Located in the southeast of Thedas, Ferelden is a nation known as the birthplace of Andraste and the battleground of the Fifth Blight. It is home to significant communities of humans, dwarves, and elves. Life and politics in Ferelden have been historically turbulent, defined by ages of tribal in-fighting and foreign invasions.
Only in the last few centuries has Ferelden begun to settle down. Other nations, especially Orlais, still consider Ferelden a backwater, however. Due to a history of invasion and occupation by Orlesian forces, diplomatic relations between the two nations remain tense at the best of times.
The nation was formed by King Calenhad nearly four hundred years before the start of the Fifth Blight by uniting Alamarri clans. Alistair Theirin, one of Calenhad's descendants, is the current monarch of the nation.
The kingdom of Ferelden is the southernmost civilized nation in Thedas—although some scholars dispute that claim to “civilization”. It is perhaps the most physically isolated of all the kingdoms of Thedas: to the east is the Amaranthine Ocean, to the north the Waking Sea, and to the south the Korcari Wilds, which in the summer months are a vast peat bog, and in the winter become a treacherous labyrinth of iced-over waterways. North of the Wilds lie the Southron Hills and the Hinterlands. The various hills and mountains of Ferelden are still occupied by Avvars, and the Korcari Wilds by the Chasind, tribes independent of Ferelden. Dalish elves can also be found traveling through the nation, or hiding in the Brecilian Forest.
The Frostback Mountains guard the western border, and only a narrow plain between the mountains and the sea allows travel between Ferelden and Orlais. In the far northern region are The Coastlands, which include more swamps and forests. Most of the land in the central portion of the kingdom, called the Bannorn, is open plains—effectively the "bread-basket" of Ferelden, containing the most arable land. They are crossed by the remnants of an ancient Tevinter highway, called the Imperial Highway. It enters Ferelden in the Frostback Mountains via Gherlen's Pass and circles Lake Calenhad and the Bannorn. One branch ends in Denerim and another at Ostagar, which is also the Highway's southmost point.
The western part of Ferelden is dominated by Lake Calenhad, a huge caldera filled by the runoff of glaciers from nearby mountains. Lake Calenhad is home to the famed fortress of Redcliffe, as well as the Circle Tower, which houses Ferelden's Circle of Magi. In the east is the vast Brecilian Forest, which the superstitious locals profess to be haunted, and from which rises the Dragon's Peak, a solitary mountain that guards the capital city of Denerim.
Ferelden has two islands off its northeast coast: one containing the city of Alamar and another named Brandel's Reach. Alamar is considered rather independent of Fereldan politics. This could be explained by the rocky Brandel's Reach reputedly being a haven for raiders, making Alamar an unpopular place to live or visit.
In southern regions of Thedas, like Ferelden, temperature changes grow most extreme with heavy precipitation and harsh winters. Fereldans have grown accustomed to unpredictable and miserable weather and typically dress for the elements of their regions. The coldest month in Ferelden is Haring.
2.1 SOCIAL STANDING
Social standing in Ferelden cities is generally stratified according to proximity to the seat of a local authority. Upper class citizens tend to live closer to the centre of a community, often the castle residence of a local ruler. Lower classes live closer to the city walls and living outside the city walls is the lowest class of citizen out of of all. There are also crafters and crafthouses, similar to guilds, who make up a highly valued middle tier between the lowest noble and the highest common classes. They have total power over certain industries in Ferelden. Beneath the crafthouses, the population is subdivided into common classes called "High Freemen" and "Low Freemen." High freemen are comprised of freeholders (land owners), soldiers and other employed individuals. Low freemen are made up of criminals, prostitutes and elves. For all that, all freemen are allowed to live and go where they wish, and make a living as they will. Serfdom in Ferelden is rare as most freemen are paid in coin or barter for their work.
In Ferelden, nobles have proper last names, such as the Howes or the Couslands. Sometimes commoners will have last names that stem from noble lines, foreign origins, land ownership or titles granted to family members in the past. Otherwise, most Fereldan commoners introduce themselves with a reference to the area they come from or to their trade, e.g. Gareth of Oswin or Lomo Kettlemaker.
Outside of their nation, Fereldans are often referred to as "dog lords". They value canines, especially the breed known as mabari, which are widely encountered from the largest cities to the most remote frontiers. These dogs ae bred for companionship as well as for battle. Typically, mabari are highly intelligent canines who choose their masters and pair with them for life. In Ferelden, to be the master of a mabari is to be seen by others as a person of worth. In Ferelden, it is considered good luck to feed a stray dog.
Given the unpredictable weather, Fereldan attire is as typically practical and robust as the nation's people. Ample use of leather and fur helps Fereldans withstand harsh and and varied climes, and even the nobles don fine leathers. Quality and craftsmanship is admired over price.
Fereldan food is usually described as hearty and humble, and is not known for being particularly appetizing. "Fereldan turnip" is an insult levied at Fereldans—it presumably stems from their frequent use of turnips. Many jest that Fereldan cuisine involves throwing all the ingredients in a pot and cooking them for as long as possible, until everything looks grey, bland, and unappetizing. Stews seem a particular specialty of Ferelden, such as the traditional Fereldan Lamb and Pea Stew, and the Fereldan Turnip and Barley Stew. Pickled eggs are another popular Fereldan dish, as well as a folk remedy prescribed for any ailment. Ferelden is also known for its ripe cheeses and rich pies. Bread made from ryott, a protein-rich grain that is highly valued throughout Ferelden, is popular throughout the nation. Ale is commonly found across Fereldan taverns, but the region around the village of Vintiver produces wines as well. Spiced wine is often served at taverns and inns during the winter months.
3.1. FERELDEN LEGAL SYSTEM
Fereldan law is relatively unregulated, or "laissez-faire", compared to that of older nations. Fereldans are largely expected to take care of themselves. For example, in Denerim, the King's Patrol is intended to defend the city and keep order more than enforce the letters of the law. While the patrol is quick to investigate the worst offenses, it will ignore most others and leave citizens to their own devices. Similarly, local prejudices and violence against non-human residents—notably alienage elves—often go unpunished. In part this is pragmatism, as Ferelden law states that killing a human in defence of an elf is a crime. Slavery is illegal in Ferelden, but criminals still practice it in secret. Commerce too is largely unregulated, so long as taxes are paid. Businesses like brothels and gambling halls are more than tolerated.
This is not to say that Ferelden is lawless; quite the opposite. The king's seneschal personally appoints arbiters—judges—called "blackhallers" to hear disputes. Blackhallers adjudicate cases from the black granite seneschal's hall in Denerim—hence the name—and in the countryside, sheriffs appointed by the local bann patrol and keep track of upcoming cases for the blackhallers to hear. Given the blackhallers' busy schedules, trials can take some time to occur. A suspect may surrender an item of great value to the local sheriff and be released "on his bond" until the time of the trial rather than waiting in a dungeon. This property will be returned if the suspect returns to be judged. Otherwise, the property is retained by the sheriff and the suspect has the charge of fleeing justice added to their criminal record. As long-term imprisonment is frowned upon in general in Ferelden, punishment is often quick and violent. Common methods include public humiliation, whipping, disfigurement, fines and even executions.
There's no firm rule that dictates who rules the household. Fereldans are willful and their families tend to be managed by whoever can. Usually, the oldest child inherits the majority of the property regardless of gender, but there are some cases where a younger brother or sister is named the heir simply because he or she seems more capable.
3.2. FERELDEN PEERAGE & FORMS OF ADDRESS
Strength and courage are set above heritage and wealth. In Ferelden, any man or woman worth their salt can make something of themselves. While nobles are respected, they are not untouchable. Nowhere else in Thedas is there a people as ready to demand their due as in Ferelden. The nation is broken into provinces, called teryns. Arls, the equivalent of mayors, watch over cities and arlings. Bannorns are landholdings that dot and divide the countryside and are rules by banns.
