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Sten is a Qunari and potential party member in Dragon Age: Origins. He is initially sent to Ferelden along with a group of fellow Qunari by his people to learn of the Blight. Upon arriving, the group is attacked by Darkspawn and all in the group are killed except for Sten. He is saved by a family of farmers who take Sten into their home. After waking up, he finds himself without his comrades or his sword. In Qunari culture, the sword is the soul and if a Qunari loses their sword, they are killed. Thrown into a berserker rage by losing his weapon, Sten murders the family of farmers and is arrested by the Chantry.
The Warden first encounters Sten in Lothering, where he has been imprisoned in a cage on the outskirts of the town. The player has the option of freeing him and employing his aid against the Blight. There are several ways to accomplish this, though each method involves acquiring the key to Sten's cage from the Chantry.
Sten is a very stern individual, and like his people, sees everything in terms of efficiency. He finds any action not progressive toward ending the Blight, including helping others or even engaging in small talk, a waste of time. Thus he can be very gruff and difficult to speak with. It is mentioned several times that Sten is his rank rather than his name, which he refuses to share.
In Dragon Age II, the Qunari were drastically retconned; instead of being tall, dark-skinned humans with white hair, they became horned humanoids distinctly reminiscent of the Draenei from World of Warcraft. Bioware has explained away this change in continuity by stating that a relative few Qunari are not horned, but this physical difference does not paint such Qunari in a negative light among their people.