entry: In Praise of the Humble Nug.
  29. As mentioned by Scholar Gertek to the Dwarf Noble.
  30. As mentioned the epilogue.
  31. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 64
  32. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, p. 363
  33. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 52
  34. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 40
  35. Paragon-Elect Sturhald-Sharok Carving