Civilization and Culture
Major Language Groups and Dialects
Both the elves and the dwarves claim that there was once a time when humans did not walk the land. There is no mention of a time when the Veil didn't exist in human history. The Chantry teaches that the Maker created the Veil before He created men. Some scholars believe that the first humans in Thedas came from the rainforests of Par Vollen many thousands of years ago, migrating south from the archipelago. The pyramids they built still stand to this day and are regarded by travelers to the region as true wonders. Elven lore also states that humans first arrived in Thedas around -3100 Ancient from Par Vollen to the north. The first human tribe, the Neromenians, divided into various tribes to become the progenitors of many nations in Thedas. This tribe settled the entire coast along the Nocen Sea and subdivided into separate kingdoms: Qarinus, Tevinter, Neromenian, and Barindur, which ultimately united to form the Tevinter Imperium. Humans in the lands of Tevinter used to worship a draconic pantheon of Old Gods, which are now said to slumber beneath the earth. The magister rulers of the ancient Tevinter Imperium who regularly talked to the Old Gods, engaged in a series of invasions in which they defeated the elven kingdom of Elvhenan and enslaved the race. Boosted by the sheer number of slaves, the Imperium conquered almost the entirety of Thedas in the next few centuries. Eventually, the Imperium was challenged from the south by a barbarian uprising, the armies led by Maferath and his wife, the prophet Andraste. Andraste brought the teachings of a new god, the Maker, and her word spread quickly. The oppressed masses of the Imperium rose up in rebellion to support the invading barbarians and eventually most of the south fell to their might. Andraste was not stopped in her Exalted March until she was betrayed by her husband: jealous of her power, Maferath turned Andraste over to the Tevinter archon and she was burned at the stake. The Chant of Light would say that the Maker turned his back on humanity when she died. He would only return and make the world into a paradise when the Chant of Light was sung from all corners of the world, and so the Chantry began to spread. The clerics of the Chantry were oppressed until the legendary emperor Drakon of Orlais converted and took up their cause, spreading the Chantry throughout all the lands that he conquered in its name. In modern times, the Chantry has spread throughout the known world, its power unquestioned even as it begins to give way to internal strife. Despite internal strife, humans remain dominant across Thedas, with the exception of the underground kingdom of the dwarves and the Qunari islands to the north.
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