The king is, in essence, the most powerful of the teyrns. Although Denerim was originally the official "teyrnir of the King", it has since been changed to a separate noble's arling, as the king's domain is all of Ferelden. However, even the monarch's power must derive from support throughout the land. Unlike most kingdoms, power does not reside exclusively with the nobility. Rather, it arises from the support of the freeholders and even the king is not an unchallenged ruler. For many centuries the nobility has gathered annually to hold the Landsmeet, a council which functions as the official legislative body of Ferelden and it can even override the reigning monarch on any matter of law. The sight of a King asking for, and working to win the support of, "lesser" nobles is a source of constant wonder to foreign ambassadors.
Forms of Address (applies to royal spouses, as well)
(m.) King - "Your/His Majesty" and subsequent address as "Sire" thereafter."
(f.) Queen - "Your/Her Majesty" and subsequent address as "Ma'am" (pronounced with a short "a", as in "jam") thereafter.
(m.) Prince - "Your/His Highness" and subsequent address as "Ser" thereafter."
(f.) Princess - "Your/Her Highness" and subsequent address as "Ma'am" (pronounced with a short "a", as in "jam") thereafter.
Regardless of gender, the heir apparent is addressed as "Your Royal Highness" in order to distinguish them from their younger siblings.
• King Alistair Theirin
(the late King Maric Theirin's bastard son; the late King Cailan's half-brother; Anora Theirin's former brother-in-law; very distant relative of Levi and Mikhael Dryden by way of Sophie Dryden who was the cousin of the long-since dead King Arland Theirin)
• Dowager Queen Anora Theirin
(née Mac Tir; the late King Cailan Theirin's widow; King Alistair's former sister-in-law; Arl Teagan Guerrin's former cousin-in-law; officially her titles have been stripped yet those still loyal to her refer to as the Dowager Queen, while those seeking to insult her might refer to her as Lady Anora or, simply, Anora instead)
The highest title of the nobility ranking below the monarchy the feudal rulers of powerful regions called teyrnirs. In antiquity, Teyrns arose from among the Banns, having grown powerful enough to move lesser Banns to swear fealty to them. There used to be many more teyrnirs before the rise of Calenhad, but he downsized them during his war for the throne. In modern Ferelden there are only two teyrnirs; Gwaren in the south and Highever in the north. Teyrns are still owed fealty by vassals of both Arl and Bann ranks, whom they may call upon in the event of war or disaster. However they are also responsible for lending aid to them when needed. In modern times a king or a queen has the right to name a teyrn.
(Compare with real world principalities or duchies.)
Forms of Address
(m.) Teyrn - "Your/My/His Lordship"
(f.) Teyrna - "Your/My/Her Ladyship"
Teyrnirs & Living Teyrns
• Highever - Teyrn Fergus Cousland
(the late Warden Aedon Cousland's brother; the late Fearchar Mac Eanraig's grandson, thus the nephew or cousin of other Mac Eanraigs)
Monarchs and Teyrns at some point established arlings, giving the title of Arl to those assigned to command strategic fortresses that they could not oversee directly. Eventually, the title evolved into a heritble one. Arls are more prestigious than Banns, but they usually have no Banns sworn to them—known exceptions being Amaranthine, South Reach, and Redcliffe (Arl Eamon Guerrin ruling Redcliffe in 9:30 Dragon with his brother, Bann Teagan Guerrin (who later succeeded Eamon as Arl), ruling the bannorn of Rainesfere subordinate to Eamon).
(Compare with real world margraves or marcher lords.)
Forms of Address
(m.) Arl - "My/His Lord"
(f.) Arlessa - "My Lady"
Arlings & Living Arls
• Amaranthine - Warden-Commander Leonie Caron
(serving as defacto Arlessa as the arling was handed over to the Grey Wardens by King Alistair
• Denerim - Arl Vaughan Kendells
• Edgehall - Arl Gell Landon
• Redcliffe - Arl Teagan Guerrin
(Arlessa Kaitlyn Guerrin's husband; Bann Bevin's brother-in-law; Connor and Rowan Guerrin's uncle; Margrave Percival and Cador Aurum's cousin; Anora Theirin's former cousin-in-law)
Some kingdoms rigidly define the rights of vassals and their duty to their liege. In Ferelden, a relatively new kingdom, the arls and arlessas theoretically command their arlings' banns and lords. In practice, those lessers often zealously maintain their independence. Some Fereldan vassals must be goaded instead of ordered—swayed, not ruled. Vassals owe military obligations to their liege, yet often deny even sworn oaths and signed contracts. In contrast, the vassals expect their liege's protection despite provocation otherwise. A successful Fereldan liege applies force, persuasion, and duplicity in equal measure. Banns are the lowest title of the nobility. Moreover there exists no feminine term for Bann and the title itself can be applied to either gender.
(Compare with real world barons or reeves.)
Knights are minor nobles, regardless of gender, sworn into the service of a lord. In wartime, knights serve as officers and elite warriors in a lord's army and are sometimes sent on quests. For example, the knights of Redcliffe were sent to recover the Urn of Andraste. Fully-pledged members of a chivalric order, such as the Templars, are given knighthood, but they are not a part of the nobility. Occasionally, knight's are rewarded with what is called a "knight's fee" which is, essentially, land of sufficient enough size to support a knight, the knight's family, and/or the knight's retinue—the rewarded lands are usually no larger than a village.
(Compare with real world thegns or knight-service.)
Forms of Address
(m. & f.) Knight - Ser
Knight Fees & Liege Knights
• Teyrn's Down (in Amaranthine Arling) - Ser Derren
• Thornecroft (in Redcliffe Arling) - Ser Grayson Thornecroft
Most of the property in Ferelden is owned by the Freeholders. Although not strictly speaking Nobles they provide the primary source of income for most banns and arls. A Freeholder is essentially a commoner who owns their own land. Each freehold chooses the bann or arl to whom it pays allegiance. Typically, this choice is based on proximity of the freehold to the lord's castle, as it would be worthless to pay for the upkeep of soldiers who will arrive at their lands too late to defend it. For the most part, each generation of freeholders casts its lot with the same bann as their fathers did, but things can and do change. It is not unheard of, especially in the prickly central Bannorn, for banns to court freeholders away from their neighbours—a practice which inevitably begets feuds that last for ages. Freeholders would spill blood before giving up their lot. What servants they do employ receive wages for their service and are free to come and go as they please.
(Compare with real world serjeanty or free tenants.)
Freeholds & Freeholders
• Langwynne (somewhere in the Bannorn) - Vacancy
(Wynne was found in a hayloft here as a baby)
• Thornecroft Hall (in Thornecroft Village) - Ser Grayson Thornecroft
• Thornecroft Hall (in Thornecroft Village) - Hanamene Rosamund Thornecroft
• Rutherford Cottage (South Reach) - Mia Rutherford
(Oldest sister of Cullen, Branson, and Rosalie Rutherford; aunt of Branson's unnamed four-year old son)
• Rutherford Cottage (South Reach) - Rosalie Rutherford
(Youngest sister of Mia, Cullen, and Branson Rutherford; aunt of Branson's unnamed four-year old son)
3.3. SOCIETY FOR THE RESTORATION OF IMPERIAL RULE
Not everyone was happy with the end of Orlesian rule in Ferelden. For three-quarters of an age enterprising Orlesian nobles moved to Denerim to seek fame and fortune, and became the heart of Denerim’s aristocracy. When Meghren was overthrown many of these Orlesian nobles were cut down by angry Fereldan mobs. Those who survived the purge and remained in Denerim were forced to swear fealty to King Maric. Although forced to give back their lands, most were compensated based on what King Maric felt was fair. Many of these enriched but landless Orlesians remained in Denerim and became merchants, altering their names to sound more Fereldan. A core of these Orlesian expatriates went on to form the Society for the Restoration of Imperial Rule.
