166 Votes in Poll
No evidence of that mere speculation.
During the war?
Obviously as ideally hostile and attacking entity will be permanently destroyed to not pose further threat in the future.
As there is no evidence for one or another it's uncertain.
The problem with the idea is that we know for a fact that the founder of both was an ally and friend of the dales and likely had no plans to take it over. Now there could have been a faction that wanted to do so sure but even when looking through the cause and who was leading the attack it seems to be more of a case of miscommunication and coincidence rather then Intent
^ Was he? The only thing we know is the claim that Ameridan was Drakon's friend (nothing with "Drakon being a friend of the Dales").
A pretty odd situation playing to the confirmatión bias of either side. Quite a lot of guys here go by "they were friends, so Orlais could only be nice to them" while I tend to ask "how did they become friends in the first place, given Drakon's lack of acceptance of different religious views?" (and Ameridan being pretty much a heretic by Drakon's usual standards, combining "holy Andraste" with "false heathen shit" on one altar)
<<But instead, Orlais and the Chantry put up with the Dales refusing to allow Chantry missionaries into their realm>>
Oooooh, the poor aggressive preachers.... Sorry, could not resist.
You forgot that the same codex also claimes that the Chantry followed up with templars, i.e. armed military. Besides, the elves tried to piece together what little they could keep over how many years of Tevinter-based slavery. Then a bunch of aggressive preachers showed up on their doors, intent on pushing something else on them again. Given the usual Chantry rhetoric of "we good/true, rest shit", I honestly cannot blame the elves for not wanting them.
Turning the situation around, elven preachers would also have been shown the door in Orlais rather quickly.
The Chantry and Orlais are inextricably intertwined ever since Drakon bent the knee to swear himself and his nation as a bastion of Andrastian faith. The Chantry certainly would not have approved of anyone or anyplace that rejected their 'Holy Word', and until Celene, Orlais has always been expansionist. Drakon's friendship with Ameridan is likely the *only* thing that kept Orlais from annexing the Dales sooner.
No skilled politician relies on chance or coincidence. As for the darkspawn invasion and the elves' inactivity, it would have been simplicity itself for no message to have been sent to an Orlesian liaison or for that ambassador to simply "forget" to pass it on at an appropriate time. Even if there was no Orlesian contact within the allied Dales, it would have been easier still for some enterprising Orlesian general/priest to 'forget' to send for aid from 'the heathens', or for the message to 'go astray'. Both the Blight and the Red Crossing incident were very easy for either the Chantry or Orlais to spin in their favor to start a 'legitimate' March - especially if there had been some 'unfortunate rumors' seeded beforehand to unite the populace to 'the righteous cause'. The Dales was an inconvenient nation but a very useful testament. The Chantry gets to demonstrate that no place or people is denied to them, and Orlais gets a tidy chunk of real estate in which to expand.
I think the Chantry wanted to subjugate them rather than destroy them. Turn the Kingdom of the Dales into an Andrastian state realm. Orlais on the other hand...
@Buckeldemon My point isn't that we should sympathize with the preachers: I personally don't. My point is that if Drakon II needed to justify this war to anyone (and that's a big if given that the Tevinters had no reason to care and no other major power seems to have existed apart from the Dales themselves) then he could have pointed to that as the real reason he was going to war. (Since it really isn't likely that any non-Andrastian would have been powerful enough to stop him, or that an Andrastian wouldn't have agreed it was a provocation.)
And that's without mentioning the fact that they didn't join in fighting the Second Blight: anyone, regardless of their religion, could have been persuaded to care a lot less about what happened to the Dales by reminding them of that.
So if Drakon II needed to sell this war to someone, he already had material for it before Red Crossing. And if he didn't need to sell this war to anyone, he could have done it without waiting for the Dalish to mess around with him. So if he had really wanted this war, why would he have waited for Red Crossing?
@Shenachie except that the Elves had been the brothers an sisters in arms not to long ago against the Tevinter. Stop reading the past through the lens of the present. Relations soured between Orlais and the Dales because the Dales had become isolationist to the point of actually watching a human city burn during the Blight. The Elves aren't any more saints than the humans; they're capable of doing bad things too.
@Buckeldemon "The only thing we know is the claim that Ameridan was Drakon's friend (nothing with "Drakon being a friend of the Dales")."
As far as we can tell, why else be friends with Ameridan?
"tend to ask "how did they become friends in the first place, given Drakon's lack of acceptance of different religious views?""
Drakon didn't like divergent ANDRASTIAN views. Regardless, people can be friends and disagree. You're apparent inability to handle someone talking to you about their religion is not universal.
@Riverdaleswhiteflash It's very easy to blame Orlais as the aggressor with the Dales if you forget that the Dalish army was close enough to watch the Darkspawn take Halamshiral - and watch they did.
They did nothing else. They gathered an army, got close, and watched the Orlesian Capitol be destroyed by monsters.
That alone would have been a reasonable pretext for pretty much any nation to go to war with another - that they chose to put national politics over stopping the Blight. Especially as this was the Second Blight, and the only other experience took a united everyone and the Wardens to stop after 200 years. The Anderfels have never recovered from the Blight because so much of the country is still blasted and worthless land.
Of course, none of this has much to do with the Chantry being good or bad. The war between Orlais and the Dales, as has been said by Devs, wasn't cultural or religious - it was political at heart and almost inevitable.
My broader take on the Chantry is that it does several things that are necessary and good. The Chantry sponsors orphanages, feeds the hungry and helps to take care of refugees. The Templar Order is responsible for hunting malificar, abominations, and demons - all of which were much larger problems pre-Circle and pre-Chantry than people like to deal with.
Does this mean the Chantry is perfect or above reproach? Of course not. It's still an expansionary faith and is also very much political - and with politics or power come corruption, abuse, and other issues. It's still one of the only unifying forces in Southern Thedas beyond hatred of Tevinter.
According to the entries of the Dales and Halamshiral on this very Wiki, "... in 1025 TE, Maferath and Andraste's sons gave the elves the Dales as a reward for their part in the war". "At the end of The Long Walk sometime between -165 and -140 Ancient", the elves founded Halamshiral and "[the] city was under elven control for nearly 300 years."
That is a bit more than "not too long ago".
Honestly, nobody exactly knows what the relations were originally between the Dales and Orlais. As others here, and the wiki-entry on the Dales, have mentioned, Orlais was "a nation forged through Drakon's Exalted Marches against his neighbors". As for the Chantry, they wanted their Chant 'sung from the four corners of the world'. The elves - who were trying to recover and restore their own, distinct culture - would not have appreciated either of these vague threats. With such pressures as an expansionist neighbor and their overzealous religious institute, the elven withdrawal is understandable - to a point.
Did they isolate themselves too much? Quite probably, and that would have been very useful for both Orlais and the Chantry to direct human sentiment in questionable directions concerning the elves. Those rumors of "heathen elves practicing human sacrifice" had to come from somewhere, and the elven indifference to the darkspawn invasion of Montsimmard is *alleged*. It's just as possible that the elves had been asked by their allied neighbor to withhold their forces until they were requested to act by Orlesian officials; a request that was either never sent or was conveniently misplaced. Given what happened later at Red Crossing, it's not impossible to suspect that the Orlesians - or the Chantry - were willing to sacrifice a city to make the elves look bad to justify a future March.
Of course, the elves are not saints. It was always impossible for them to live in the world and yet remain apart from it all. It was never stated that they were perfectly innocent, but it's just as clear that neither the Chantry nor Orlais were ever wholly benevolent either.
What do you think?