Dragon Age: What’s The Difference Between The Qunari And The Kossith?

Quick Links

  • Who Were The Kossith?
  • What Is The Qun And Who Are The Qunari?
  • Cheat Sheet: What Name Is Used In What Context?

The Dragon Age universe is packed with wonderful cultures and races. One of the more confusing groups, though, is the Qunari, a race of tall, horned, grey-skinned humanoids. Their namesake, the Qun, functions as a religion and government rolled into one.

We get to see more and more Qunari as the series progresses, but we've never visited a Qunari city or been truly immersed in the Qunari culture. Today, we're unpacking the differences between the kossith, their ancestors, and the Qunari.

Who Were The Kossith?

The term "kossith" was the name for the race of tall, horned, grey-skinned humanoids before the Qun was formed.

The word "kossith" is actually unknown to most people in Thedas. It exists only within very scholarly circles that are dedicated to the study of the Qunari. If you were to walk up to your favorite Dragon Age character and start to talk about the kossith, odds are that they'd have no idea what you were talking about.

Though some fans use this term to refer to members of this race as they exist in the modern-day, separate from the religion, that is inaccurate. Today, the race actually has no name beyond "Qunari," which refers to the religion as a whole. If you say "Qunari," others will probably assume that you're speaking about the tall, horned, grey-skinned race. While this is usually accurate, since converts to the religion are outnumbered by the descendants of the kossith, it's not true to the technical definition.

History Of The Kossith

  • Pre -410 Ancient: The race of kossith is speculated to have inhabited a land to the east across the ocean
  • -410 Ancient: A group of Kossith, sailing from an unknown place, land in the Kocari Wilds and establish a colony
  • Sometime Between -395 and -203 Ancient: Kossith are attacked by darkspawn during the first blight and some of the kossith women are turned into broodmothers, who produce the first Ogres
  • Sometime Before 6:30 Steel: The Qun religion is founded among members of the kossith race
  • 6:30 Steel: A group of kossith, calling themselves Qunari, land in Par Vollen

What Is The Qun And Who Are The Qunari?

The Qun is a major faction in Thedas. Some people would call the Qun a religion, while others would call it a school of thought, a government, or a cult. Regardless of the technical term that the group should bear, we can at least say that the Qun includes control over and directions about spiritual, philosophical, and ethical teachings, a system of law and governance, and a way that societies and family units should be organized. In short, the Qun is all-encompassing.

Most Qunari are descendants of an ancient race of grey-skinned, tall, horned humanoids called the kossith. However, converts from other races are welcome and are also referred to as Qunari. Most converts are elves who are fed up with how they are treated by society, but other races are also welcome, however uncommon.

In the modern-day, the Qunari occupy a northern island called Par Vollen. It's rare to see Qunari off the island in southern Thedas. However, they're more present than some humans realize because converts who are human, elven, or dwarven are often deployed in southern Thedas to report back to the Qun.

History Of The Qunari

  • Sometime Before 6:30 Steel: Ashkaari Koslun founds the Qun
  • 6:30 Steel: The Qunari arive in Par Vollen
  • Between 6:30 Steel And 7:85 Storm: The Qunari expand from Par Vollen into Rivain and other parts of Thedas but are fought by the Ferelden and Tevinter Chantries
  • 7:25-7:84 Storm: The Qunari Wars (aka The New Exalted Marches), the Tome of Koslun is lost to the Qunari and held by Orlais
  • 7:85 Storm: The only lands still under the control of the Qun are Par Vollen and Northern Rivain, peace treaty is signed between the Qun and all human nations except Tevinter (who still want control of Par Vollen)
  • 9:30 Dragon: The Arishok sends a group to southern Thedas, including Sten, to discover what the Blight is
  • 9:31 Dragon: Orlais attempts to return the Tome of Koslun to the Qunari but it is stolen by Isabela
  • 9:34 Dragon: The Arishok attacks Kirkwall to recover the Tome of Koslun
  • 9:44 Dragon: Qunari plot to take over Southern Thedas is stopped by the Inquisition and the agents of Fen'Harel
  • Around 9:44 Dragon: The Antaam invades Tevinter and captures several cities without permission

Cheat Sheet: What Name Is Used In What Context?

Qunari Anyone who follows the Qun, regardless of race
Vashoth A member of the tall, horned, grey-skinned race who was not born into the Qun religion
Tal-Vashoth Anyone who was born into the Qun religion and willingly chose to leave it
Viddathari A follower of the Qun who is not a member of the tall, horned, grey-skinned race (this term is almost exclusively used by other followers of the Qun, not outsiders)
Kossith Refers to the tall, horned, grey-skinned race before the Qun was formed, and not to members of that race who exist today

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