A peace conference between mages and templars is destroyed in a large explosion which also opens the Breach and numerous smaller rifts, from which demons from the Fade emerge. The Chantry's senior clerics, including its leader, the Divine, are killed in the explosion, along with many mages and templars. The only survivor of the blast is the player character, who emerges from a rift with a mark on his or her hand capable of closing the rifts, but no memory of what happened. Cassandra and Leliana, former assistants to the Divine, enlist the player character's help in closing several rifts. The player character begins to be referred to as the Herald of Andraste. Together with former templar Cullen and ambassador Josephine, they carry out one of the Divine's last orders and establish the Inquisition, an organization which can act independently to address the crisis and close the Breach and defeat the one who created it.