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While Dragon Age: Origins might be taking a different take on medieval fantasy than Lord of the Rings or Dungeons & Dragons, one thing remains the same: dwarves pick really crappy places to live.
The latest screenshots and concept art from BioWare depict Orzammar, an underground dwarven city. Stirring prose ahoy:
History tells us that the dwarven kingdoms once spread across all of Thedas, and that the underground city–fortresses called thaigs were almost beyond counting. Kal–Sharok was the capital then, home to all the noble houses, and Orzammar was simply the home of the miner and smith castes. It is an awe–inspiring sight, a great city of stone standing within a vast cavern, poised over a sea of molten lava. There the forges ring loudest, and the finest smiths create works that are the envy of all races. Countless thaigs were lost in the first Blight, when the darkspawn poured out of the Deep Roads like smoke. With each generation, more of the Deep Roads had to be sealed, more thaigs lost forever. Now only Orzammar stands—the last bastion of the dwarven race and its finest creation.
Over the past few months, BioWare has been releasing slowly releasing content about the various locales, creatures, and people that populate Dragon Age. You can find all of it at the official DA:O website.