Pathfinder (Dragon Age Setting)
“In Seheron and Par Vollen, one can truly see the Qunari in their entirety. There, the unification of the Qunari into a single being is most evident. Workers, whom the Qun calls the mind, produce everything the Qunari require. The soul, the priesthood, seeks a greater understanding of the self, the world, and exhorts the body and mind to continually strive for perfection. The body serves as the go-between for the mind, the soul, and the world. Everyone and everything has a place, decided by the Qun, in which they work for the good of the whole. It is a life of certainty, of equality, if not individuality.” ―From the writings of the Seer of Qont-arr, 8:41 Blessed.
The Qun (kyoon) is a code of honor based on the writings of the Ashkaari Koslun. The Qun defines the role of everyone and everything in the society of the Qunari (“People of the Qun”), regardless of whether it is spiritual or mundane. For example, some Qunari are raised as soldiers from a very young age. They are expected to be strong, disciplined, and stoic, adhering without fail to the tenets of honor and duty as defined in the Qun. Fanatical in this devotion, the Qunari are prepared to wage war throughout their entire lives as part of their attempts to “enlighten” all other races in regards to their philosophy.
An important concept in the Qun is the idea of “Asit tal-eb”—"It is to be": the idea that everything and everyone in the world has a nature, and all these things come together to form a proper order – such as the locust devouring crops. It is every individual’s choice whether or not they act according to their nature and the nature of the world, or oppose the proper order, and as such fight against themselves and the world. The individual is not truly “individual”, but part of the whole. Their own nature contributes to the larger nature of the world, and so their struggle against self-balance disrupts the balance of the whole, thus hurting themselves. Because of this, society is not considered artificial, but part of nature.
Every aspect of the Qunari’s lives are dictated by Qun, which they follow unquestioningly, and see it as their moral duty to forcefully “educate” those who do not comprehend (for to Qunari, the Qun is not “believed”, it is “understood”). To the Qunari, the Qun is the true source of morality, and all societies that reject it will live in debauchery and suffering. To bring these societies to the Qun is to liberate them from their own self-inflicted torment. Even Qunari attempts at trade with other races and nations are done primarily to size up potential opponents, rather than to amass resources or wealth.
The Qunari do not believe in deities and find the concept of invisible omnipotent beings laughable. The Qunari place religious focus on the divine moral structure of the world, not divine beings. The Qunari tolerate deism in the converted populations in Rivain and Seheron, however, as they view their inhabitants as just beginning the path to enlightened self-knowledge, and that they will discard that sort of superstition eventually.
Qunari who have abandoned the Qun are called Tal-Vashoth and live away from the Qunari homelands, often working as mercenaries, some of whom the Warden will meet in places. All Qunari are defined by their social role, which is supposed to be a defining part of the person’s nature, unchangeable and fundamental. Qunari value their tools highly and consider them part of their worthiness, as extensions of their role and duties. A Qunari soldier must never be separated from his sword; such an individual will likely be shamed and/or executed upon returning to the homeland.
The Chantry considers the Qun to be a threat to their teachings — a test of faith to be fought and vanquished. There have thus been several Exalted Marches declared on the Qunari both by the Chantry and the Imperial Chantry. While the Qunari possess superior technology, they are far more reluctant than the Chantry to turn to the use of magic. This extreme dislike of magic helped push them to develop technologically, but as a result their knowledge of magic is very small, and their mages’ power undeveloped. By 7:85 Storm, they had been pushed back to Northern Rivain and Par Vollen.