While nominally dedicated to the restoration of an Orlesian king to Ferelden, in truth the Restorationists are more of a social club. Its wealthy members have comfortable lives and no wish to risk their comfort in revolution. Still, the existence of the group is technically treason, so the Restorationists are careful to remain hidden. While most Restorationists have Fereldan names, each member selects an Orlesian name to use for secret business. Thus, Osgood the fishmonger might be known to his secret confederates as “Guillaume”. The Restorationists essentially control the merchants’ guild. Recently, their concerted efforts to keep their profits high have resulted in higher street prices for imported goods. While this has little effect on commoners, nobles have recently found the prices of luxuries and bulk goods more expensive than they’d wish. Bann Nicola is especially vexed by this situation, as maintaining her espionage network is very expensive.
* This is an incorporation of a semi-canon source called "A Fragile Web" via Dragon Age (tabletop RPG) Game Master kit.
The Alamarri were one of the earliest known human tribes, and the first humans to settle in south-eastern Thedas after crossing the Frostback Mountains. Alamarri tribal legends says they were fleeing a “shadow goddess”, but modern scholars believe they were escaping a sort of natural disaster. They remain the tribal ancestors of the Fereldans, the people who live in the nation of Ferelden today. "Alamarri" is not a single tribe, but a loose coalition of tribes started by the Alamarri peoples. Besides the people of Ferelden (who are descended from the Clayne, a once powerful Alamarri tribe who dominated the lowlands), there are the Avvar and the Chasind who exist in modern times with connections to the Alamarri as well.
The Alamarri living near what is known today as Lake Calenhad broke away, becoming known as the Avvars sometime between 5785 FA or -620 TE. The two tribes fought with each other for several centuries, though united when the need arose. Then, sometime between 6185 FA or -220 TE, the Chasind people broke away from the Alamarri tribes as well to settle in the wild and unexplored Korcari Wilds. When the Alamarri peoples first split from Neromenians and migrated south in -1220 TE, they found a new homeland and called it "Ferelden", which means "fertile valley" in their tongue. However, the fertile valley did not become a nation for another 2800 years. This period of time is littered with numerous wars the Alamarri tribes waged, both with foreign powers such as the Tevinter Imperium and Orlais, as well as their fellow tribes. During that time the Alamarri developed their political system which remains largely intact to this day. With time, powerful nobles would turn their land into bannorns, then arlings, and finally teyrnirs. The nobles continued the Alamarri tradition of infighting and continued to fight with each other over petty matters in order to gain more power. A few of the most powerful nobles put forward their bid for kingship over the Alamarri, but without success. Though the First Blight began in -395 Ancient (800 TE) and lasted nearly two centuries, making it the longest Blight in history, by 840 TE or -355 Ancient it had yet to reach the Alamarri. They were instead caught up in a war with the Avvar. In the Battle of Red Falls, Alamarri warrior Luthias Dwarfson fought Morrighan'nan, an Avvar warrior queen. Both died in the battle. The Order of Ash Warriors were founded in Dwarfson's honor.
Sometime around 992 TE or -203 Ancient, the prophet Andraste was born in the Alamarri lands. The exact year of her birth remains hotly contested by scholars to this day. It is believed she married Maferath, an Alamarri chieftain, sometime around 1008 TE or -187 Ancient as well. This was followed by Andraste's first preachings of a new creator, whom she called the Maker. The more she spoke, the more her following grew. Maferath used her teachings to unite the Alamarri clans under his authority.
In 1:40 Divine, after the onset of the Second Blight, the Alamarri warrior Hafter united the tribes and defeated the darkspawn horde that flooded into the Ferelden valley from the dwarven lands. He not only drove back the horde, but defeated the combined forces of the Avvars and Chasind who hoped to take advantage of the chaos in the year 1:50 Divine. His victories earned him such respect from the tribes that he was named the first teyrn. After years of ruling the valley in peace, it is said that Hafter left Ferelden, sailing into the unknown east of the Amaranthine Ocean with the blade still in hand, never to be seen again. In 2:10 Glory, Hafter's grandson, Teyrn Caedmon, declared himself king. A civil war begins in opposition.
4.2. Grey Warden Presence in Ferelden (2:34 - Present)
In 2:34 Glory, following the defeat of Zazikel almost forty years prior, there is general support of building fortified headquarters for the Grey Wardens in the Alamarri lands. The fortress of Soldier's Peak is finished after a decade of construction. In 5:10 Exhalted, the Grey Wardens signed treaties with the various Alamarri teyrns, and built a fortress in Denerim, as well as several small outposts to watch for signs of darkspawn. When the Fourth Blight broke out in 5:12, Ferelden, compared to the nations west and north, was largely spared.
Ages later, after losing the Fereldan throne to her cousin Arland Theirin in 7:5 Storm, Sophia Dryden joined the Grey Wardens and rose to the rank of Warden-Commander in Ferelden. Arland was considered by many to be a tyrant. Banns eventually approached Sophia, asking her to intercede. She agreed and attempted a coup against her cousin using the Grey Wardens themselves. After the bloody Battle of Soldier's Peak, Arland declared himself victorious with Sophia killed. The Grey Wardens were expelled from Ferelden and Soldier's Peak was, for years, abandoned until they were eventually allowed back by King Maric Theirin in 9:10 Dragon. By the time of the Fifth Blight, when the Warden re-entered Soldier's Peak for the first time in centuries, it was discovered that the reanimated corpse of Sophia Dryden was possessed by a demon. Ultimately, Sophia Dryden would be slain, by the Warden, for a second and final time.
In 9:30 Dragon, the Archdemon Urthemiel awoke. With them, scores of darkspawn rose and Ferelden was soon overrun. At the time, being that it had been ages since the last Blight, a Grey Warden recruiter's duty within the ranks had been more symbolic than practical. One such recruiter, a Warden by the name of Duncan, took his role far more seriously than others. He found success in recruiting both Alistair Theirin and Aedon Cousland into the ranks, as both survived their Joinings and would go on to become the King and Hero of Ferelden respectively.
After the Fifth Blight, remaining darkspawn in Ferelden were purged by an Orlesian Warden-Commander, who was stationed at Vigil's Keep, named Leonie Caron. Leonie, dubbed the Champion of Amaranthine for her efforts, remains the Commander of the Grey for the Ferelden chapter of Grey Wardens and serves as the Arling of Amaranthine's defacto Arlessa. Given past sentiments toward Wardens and Orlesians, her influential role in Ferelden is considered controversial at best.
The war against the Elder One coalesced in 9:41 Dragon amidst the chaos of the Mage-Templar War and the War of the Lions as the Elder One manipulated the Mage Rebellion, the Templar Order, the Grey Wardens of Orlais and several members of the Orlesian nobility to serve his purposes, threatening the whole of Thedas. As the Inquisition recovered following the loss of Haven, the Inquisitor's attention turned to the whereabouts of the Grey Wardens of Orlais and Ferelden, who had vanished without trace some months earlier. Brought into contact with Garrett Hawke, a roguish noble known as the Champion of Kirkwall, the Inquisitor was informed that Corypheus had the power to manipulate Grey Wardens and imitate the Calling. Fearing that Corypheus had already done so, the Inquisitor followed the Champion of Kirkwall to meet a Grey Warden, Jean-Marc Stroud, in Crestwood who explained that his fellow Wardens were indeed hearing the Calling and had committed to a blood magic ritual designed to prevent future Blights. The Inquisitor, Hawke, and Stroud traveled to various parts of Orlais to deal with this threat. At one point, the three wound up getting pulled into the Fade from which only Maxwell and Garrett managed to escape as Jean-Marc Stroud sacrificed his life for them to do so.
The Ferelden Grey Wardens began to slowly rebuild after helping the Inquisition stop a particularly dangerous darkspawn incursion, and declared that the Order must change, becoming more open to the general populace. It's been rumoured that the Ferelden Grey Wardens severed ties with their leaders at Weisshaupt, in the Anderfels, and that both Warden factions are at war. Eventually, all news from Weisshaupt ceased.
