Civilization and Culture
The Old Gods are sleeping beings that were worshipped in the form of dragons by a significant number of Thedosians, specifically the people of the Tevinter Imperium, thousands of years ago. Legend holds that it was the Old Gods who initially taught mages how to use magic. The Archdemons are awakened Old Gods, tainted by the darkspawn. The true nature of the Old Gods is unknown. The Old Gods are not creators and even the people of ancient Tevinter attributed the creation of the world to the Maker, although by a different name. The Chantry teaches that when the Maker turned his back on spirits, some of them grew jealous of the living. Those powerful enough whispered to the living in dreams claiming that they were the true gods, the creators of the world and the living should bow down before them. Eventually, the living summoned them through the Veil. In the mortal realm these spirits took the form of dragons, winged Old Gods that ruled over the land. The living started to worship them instead of the Maker, an act recognized as the "Original Sin." In fury the Maker cursed the Old Gods, imprisoning them in underground tombs where they would slumber eternally. Some accounts suggest that the Old Gods began whispering to humanity from the Golden City in -2800 Ancient, three hundred years after the arrival of humans in Thedas. They taught the dreamers of the Neromenian tribes magic, and these dreamers became the priests and kings of their people. Originally the Neromenian tribes worshiped fallen heroes reborn as dragons, and with dreamers as their leaders they began to instead worship the dreamers' gods, also as dragons. Scholars assume that the Old Gods must have been real at one point, but most agree that they were actual dragons of a magnitude not known today, and impressive enough to frighten ancient peoples into worshiping them. Some even claim that these dragons slumber as a form of hibernation, not as a result of the Maker's wrath. The Tome of Koslun, the sacred Qunari scripture explicitly says that "the Old Gods were like unto dragons, as the first human kings were like unto ordinary men".