The Dragonforged is found in a cave under a set of standing stones at Hillfigure Knoll, in the Northface Forest. He is accompanied at all times, and only by his faithful pawn The Fool, who has come to closely resemble him. Supposedly a man who faced a dragon long ago, he is the only man who knows how to read Dragonspeak.
The Dragonforged is an Arisen from long ago - he created the warrior drawing on Hillfigure Knoll to draw Arisen to him, and seeks to guide any Arisen who come to him. A headless spear and shield can be seen in his cave, and on the knoll itself can be found the Signs of Valor, former spearheads used as daggers - it seems that all these were once the Dragonforged's weapons, and the drawing on the hill likely depicts himself.
An Arisen also, his arms are burnt black - likely the reason for his namesake of "Dragonforged" is that his hands and legs underwent the process.
- The Cypher (bring the Ancient Slate for The Dragonforged to decipher)
- The Dragon's Tongue (bring the Ancient Tablet to The Dragonforged)
- The Final Battle - if visited the Dragonforged will give advice, as well as a Dragonleather Vest, and Draconian Strategy Vol. 1.
- The Heart's Compass (escort The Dragonforged to the Miasmic Haunt)
- "All I know is yours to hear, should you desire it."
- "... The Arisen needs know little, and needs do still less. There is but one mantra you need hear, in truth: Follow your instinct."
- "I considered any bond with another being as a seed of doom for the Arisen. I feared them for a weakness, and feared weakness above all... And so I cast all ties aside and rose against the dragon in solitude... To this end. Even now, I know not what I ought have done different. How I ought have faced my weakness... perhaps that doubt above all, explains why I fell short."
- "Edmun? Did you speak the name Edmun? Tis the name of the Arisen who came before you. I know not how he turned away the Dragon...I bade him follow his instinct, same as I have bidden you. That is all our kind can do, Arisen of the present day. Continue forth from that first step and never look back. Tis our duty, and our fate. Though my own path stopped short, leaving me to linger on, an unsightly revenant..."
- "The hour is come, Arisen. The door lies open. Seek the temple atop the Tainted Mountain, beyond the Greatwall... At its pinnacle, in the shadow of the wyrm, keeper of the endless ring, you will make your choice. What you there become, only you can decide."
On the Dragon
- "The beast is called death incarnate, the greatest of evils... You will learn, when you come to face it, that the truth is not so simple. It possesses deep insight to match its cold and steady drive to destruction. And an air of resignation, perhaps, lies beneath its imposing rage."
On the Arisen
- "The arisen is a child of man. No more, no less. 'Tis said the Arisen is born whene'er man takes his first true step toward a goal. When the spirit gives rise to action, a man becomes Arisen. Those, like us, whose paths lead to the dragon are known unto the beast as a matter of instinct. Just as it is our own instinct that guides us on."
- "I am he(him) who was forged in the dragon's fire. I stand astride the bounds of life and death, remaining here that I may pass my knowledge on to the Arisen of each coming age. My battle as the Arisen has spanned a thousand years and yet it knows no end. Nor shall it, until the Arisen to follow me strikes the dragon dead."
On the Arisens's hearts
- "Aye, ours are bodies marked by the wyrm, yours and mine. A scar across the chest, to stand as proof of the dragon's claim over our hearts. I carved a scarred man into the face of this hill, that it might serve as a beacon to those who bear our mark. It beats yet, as does mine, there within the beast. A thousand years since it was stolen, and yet it beats... As long as the dragon lives, the hearts in its safekeeping know no death. Our kind may die in battle, aye, but neither age nor illness will ever claim us. We have stepped free of this mortal coil, Arisen."
- After Deny Salvation, if the pawns are spoken to, they will imply that the Dragonforged faced the Dragon long ago.
- Grants a Dragonleather Vest and a Draconian Strategy Vol. 1 upon speaking to him just before The Final Battle.
- He will then also talk about "the choice" the Arisen will have to make atop The Tainted Mountain: "At its pinnacle, in the shadow of the wyrm, 'keeper of the endless ring', you will make your choice."
- His pawn The Fool seems to have been much affected by the process known as the Bestowal of Spirit.
- See also Dragon's Dogma World and Lore
One likely theory, is that the Dragonforged faced the Dragon in battle, but was forced to fight with his hands due to his weapon (a spear) breaking - evidence for this is the Dragonforged burnt arms, and the tip of a broken spear found at the Hillfigure Knoll (see Signs of Valor) - there are cryptic references to these on inscriptions inside the Dragonforged cave. His moniker "Dragonforged" could be a reference to having fought a Dragon barehanded, as Dragonforging is usually applied only to weapons used against a Dragon.
It has also been supposed that the Dragonforged may have been leader of the great kingdom the player sees later in the game, at The Tainted Mountain, to which the Dragon refers during the Final Battle. One theory is that the Dragonforged's deal with the Dragon was the sacrifice of his Kingdom in exchange for deep knowledge regarding the dragons. However he notes in his conversations with the Arisen that he did not trust in other people, suggesting that he may not have been given an option to sacrifice a beloved like the Duke and the present day Arisen.
A further extended theory conflates The Dragonforged with Godking Leonart - though there is little direct evidence for this. Leonart was a historical figure said to have defeated a Dragon and unified the continent - it may be that this same king established the city found in ruins at the Tainted Mountain. In the proposed version of events, Leonart first made a pact with the Dragon, for worldly power, sacrificed this beloved, and became king. Then, just as in the events of Dragon's Dogma, the Dragon returned - and this time Leonart, regretting his previous actions, set out alone to face the Dragon, this time to defeat it, but was unsuccessful - this would explain the mystery surrounding his origins, as a long forgotten king - it would also make him Leonart, now known as Dragonforged, a distance relative of Aelinore. Further, circumstantial evidence is that Grigori describes the destruction of the Tainted Mountain city as "[a] fool's decision of a man too weak", referencing his foolish actions, reflected in the changed appearance of his pawn The Fool. An obvious flaw in this theory is that if the Tainted Mountain city was destroyed with the vanquishing of a Dragon, then the Dragonforged should have perished long ago, as he would no longer be ageless. If the theory is true then is may be that guilt about his first sacrificial decision has 'clouded' his memory of it.