Though the Fifth Blight long-since ended, Lothering has yet to recover. As such, the southern Wardens use the Lothering Blightlands as a training grounds for new recruits.
4.3. Chantry, Templar, & Circle of Magi Presence in Ferelden (3:87 - Present)
Even as the Chantry eventually took hold over Ferelden's social order, and raised their houses of worship in almost every Ferelden settlement, signs of the nation's Alamarri barbarian roots still persist: animist imagery still bedecks Ferelden clothing and are features in Fereldan art, village elders repurpose the old religion of the Alamarri's teachings as cautionary bedtime stories for children, and even some old statues and temples still stand. Prevailing wisdom says Andraste came into this world in Denerim, in the days when it was still just a small village.
Kinloch Hold, more commonly referred to as Ferelden’s Circle Tower, is located on Lake Calenhad, and accessed only by its docks. It existed long before the Circle was founded. Built by the Avvars along with some help from dwarves, it was long considered impregnable—until the Tevinter Imperium drove the Avvars from it in a brutal campaign. The tower was thought to be cursed, and was widely shunned even before the Circle of Magi moved there in 3:87 Towers after its Circle tower in Denerim was razed. Kinloch Hold remains Ferelden's regional headquarters for the Circle of Magi. As per Chantry and local law, human and city elf citizens of Ferelden with magical potential are brought here to be imprisoned for most of their lives and instructed in the legally-approved Schools of Magic, and are ideally trained to resist demons who seek especially to possess living mages. After being rescued by Flemeth from the Tower of Ishal in 9:30, Warden Aedan Cousland decided to use the Grey Warden treaties to gather aid against the Blight - one of those treaties was with the Circle of Magi. Upon arriving at Kinloch Hold, however, it was discovered that the Circle has been overrun by demons and abominations. Few templars survived the demonic assault on the tower, but among those that did was Cullen Rutherford who initially begged the Wardens to purge the mages of the tower. Due to the Templars having been taken unawares and scattered, it was left to Warden Aedan and his allies to save the mages as opposed to slaughtering them all. The surviving mages thereafter assisted the Grey Wardens in putting down the Fifth Blight.
One month after the defeat of Corypheus, the Chantry named Cassandra as successor to the Sunburst Throne. Given the name Divine Victoria, she immediately enacted reform: a new Templar Order, and a new Circle of Magi. The Seekers of Truth have been rededicated to their purpose of protecting the innocent. Despite her popularity, the new Divine's reforms have been seen by some as going too far. A new sect arose, demanding a return to the status quo on threat of war. The new Seekers proved their mettle by being instrumental in defeating this sect and restoring the peace. Lastly, a proclamation of support for the Inquisition was issued, recognizing its service to all of Thedas. Templars rejoined the Order, under the new Divine, on the condition that her leash would not be reattached. Many templars chose to follow in the footsteps of Commander Cullen, going through the slow and agonizing process of lyrium withdrawal. Others would go on to join the ranks of the reformed Seekers.
The importance of dogs in Fereldan culture traces its roots to werewolves: mythical wolf-folk who factor heavily in Fereldan lore. Fereldens venerate the folk heroes Dane and Hafter. Dane was said to have been a werewolf, and Hafter, the first teryn, was said to have been the son of one.
Long present in Fereldan lore, werewolves were said to reappear around 4:0 Black assuming the appearance of regular people. The use of dogs as guards able to "detect" werewolves grew common. An especially bloody chapter of Fereldan history woulc end with the apparent extinction of the creatures. In 4:85 Black, Alamarri legends of Dane and the Werewolf were recorded about a time in the past when the tribes suffered repeated werewolf attacks until the hero Dane managed to slay the lycanthropes. The events these legends refer to most likely took place in the Divine Age sometime before they were recorded.
In 9:30 Dragon, Dalish elves were being destroyed by a virulent disease which turned many of them into werewolves. The clan keeper, Zathrian, asked for Aedan Cousland’s assistance in ridding them of the curse. He requested that the Warden find the first werewolf, Witherfang, and return with his heart to end the curse destroying his people. Aedan found a way to side with the elves as well as the werewolves, lifting the curse so that the werewolves could become human. The newly human werewolves remained together and took the surname Wolf in memory of what they once were. They eventually became the most successful animal trainers in Thedas. The elves affected by the curse were cured as well. Both sides helped to battle the Fifth Blight.
Decades before King Calenhad unified Ferelden, Teyrn Evon was also poised to do the same. Songs of his fearlessness and savagery are told quietly by firelight to this day. One verse claims his armor was impregnable, and indeed, he did not die in battle, falling instead to a jealous lover.
4.6. Calenhad and the Unification of Ferelden (5:10 - 5:42)
The Exalted Age saw King Calenhad Theirin's rise to power as he united the independent arlings and teyrnirs of his land to form the nation of Ferelden. Calenhad was originally born the third son of Highever merchant. Through a series of events he got involved in the war for kingship, during which time he first became a servant to one of the candidates for the throne.
4.6.1. Siege of Western Hill* (5:32)
When his master, Arl Tenedor, decided to use him to gain an advantage against other nobles, at the Siege of Western Hill, Calenhad acted honourably instead. Arl Tenedor was besieged at his castle by Arl Myrddin's troops. Myrrdin called Tenedor out to parley but the latter sent Calenhad to impersonate him in his stead. Myrrdin intended to kill Tenedor during the meeting but Calenhad disobeyed his arl's orders and revealed his true identity. Calenhad's courage and honor impressed Myrddin, so he offered him the position of his squire. Calenhad refused on the basis that he wasn't an honorable man since Myrddin intended to betray the right of parley. Myrddin launched his final assault, killing both Tenedor and Ser Forannan, though Myrrdin himself was defeated by Calenhad in single combat. However, Calenhad spared Myrrdin. Inspired by Calenhad's peerless honor, Myrrdin in turn swore himself to Calenhad's service. The lands of the late Arl Tenedor were given to Calenhad and, in 5:33 Exalted, he was named a teyrn, married Myrddin's noble daughter, and became himself a candidate for kingship.
In the years to follow, Calenhad began a campaign against the lowland Bannorn. He claimed victory after victory, and more allies flocked to his banner. One of his followers was the famed apostate mage Aldenon, a former consultant to Arl Tenedor and his father before that. Aldenon was taken with Calenhad's foolhardy honor and became Calenhad's chief advisor after Myrrdin's defeat. He eventually found his way back to his home city of Highever. Teyrna Elethea Cousland gathered all the banns sworn to her teyrnir and faced Calenhad's army, refusing to recognise him as king. In the end, the Couslands lost the battle. In the aftermath they were shown mercy by the victor for Calenhad allowed the Couslands to retain their teyrnir if they would swear fealty to him, and so they did.
* Western Hill has been erroneously and inconsistently used to describe both West Hill bannorn, found in the north, and West Hills Arling, found in the south, in the Dragon Age canon. For our story's purposes, we'll apply references to Western Hill to that of West Hill bannorn but to clear up confusion with historic references to that area being ruled by an arl, as well, we'll assume the northern bannorn used to be an arling but effectively lost some of its territory and influence over the years.
4.6.2. Battle of the White Valley (5:33)
Only Simeon, the infamous teyrn of Denerim, would eventually stand in Calenhad's way forth to the crown. By Aldenon's advice, Calenhad went to the Brecilian Forest to recruit the Ash Warriors to his cause. However, Calenhad returned not only with the Ash Warriors, but also with the templars and Circle mages. Aldenon left Calenhad's service, outraged by his friend's actions as he saw it as a betrayal that Calenhad was condoning the oppression of mages and inviting the Chantry's influence to take root in the nascent kingdom. Despite Aldenon's absence and the superior numbers of Teyrn Simeon's forces, the Ash Warriors were able to break through Simeon's lines. During the battle, Simeon nearly killed Calenhad, but Lady Shayna, who later went on to become a close friend of Calenhad's, intervened and took the wound for him, slaying Simeon. With Simeon's death, the Battle of the White Valley ended with Calenhad's victory.
