Dogs play a large part in Fereldan culture and none is more desirable than the Mabari. They are large heavily built dogs usually brown or light grey in color with grey muzzles. The breed is as old as myth and said to have been magically bred by the Formari from the wolves who served Dane. They are prized for their intelligence and loyalty, choosing their masters and pairing with them for life. Imprinting a Mabari on a new master is nearly impossible.
They are military weapons, status symbols, and to be the master of a Mabari in Fereldan is to be recognized instantly as a person of worth. The sight and sound of Mabari war hounds has caused panic among even the most hardened of infantry soldiers, they can break lines of pikemen, and easily pull knights from horseback. Despite this the Mabari can be a gentle, caring, companion and appropriately responds to conversations with barks, growls, and whines seemingly understanding what’s being said.
The Mabari used as war hounds use scent to distinguish friend from foe but the blood of the battle can confuse them so Mabari handlers paint the hounds and themselves with special war paint called ‘Kaddis’ that overpowers the scent of blood.
"The mabari is clever enough to speak, and wise enough to know not to." -Fereldan Proverb
"They use scent to distinguish us from our enemies. But the blood of battle can confuse them. So we paint ourselves with kaddis, which overpowers the blood, and also paint our hounds, so they know we are the same." -Ash Warrior Leader