“As does a drowning man know the sea, so does a mage know magic” ―A Qunari saying
The Qunari (literally, “People of the Qun”) is the common name for the horned race that primarily inhabits northern Thedas, including the island nations of Par Vollen and Seheron, and the settlement of Kont-Aar in northern Rivain. Once known as kossith, they abandoned this title after embracing the teachings of the Qun.
It is also a term that can refer to a member of any race who adheres to the teachings of the Qun: humans, elves and even dwarves can thus become Qunari. Humans of Rivain and elven slaves of Tevinter are especially susceptible to conversion, although it is not unknown for members of other groups to embrace the Qun.
Those who abandon the Qun are no longer considered to be Qunari. They become Vashoth, “grey ones,” though these outcasts prefer the name Tal-Vashoth, “true grey ones.” Most Tal-Vashoth are former soldiers and become mercenaries, and are considered by Qunari to be worse than bas
Qunari are taller and considered to be more physically robust than humans. They have metallic-hued skin (bronze, gold and silver have been observed), white hair, slightly pointed ears, and vivid eyes with colors like violet, red, silver, or yellow. Most Qunari of both gender have horns though some do not.
These arrived in Thedas en masse by warships, called dreadnoughts, in 6:30 Steel, from an unknown eastern land across the Northern Ocean. The contact with it was lost during the Storm Age. They once threatened to conquer all of the known world, but after several Exalted Marches during the Qunari Wars they have lost much of the conquered land. The Qunari currently maintain a tight grip on Par Vollen and loosely control Seheron. They also hold Kont-Aar in northern Rivain and Qundalon on the coast north of Anderfels. They are involved in a prolonged war for dominance of the north against the Tevinter Imperium.
The Qunari are more technologically advanced than the native Thedosian cultures. They have developed an explosive powder (“gaatlok”) that is more effective than dwarven explosives. Its formula is a secret they carefully guard. The Qunari cannons and dreadnoughts allowed them to sweep across northern Thedas and advance far into Tevinter within ten years from their arrival on the continent. The allied nations relied heavily on the Circle of Magi to counter their cannons.
The Qunari call their own mages “saarebas”, which means “a dangerous thing” in Qunlat. As the Qunari believe that mages are ultimately unable to master themselves, each saarebas is entrusted to an “arvaarad” (“one who holds back evil”) who bears a control rod. They are leashed and collared, and their mouths are sewn shut. Should they be found practicing forbidden magic, their tongues are cut out to prevent them from corrupting others