4.6.3. Siege of Redcliffe (5:33)
Calenhad continued to move through the Bannorn and, shortly thereafter, successfully laid siege to Redcliffe, becoming one of three men in history who was able to do so.
4.6.4. Landsmeet (5:42)
Without any significant opposition remaining, a Landsmeet was called and Calenhad made an appearance with his army. The nobles voted him king, and the fertile valley became the nation of Ferelden. Calenhad Theirin, along with his wife Mairyn, started the royal family of Theirins who sat on the Fereldan Throne for the next three centuries. In 5:42 Exalted, with the crowning of King Calenhad in Denerim, the various warring factions of Alamarri were at last united under a single banner to form Ferelden. What had always been considered a land of wild, nomadic barbarians was finally a nation in its own right. While Ferelden is still considered primitive and backwater by most other nations which have existed longer, by 7:88 Storm, the Chantry would name Calenhad Theirin one of the Anointed as he was responsible for the spread of the religion in the entire kingdom.
In 6:50 Steel, the Avvar organized forces under the great warlord Balak and swept into the heart of the Ferelden Valley in massive numbers. The Bannorn was put to torch. During the final war between Ferelden and the Avvars over the lowlands, many Banns took up arms against the invaders, and Bann Hargrave was one of them. In 6:52 Steel her army managed to defeat the barbarians, but when King Theirin ordered her to pursue the fleeing tribes, she used the opportunity to leverage funds to build a castle. With the threat of an incoming famine, as well as his diminishing approval with the court, the king agreed to Hargrave's demands and assigned her the boglands in the southern Ferelden. Three years later, in 6:55 Steel, the Keep was built, and the Avvar were forced out of Ferelden for good. To commemorate this, the bann built the Light of Andraste statue to thank her for her good fortune. Whilst the farmers of the country suffered from one of the worst famines in Fereldan history, Bann Hargrave and her keep flourished thanks to the fish and wild animals in the surrounding area and a village grew at the base of the keep. Her descendants occupied the keep until the Second Orlesian Invasion of Ferelden in the Blessed Age, during which all of the Hargraves died out.
By 9:41 Dragon Haven was abandoned, as the village was hit by a plague which either killed or drove away all of the inhabitants. Several rifts opened in the same bogland, causing all those who perished in the plague to rise from the dead and attack any traveller. As the recently-formed Inquisition started to spread the news about the Herald of Andraste, a tribe of Avvars under the leadership of Hand of Korth, son of Movran the Under who was the chieftain at Edvarr Hold of a tribe of Avvar people in the Fallow Mire, captured a group of Inquisition soldiers and took them into the keep. They sent a message to Haven in order to lure the Herald out to see them in person, so they could prove that Andraste is a false prophet and to show the superiority of the Avvar gods by killing the Herald. These Avvars died at the hand of the rescue party led by the Herald, however. After his son's death, Movran answered, as is tradition in Avvar culture, by smacking the holdings of the offending party, who was in this case the Inquisitor, with goat's blood... albeit he threw the whole goat at Skyhold's walls. Movran freely confessed, however, that he had no intention of actually pursuing any conflict with the Inquisition, and offerd himself to the Inquisition for judgment. The Inquisitor armed and exiled Morvan and his people to the Tevinter Imperium where his clan eventually established a settlement on an uninhabited region of the Silent Plains, off the Imperial Highway. The Inquisitor overtly supported Movran's new settlement, incurring the Imperium's ire in the process, and covertly supplied them allowing that the settlement should flourish. It became a welcome stopping point along the road.
Given that Orlais has invaded, and even occupied, Ferelden in the past – modern relations between the two nations remains tenuous at best. Anti-Orlesian sentiment is not uncommon within Ferelden, although some progress toward repairing a diplomatic relationship between Orlais and Ferelden has been made since Warden-Commander Leonie Caron, an Orlesian, was named the de-facto Arlessa of Amaranthine following the Darkspawn Civil War.
4.8.1. First Invasion (4:80)
In 4:80 Black, the Orlesian Empire invaded the Fereldan valley for the first time by crossing the Frostback Mountains, hoping to take advantage of Ferelden's fractured state. By 4:83, the Fereldan teyrns had set aside their differences to push the Orlesians back in a united front. The Orlesians' hope of taking the port of Highever was dashed when the fortress of Redcliffe held out to long and winter in the Frostbacks cut off their supply lines. By the spring, most Orlesians had either pulled out or been captured.
4.8.2. Second Invasion (8:24 – 8:44)
The Second Orlesian Invasion occurred in 8:24 Blessed, under the direction of the "Mad Emperor" Reville. Due to the clandestine support of number of powerful banns undermining Ferelden defence, Orlais quickly established a strong foothold. Vigil's Keep and the City of Amaranthine were taken by the Empire, as was Redcliffe.
126.96.36.199. Battle of Lothering (8:24)
At the Battle of Lothering, King Vanedrin Theirin was killed and Calenhad the Great's sword, Nemetos, was lost. Ardal Cousland, Teyrn of Highever, was also slain defending his king. Though Vanedrin is succeeded by his son, King Brandel Theirin, in 8:25 Blessed, the youth was unable to unite the country beneath him, and for the next two decades, Ferelden was mired in blood and battle. The Orlesian Empire finally sacked the city of Denerim in 8:44 Blessed, claiming victory in Ferelden and driving King Brandel into hiding. Though routed, the King and others among the true Fereldan nobility continued to wage a guerrilla war against their oppressors. When Brandel finally died, in 8:85 Blessed, Orlais crowned Meghren as King of Ferelden, though Brandel's daughter, "the Rebel Queen" Moira Theirin - considerably more popular and charismatic than her father - kept the resistance alive. In 8:78 Blessed, Maric Theirin was born and the bloodline of King Calenhad thus continued despite the Orelsian occupation.
The Fereldan Rebellion was the uprising of Ferelden against the Orlesian Empire during the second half of the Blessed Age. Ultimately, the rebellion was successful, resulting in the country's liberation from its Orlesian overlords and the restoration of the Theirin line to the throne.
4.9.1. Assassination of the Rebel Queen (8:96)
In 8:96 Blessed, Moira the Rebel Queen was assassinated by Bann Ceorlic and several other traitor nobles at the behest of the Orlesian King Meghren. The Fereldan rebels, led by the young Prince Maric, took the isolated port town of Gwaren in 8:98 Blessed nonetheless. It was their first major victory since the murder of his mother.
4.9.2. Battle of Southron Hills (8:96)
When Maric and the rebel Loghain Mac Tir had arrived at the rebel camp–after fleeing from the loyalist's forces who had attacked Gareth of Oswin's bandit camp, hunting for Maric in the wake of his mother's assassination–Maric was told that the rebel camp would soon be attacked and caught between two separate armies of the usurper, one from the north and one from the south. It was suggested that Maric would slip away with only a handful of men while the rebel army itself would stay and fight (and likely be destroyed). However, Maric refused, and the outlaw Loghain made a suggestion which would save both Maric and the rebels. Loghain would impersonate Maric and flee to the north, straight past one of the armies to draw it off, enabling the rebels to fight and defeat the other without risk of encirclement. While the rebels fought the southern army, along with Maric, Rowan Guerrin, daughter of Arl Rendorn Guerrin, took her men on horseback to reinforce Loghain, killing the Orlesian commander, Meghren's cousin Felix, and routing the second army. The plan worked, and the rebel army had lived to fight another day, which surprised King Meghren and his advisor Severan.
