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Females of sentient species are taken captive whenever possible  by the Darkspawn and tainted repeatedly with their "spew." Apparently in as short as nine days this can turn a human, qunari, elvish or dwarvish female into a darkspawn ally of some sort, an ally that focuses on the consumption of their former peers (or any other passers by) to accelerate their transformation into a Broodmother. Broodmothers are the leadership of the Darkspawn whenever a blight is not in session. The originating species determines what type of Darkspawn Eggs the Broodmother lays: Qunari Broodmothers lay Ogres, Elves lay Shreiks, Humans Genlocks and Dwarves Hurlocks. 
 
 Hespith, the companion of the Paragon Branka and likely Broodmother herself told the tale of her companion Laryn becoming the Broodmother seen in Dragon Age: Origins: 

"First day; they come and catch everyone. 
Second day; they beat us and eat some for meat. 
Third day; the men are all gnawed on again. 
Fourth day; we wait and fear for our fate. 
Fifth day; they return and it's another girl's turn. 
Sixth day; her screams we hear in our dreams. 
Seventh day; she grew as in her mouth they spew. 
Eighth day; we hated as she is violated. 
Ninth day; she grins and devours her kin. 
Now she does feast, as she's become the beast."      
 
When facing a Broodmother they attack with tentacles and attempt to catch a party member and vomit copiously upon them. A common strategy in Dragon Age: Origins was to deal with the tentacles first.

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