BioWare’s been forthcoming about the new art style for Dragon Age 2, but even that didn’t prepare us for the surprise of seeing the redesigned qunari. Unlike the strange but decidedly humanoid qunari Sten from Origins, the images of the Dragon Age 2 qunari that we saw were muscular, nearly demonic-looking creatures. The most striking difference was the addition of horns. As it turns out, Dragon Age lore has an answer for why we haven’t seen them on qunari before.

“Not all qunari have horns,” says Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider. “Some are born without them, but it has never been considered a defect. Instead the mark is considered special, indicating one who is clearly meant for a special role in their society—as a Ben-Hassrath who enforces religious law or as an envoy to other races. It is also not uncommon for qunari who abandon their beliefs to remove their own horns, for reasons not yet clear.”



The change in qunari appearances have practical roots as well. “Art wanted to create more space between the races so we changed the way the qunari looked,” says senior artist Matt Goldman. “We have also changed the way elves and dwarves look for that matter, but qunari seem the most dramatic because you only ever saw Sten in Dragon Age: Origins.”

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