However, the losses that the rebel forces sustained were also heavy. In the upcoming months, the rebels tried to regain their power by hiding in the remote corners of the country while Maric travelled around the country to inspire the rebellion once more, since few believed that Maric was capable of liberating the country, especially since his brilliant mother failed to do so. Maric, in his travels, met with Grand Cleric Bronach in Kinloch Hold as well as Arl Byron Howe of Amaranthine. The latter joined Maric's cause along with his men. However, the Fereldan Circle of Magi declined to aid him, desiring to maintain neutrality.
4.9.3. Battle of White River (8:96)
While the southern army was searching for Prince Maric, the northern army, led by Bann Angus Eremon of the Waking Sea, moved to counter the two new regiments of chevaliers crossing the Fereldan border before they stormed the Hinterlands. Angus took the northern army to block the narrow valley of White River. However, the rebel army arrived only shortly ahead just of the Orlesians, and only had time to put up hasty fortifications. The Orlesians outnumbered them two to one. For two days, the northern rebel army narrowly held back the Orlesian advance before finally ordering a retreat. Bann Eremon was killed during the final flight and Rendon Howe was severely wounded. Only fifty of the initial army of a thousand escaped the valley alive. Howe, Bryce Cousland and Leonas Bryland were among the few survivors.
4.9.4. First Battle of Gwaren (8:98)
After two more years of making alliances with nobles and replenishing its numbers, the rebel army attacked Gwaren, which had recently been given to one of Meghren's cousins. The militia offered little resistance, but the true fight was yet to come. An elven messenger, Katriel, informed Maric that Arl Byron Howe of Amaranthine and his forces, which were used as a distraction, would soon be defeated, and an army of King Meghren's forces was on its way to Gwaren. Unable to defeat this new Orlesian host in pitched battle, thanks to the losses sustained in taking the town, the rebels elected to conceal themselves in Gwaren and ambush the Orlesians in its narrow confines once they arrived. The Orlesians were defeated and withdrew, but Maric was wounded. After the battle, Loghain was promoted to Commander, subordinate to Arl Rendorn Guerrin. Several mages from an Orlesian Circle of Magi participated in the fight, too. However, as several of them were lost in this battle, the Orlesian mages ceased supporting King Meghren's war effort.
4.9.5. Battle of West Hill (8:99)
Upon hearing that West Hill was the location of a large amount of money intended as pay for the chevaliers, the rebel army resolved to attack West Hill. Without the resources to pay and equip the chevaliers (who composed the true backbone of the Orlesian occupation), Maric reasoned that Meghren's army would begin to crumble, leaving the usurper defenseless. However, this was a trap in which the army was led into by Katriel. Some time before the Battle of West Hill began, Meghren changed his mind from having Maric delivered to him to letting him die in the battle. Half of the rebel army, including Arl Rendorn, was killed.
By 8:99 Blessed, the Fereldan rebel army had been devastated by the royalist forces. Survivors retreated to Gwaren. Maric was presumed dead, though it was not so. Maric, Loghain, and Rowan survived and, with the help of Katriel, reached Gwaren via the Deep Roads. Along the way they made new allies, the Legion of the Dead, who saved them from death at the hands of the darkspawn, during their time in the Deep Roads. Maric and Katriel convinced the dwarves to return to the surface with them and resist the Orlesian occupation in exchange for the chance to win glory and redemption in battle.
4.9.6. Second Battle of Gwaren (8:99)
The rebel army, seeing their prince alive, considered it a miracle from the Maker which gave them a boost in morale in the coming battle. The rebels were also assisted by a regiment of the Legion of the Dead. In the ensuing battle, the Orlesian army experienced tremendous losses but was able to force the rebels into retreat. Half of the chevalier force was slain by the Legionnaires. However, as the Orlesian loyalist army entered Gwaren and before they could regroup to pursue the fleeing rebels, a riot erupted as Gwaren's townfolk rose up and overwhelmed the Orlesian lines, killing Commander Yaris, among others. This created confusion in the Orlesian camp which Maric took advantage of as he ordered his retreating forces to turn back to Gwaren. Caught between the rioting townsfolk and the rebel counterattack, Meghren's forces were defeated and abandoned Gwaren to the rebels.
Word of Maric's survival reached Meghren and the rumor that the prince had been raised from the dead by the Maker himself started spreading throughout the rest of Ferelden. Riots began in Redcliffe, prompting its Arl to ask for assistance from King Meghren, while the rest of the Bannorn could not send their troops to suppress the riots for fear of their own lands rebelling against them. In response, Meghren attempted to crush support for the rebellion by demanding that his underlings exact brutal reprisals on anyone suspected of sympathising with the rebels, and ordered that Grand Cleric Bronach tell the people that Maric was a demon impostor. However, this backfired spectacularly; the new wave of Orlesian brutality only incited further insurrection from the Fereldans and caused Bronach to flee Denerim and proclaim Maric the true heir to the throne and Meghren a dangerous tyrant. Meghren also ordered Severan to send word to the Imperial court, demanding fresh troops to aid him. Emperor Florian dispatched two legions of chevaliers to assist which combined with the forces already in Ferelden would (according to Severan) be more than sufficient to deal with the rebellion. However, Florian also warned Meghren that his patience with his cousin's inability to resolve the matter had run out, and this was the last support he was prepared to give Meghren to deal with the insurrection.
Katriel was slain by Maric shortly after she severed all ties with Severan. Bann Ceorlic and the other nobles who had betrayed Queen Moira were also killed shortly afterwards, when Maric invited them to a Bannorn Chantry under the pretense of forming an alliance; when they came, Maric had them all killed.
4.9.7. Battle of the River Dane (8:99)
A High dragon rampaged west of the Frostback Mountains before the battle of River Dane, which was considered to be an ill omen for Orlais. The Battle of River Dane occurred in 8:99 and was a pivotal battle during the Fereldan rebellion. Two legions of chevaliers crossing the River Dane were ambushed and killed by rebels and Legionnaires of the Dead led by Loghain Mac Tir, who then claimed the Orlesian commander's armour as his own. At least a full legion of the Empire's finest warriors perished, and the significant loss of both life and treasure was enough to convince the Orlesian Emperor Florian to abandon his support of Meghren as he saw little point in squandering so many resources to secure what had become an ungovernable and rebellious province. The dwarven regiment was also lost in the fight as well as its leader, Nalthur. At the same time, Prince Maric infiltrated King Meghren's camp and, using the instructions that Katriel had given to him, found and killed King Meghren's most effective advisor, the mage Severan.
Even after the victory at the River Dane, it took the rebels three more years of fighting until Ferelden was truly freed in 9:02 Dragon. Finally, after a long and bloody siege, Denerim fell to the rebels, and King Meghren and the remnants of his court fled and barricaded themselves inside Fort Drakon. Maric challenged Meghren to a duel and killed him in single combat, ending his rule and the Orlesian occupation. The Fereldan rebels had won their independence, but diplomatic relations were not resumed until the accession of Empress Celene I to the Orlesian throne and peace was officially made between Orlais and Ferelden in 9:20 Dragon. Even in the years after, the shadow of Meghren's rule and the occupation had a profound influence on Ferelden society and politics, and nearly every sitting noble at the time of the Fifth Blight was either a veteran of the rebellion, or a descendant of one.
Finally, in 9:3 Dragon, Maric Theirin was crowned as King of Ferelden. Two years later, his first son and future king of Ferelden, Cailan Theirin was born. In 9:10 Dragon, underneath Ferelden, the intelligent darkspawn known as the Architect would attempt to kill the remaining Old Gods and taint the entire surface world. However, his efforts were thwarted by King Maric and a band of Grey Wardens. Maric would go on to allow the order of Grey Wardens to return to Ferelden after two centuries of exile. Alistair, Maric's bastard and a future hero of the Fifth Blight, was born in Ferelden as well in the same year. Five years later, King Maric of Ferelden was thought lost at sea. In his stead, his first son, Cailan, inherited the throne of Ferelden. Approximately one month after his coronation, Cailan married Anora, daughter of Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir.
