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No New Posts Val Royeaux

Unlike other cities, where the people are the life-blood and the character, Val Royeaux was her own person, and her people little more than decorations. There was always music in Val Royeaux, streaming from the many windows--quiet refrains and triumphant choruses. And always, floating above that all, the Chant, coming from the Grand Cathedral. It was magnificent.

—Leliana




Val Royeaux is the capital city of Orlais, and home to the Andrastian Chantry. It lies on the northern coast of the far inland tip of the Waking Sea. It is one of the largest cities of Thedas. The city's residents refer to themselves as "Royans."




Val Royeaux is not only the secular capital, but also the capital of the Chantry, the seat of the Divine being situated at the Grand Cathedral of Val Royeaux. There, past the imposing Sun Gates and more modest Night Gate, the Chantry performs a ritual where the entire Chant of Light is sung, a process thought to take about a fortnight to complete. From the White Spire, the Knight-Vigilant of the templars directs the Order.

Val Royeaux is home to the University of Orlais, a major center of learning that attracts young nobles from all over Thedas with the best education money can buy. It is a relatively modern institution whose liberal-minded professors have already clashed with religious conservatives over the content of their classes.

Val Royeaux is also where aging templars retire to when they can no longer adequately perform their services due to mental deterioration caused by long-term lyrium dependency.

The Alienage of Val Royeaux is the most populated and dilapidated in Thedas, with over ten thousand elves living in an area roughly equivalent in size to the market in Denerim.

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No New Posts Western Approach

The Western Approach is a large, arid expanse in southwestern Orlais. Farther west lie the Hunterhorn Mountains and uninhabited steppes and forests.



This area was the site of a major battle during the Second Blight. The darkspawn swarmed out of the great chasm to the south named the Abyssal Rift and corrupted the land beyond recovery. Now it is a stark and sad place with unstable purple sands, occasional rocky pillars and ridges jutting out of them and strong howling winds. At night the air grows still and the sky is alight with shimmering auroras, but this is also the time when the darkspawn come out of hiding.

The Orlesians put iron towers at least a hundred feet high to mark the path in the badlands: a traveler who reaches one of them is able to see the next. The towers are now old and rusted. Adamant Fortress, built by the dwarves and used as a Grey Warden outpost, stands on the lip of the chasm.

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No New Posts Lost Temple of Dirthamen

The Lost Temple of Dirthamen is an ancient temple dedicated to the Elven god Dirthamen. It is located in northwestern Orlais, off the southern coast of the Waking Sea.



The temple is dedicated to Dirthamen, God of Secrets. Once a place of worship, it has been neglected for ages, until it became a crumbling, flooded ruin.

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No New Posts Hissing Wastes

The Hissing Wastes is a large stretch of desert in western Orlais.



The Hissing Wastes is a stretch of sandy desert north of the Western Approach, a lonely place where the wildlife is hungry and hostile. Among the hungriest and most hostile are the dragons that make their nests here. The rare person wandering into the wastes is either hunting prized beasts or hoping to uncover evidence of a long-vanished civilization in the dunes.

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No New Posts Forbidden Oasis

The Forbidden Oasis is a desert location located in the western parts of Orlais.



The Forbidden Oasis lies in the northern stretches of the Western Approach. A mining company from Val Firmin once set up shop in the region but moved on when profits dried up. A mysterious temple lies as the heart of the oasis, but no one has managed to enter it.

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No New Posts The Dales

The Dales are the area of southeastern Orlais to the west of Ferelden. From -170 Ancient to 2:20 Glory—a period of nearly four centuries—they were the homeland of the elves of Thedas.

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No New Posts Arbor Wilds

The Arbor Wilds is a dense jungle-like forest in Orlais located in the southern portion of the country.



The Arbor Wilds is a thick forest located south of the Dales in Orlais. Most of the forest is uncharted and unexplored and many that daringly venture this alien-like land often never return, most likely because of the 'Sentinels' that guard the land. Many ancient Elven ruins lay dormant and abandoned within the forest, rich with ancient elven artifacts and treasures.

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Orlais

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Orlais
An empire in southwestern Thedas.
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