- See also: Character: Aveline
Aveline was born to an Orlesian farmer near the city of Halamshiral in the early half of the Storm Age. She was a large and ugly baby, and her father had hoped for a boy. Not wanting another mouth to feed, the farmer left Aveline in the woods to die from exposure. But a traveling band of Dalish elves came upon the crying child.
The elves took her into their clan and raised her as their own. They taught her archery, dueling and survival skills. When she came of age, she was larger and stronger than most women, let alone elven women. Her adoptive parents knew that she was a fine warrior, so they encouraged her to enter a human tournament in nearby Montisimmard. But women were not permitted to join the knighthood in Orlais, nor to compete in a tournament, so Aveline joined the tournament as a man. Her clan forged a suit of armor with a full helm and gave her an ironbark sword of the finest quality.
Aveline entered the competition claiming to be a knight of Antiva. She refused to doff her helmet, even during the archery competition. And sure enough, Aveline bested many other knights until, in the grand melee, she came upon Kaleva, a knight who served the emperor and was considered the finest in the land.
Kaleva was determined not to be beaten, and struck swiftly and strongly. As Aveline matched each of his blows, Kaleva grew ever more frustrated. Finally, in desperation, he tripped Aveline and threw her to the ground. The blow knocked her helm from her head, and Kaleva was shamed. He called to have the competition declared invalid, but the crowd booed and jeered. In anger, Kaleva turned and slew Aveline as she lay helpless.
The son of the emperor, Prince Freyan, was also present at the tourney. He too had been beaten by Aveline, but he recognized her skill and bravery and was saddened by the injustice of her death. Upon rising to the emperor's seat in 7:44 Storm, Freyan abolished the law that disallowed women from joining the Orlesian knighthood and posthumously knighted Aveline. Although women in the Orlesian knighthood are still a rarity today, all those who do become knights revere Ser Aveline as their patron.
-- "Aveline, Knight of Orlais," by Lord Francois Maigny, 8:4 Blessed.
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