Though Maric had put his illegitimate child, Alistair, in Arl Eamon Guerrin's care, in 9:20 Dragon upon the request of the Arl’s pregnant wife Isolde, Alistair was sent to the Monastery at Bournshire. Alistair was later recruited into the order of the Grey Wardens in the year 9:29 Dragon - by the Warden-Commander of Ferelden, Duncan, personally.
The Fifth Blight began in the Korcari Wilds and southern Ferelden when the Architect attempted to perform a modified Joining ritual on Urthemiel in the hopes of freeing the darkspawn from the call of the Old Gods, instead Urthemiel was corrupted into an Archdemon. Around the same time, Arl Rendon Howe murdered Teyrn Bryce Cousland and Teyrna Eleanor Cousland in a surprise attack on Highever after their son, Fergus Cousland, had already led most of the Teyrn's soldiers to Ostagar to join King Cailan's forces in the upcoming battle against the darkspawn. Aedan Cousland, Fergus’ younger brother, however, was inducted into the Grey Wardens. Ferelden was defeated at the Battle of Ostagar by the darkspawn when the battle was lost on account of Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir withdrawing forces under his command. This resulted in the destruction of the Fereldan army, the near-destruction and exile of the Grey Warden order, and the deaths of King Cailan Theirin and Warden Commander Duncan. Unbeknownst to most, Aedan and Alistair were saved by a Witch of the Wilds, called Flemeth, and spirited away from Ostagar. Meanwhile, Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir returned to Denerim and declared himself regent, triggering the "Fereldan Civil War" between Ferelden's nobility. A landsmeet was eventually called where Alistair Theirin’s claim to the throne was recognized by the majority of the nobles. Loghain was consequently executed and Anora, the late King Cailan Theirin’s widow and Loghain’s daughter, was dethroned and imprisoned. In 9:31 Dragon, at the Battle of Denerim, Urthemiel was finally slain by the Wardens in Ferelden with Warden Aedan Cousland making the ultimate sacrifice. It was said that Aedan was a warrior of exceptional skill tempered by a diplomatic mind. He was thereafter posthumously remembered as the "Hero of Ferelden," and Ferelden finally began to embrace its true ruler - by right of blood - Alistair Theirin.
• Grey Warden Kristoff was killed by the minions of an intelligent brood mother known as the Mother while investigating the Blackmarsh.
• The Sabrae clan of the Dalish elves found a tainted Eluvian in the wilds of Ferelden and lost two of their number to it. To escape the taint and the coming Blight, the clan crossed the Waking Sea to the Free Marches and set up camp on Sundermount.
• Lothering was destroyed by the darkspawn, and the Hawke family, along with the widowed Aveline Vallen, fled to Kirkwall with the aid of Flemeth.
• On the 8th day of Bloomingtide, the dam in Crestwood was broken in order to flood the invading darkspawn. Countless innocent were also drowned in the process.
• Orlesian Grey Wardens were dispatched to Amaranthine in Ferelden to help disperse the darkspawn that failed to return to the Deep Roads after the archdemon was slain. They were put under the command of Lieutenant Gable of Vigil's Keep.
The Mage-Templar War, also referred to as the Mage Rebellion, broke out in 9:40 Dragon between the mages and the templars after the decision of the Fraternities conclave was made to separate the Circle of Magi from the Chantry following the revolt at the White Spire in Val Royeaux. Contributing earlier events include the 9:37 rebellion in Kirkwall, a city state in the southern Free Marches, and the dissolution of the College of Enchanters in 9:38 after the rejected motion to abolish the Circles. During the Mage-Templar War the monarchy offered the rebel mages sanctuary in Ferelden, in the Arling of Redcliffe. The mages gratefully accepted the offer however the Templar host pursued them across the border. As the brutality of the Mage-Templar War escalated, many hunted rebel mages and apostates congregated to Fiona's refuge in Redcliffe village. Some of these mage refugees were in fact Venatori infiltrators who encouraged an alliance with the Tevinter Imperium as the situation with the mage rebellion grew dire. Grand Enchanter Fiona conceded to agree to the alliance with Magister Gereon Alexius who was, himself, a Venatori agent and went on to usurp Redcliffe Castle with the rebel mages aid, banishing Arl Teagan Guerrin for a time. With the mage rebellion's survival dependent on their alliance with the Tevinter Imperium, Alexius changed the terms of the alliance: from protection and eventual Tevinter citizenship, in exchange for indentured servitude, to outright conscription of all the rebel southern mages into military service under his command. He then ordered his forces to displace the people of Redcliffe from their homes. Eventually however both the Venatori and the rebel mages vacated Redcliffe Village and slowly life subsided back into normality.
By 9:41 Dragon, Divine Justinia V called for a Divine Conclave between the mages and Templars at the Temple of Sacred Ashes to negotiate an end to the war. The Conclave was disrupted by the Elder One, an ancient Tevinter Magister-turned-Darkspawn called Corypheus, who reappeared to use an elven artifact in a ritual sacrificing of Justinia V. The ritual was interrupted, however, and the resulting Breach destroyed the temple and killed the assembled leaders of the mages, Templars, and Chantry. A survivor by the name of Maxwell Trevelyan was found with a mark that could control the Breach and the rifts created by its eruption. After calming the Breach, Maxwell, previously a Circle Mage from Ostwick, was hailed as the Herald of Andraste. The Herald went on to become a leading figure of the reborn Inquisition, based out of Haven, which sought to seal the Breach and restore order to Thedas. With the help of 10 Orlesian noble families, Inquisitor Trevelyan traveled to Therinfal Redoubt to pressure the templars into sealing the Breach. It was discovered that many templars had been using red lyrium and that Knight-Captain Denam commanded those corrupted to attack the Inquisitor. The attack failed. Delrin Barris declared Denam a traitor and, along with the remaining uncorrupted templars, decided to help the Maxwell deal with the Red Templars and a powerful Envy demon. Once the Envy demon had been destroyed, the Inquisitor chose to ally the Inquisition with the surviving templars. With the help of the Templars, the Herald was able to seal the Breach but the celebrations were cut short when Corypheus sacked Haven immediately after. Though Fiona and her compatriots had joined forces with the Venatori out of desperation, and did help them attack Haven, they were unsuccessful in stopping the Inquisition. Fiona’s fate after the attack on Haven remains unknown.
Also during this time, Arl Gallagher Wulff of West Hills had evidently allied with the Venatori with good intentions as well. He mistakenly believed that the mages would be able to live peacefully in the Tevinter Imperium while allowing Ferelden to regain peace and stability. His actions unwittingly bolstered Venatori forces serving in Corypheus' army during the attack on Haven. Later on, at Josephine Montilyet’s advice, the Inquisition allowed for Arl Wulff to make amends. A truly repentant Gallagher made it clear that he had no idea what the Venatori intended and thereafter began passing them false information on the Inquisition’s behalf, as well as going on to donate generously to the Inquisition from his own coffers. The Inquisition managed to escape Haven and regrouped at the mountain fortress called Skyhold where Maxwell was officially named the leader of the Inquisition. Though it took time, and entailed a number of trials within and beyond Ferelden’s borders, Corypheus was eventually defeated by the Inquisition. The Inquisition itself was eventually disbanded. Some were relieved to see the unpredictable organization dismantled. Others preferred to remember the Inquisition's good works and the many lives it had saved. Those who had served returned to their former lives, knowing they had stopped a great evil from destroying the world and hoping that the peace for which they had fought remained, once the Inquisition was gone.
Alistair is still the King of Ferelden, but he remains unmarried and has yet to produce an heir. While Anora remains sequestered, there are whispers of those who still support her claim to the throne regardless of whether or not the king marries or produces an heir. So long as there remains no heir to the throne, however, Ferelden politics remain rife with tension. Moreover, unrest has been building in Gwaren for the last thirteen years and the people of Ferelden dread the possibility of a coup by Mac Tir loyalists or even the onset of another civil war.
• By 9:32, Denerim itself fully recovered from the civil war. Trade was restored and pilgrims began to visit the birthplace of Andraste once again. However, the Alienage still lagged behind, and its buildings were not yet repaired.
• Two years after the defeat of Corypheus and the closure of the Breach, concerns grew over the power of the Inquisition, and much of the support and favour it curried had been diminished: Ferelden called for dissolution, while Orlais wanted heavy oversight. To discuss the future of the Inquisition, representatives of Ferelden, Orlais, and the Chantry called an Exalted Council at the Winter Palace in Orlais. To add to the turmoil, early in 9:44 Dragon, the Viddasala, one of the three leaders of the Ben-Hassrath, was charged with overseeing the Dragon's Breath conspiracy, a plot to simultaneously kill most of the leadership of southern Thedas, rendering the south vulnerable to Qunari occupation and conversion. Although the conspiracy largely took part in Orlais, recent evidence after the fact has come to light that might suggest the Viddasala had support from someone based out of Denerim.
• In those same two years following Corypheus' defeat, Solas, previously a member of the Inquisition, amassed a large network of spies and agents, some of which he placed inside the Inquisition. It was they who eventually stumbled upon the Qunari plot and disrupted it by discreetly pointing the Inquisitor in the right direction. The Qunari pursued Solas in turn, believing him to be an agent of Fen'Harel. As Solas had gained control of the eluvians, and had substantially grown in power since his time in the Inquisition - including being able to petrify the Viddasala with a single thought - he remained elusive. The Qunari threat removed, Solas lured the Inquisitor o the Crossroads to explain himself and save Maxwell’s life, which Solas explained was threatened by the Anchor. By this time Inquisitor Trevelyan had gathered enough evidence to call Solas out on being Fen'Harel, which impressed Solas somewhat. After lengthily explaining his motives for doing so, Solas confessed to Maxwell that he vowed to walk the solitary path of the Din'Anshiral in order to restore the elven people, regardless of the cost to Thedas or himself. Solas also revealed that he was the one who gave Corypheus the Orb of Destruction, or rather that his agents left the foci where the Venatori would find it and return it. His plan was for Corypheus to unlock the orb and die in the resulting explosion. He did not foresee Corypheus having uncovered the secret of effective immortality. Had all gone according to his plan, Solas would have reclaimed the orb and used its power to tear down the Veil with the Anchor. Solas explained to Maxwell that he planned to restore the world of his time—the world of the elves—albeit at the cost of destroying all of Thedas. The two men exchanged words, after which Solas disappeared through an eluvian. Since then, many elves left the Inquisition under mysterious circumstances, as did many elven servants across Thedas. None could say where they went. An inquest into the matter bore little enlightenment on the cause.
The Orlesian-born Warden-Commander Leonie Caron was hailed the Champion of Amaranthine after saving both the city and Vigil's Keep from destruction at the hands of darkspawn. The arling's capital continues to thrive to this day and, with a large Warden presence throughout Amaranthine overall, the southern Wardens have begun to build up a reputation of political sway in the region. Vigil's Keep serves as Ferelden's main base for the southern Grey Wardens—although Soldier's Peak, found along the Tarcaisne Ridge that separates Highever from Amaranthine, has resumed use by the Wardens as well.
Spring of this year, after having just thwarted a similar Venatori plot, barrels of gaatlok were found hidden in Denerim's palace as part of a Qunari plot to take out the southern leadership and pave the way for Qunari invasion. The Inquisitor, Maxwell Trevelyan, discovered the plot during the Exalted Council and the barrels have since been removed before they could be detonated. However, recent evidence has come to light that might suggest the Viddasala had support from someone in Denerim - who that might have been remains unclear. Regardless of this particular event, the City of Denerim in particular remains a place of internal, political intrigues.
Gell Lendon became the new Arl of Edgehall in 9:32, though he was widely reviled - especially by the elves of Edgehall’s Alienage whom he famously mistreated. By 9:36, after the elves protested his treatment of them, Gell ordered to cut down and burn the Alienage’s vhenadahl. When a Dalish clan offered a new sapling to replace the vhenadahl, he ordered his men to confiscate it and the Dalish threatened to invade Edgehall if the sapling wasn't returned. Ser Aaron Hawthorne, who happened to be in Edgehall at the time, intervened and was able to retrieve the sapling and return it to the Alienage. By decree of King Alistair, Arl Gell remains forbidden to touch the new vhenadahl to this very day.
During the Fifth Blight, Gwaren was rumoured to have been overrun by darkspawn but most of the population survived by leaving with ships. Loghain, then Regent, didn't do anything to defend his teyrnir. In the years following Loghain's eventual execution, and Dowager Queen Anora Theirin's (née Mac Tir's) removal from the throne as well as her consequent imprisonment, Gwaren became the site of an ongoing rebellion. The conflict has endured over the last thirteen years as those who remained smoulderingly loyal to the Mac Tir family, despite Loghain's apparent indifference toward the region, have perpetually stoked the fires of sedition. King Alistair's attempts to settle the region have shown little progress as those, outside of the Mac Tir loyalists, who have opposed his claim to the crown have also used Gwaren’s discord for their own political intrigues. The rebellion itself appears to be reaching its apex and threatens to spill out into the rest of Ferelden, with the potential to ignite another civil war.
The reconstruction of Haven has begun, largely funded by the repentant Arl Gallagher Wulff of West Hills, however progress has been slow given Haven's remote location and uncertain sentiments about the area by the Fereldan populace at large. At the behest of Marquis DuRellion, who has a modicum of claim over Haven through his Fereldan wife's family, King Alistair has commissioned a monument to be erected in the area to commemorate the lives lost during Corypheus' assault on the village.
Though he did not romance any of his adventuring companions, it has recently come to light that the late Aedan Cousland had a thing for barmaids. Over the last decade, a number of Aedan's prior dalliances have come forward and presented the late Warden's still-living brother, Teryn Fergus Cousland, with the consequences of Aedan's carelessness—the consequences themselves being a number of children born out of wedlock, many of whom were conceived well before Aedan became posthumously named the Hero of Ferelden. As such, the Teryn's had his hands full over the last thirteen or so years.
Lothering, likewise, continued to suffer after enduring both the Fifth Blight and having been stuck in the crosshairs of the Mage-Templar War. Unlike Haven, it might have benefited from it's location along the Imperial Highway but the Fifth Blight poisoned the land. While it's accepted that it will take decades for the soil to recover, efforts are still underway to help heal the Blight-scarred village. Given that Arl Leonas Bryland abandoned them during the Fifth Blight, many displaced Lothering natives have already pledged fealty to other leaders of the Bannorn. Though not yet a desirable location, should the settlement one day prove fruitful again its fealty to the Bryland's seems unlikely. Possibly in consideration of this, or perhaps solely out of goodwill, banns closer to the area have begun to provide aid and resources to the once lucrative trading outpost's cause. Nonetheless, many still refer to the area as the Blightlands and even the Grey Wardens use the blighted land as a training grounds for new recruits.
After the Fifth Blight, residents of Redcliffe Village, eager to leave the memory of the Blight behind them, gradually moved their settlement from the east side of Redcliffe Castle to the west. Old Redcliffe still exists, but has largely been abandoned. Also during this time period, Arl Teagan Guerrin married a Denerim foundry owner, and former native of Redcliffe, named Kaitlyn. When his wife's brother, Bevin, came of age Teagan named the young man the new Bann of Rainesfere. A little more than decade later, during the days of the revived Inquisition, Teagan and his family were driven out of Redcliffe by Magister Gereon Alexius and his Venatori forces. Eventually Alexius and his forces, along wih the rebel mages of the Mage-Templar War, vacated Redcliffe Village and life subsided back into normality. Arl Teagan resumed his duties as leader of the Arling.