Codex text

For a supposed creature of jealousy and greed, Maferath is less so in deed. For while his word brought low the Bride of the Maker, his prize was quickly divided and distanced. Let us consider the lesser of the sons in this matter.

Of Evrion, we know little. The middle boy, he was tasked with ruling the lands to be the Marches. No claim by the father was made, no "in my name" to humble. And that freedom is shown in the result, for Evrion himself was the least concerned with power. He among all led by example, not demand, and spoke only of sacrifice. When betrayal was revealed, Evrion acts as a man broken, dispersing his holdings to the various tribes. It was a penance that spared him his family, but it also dispersed influence. To this day, the Free Marches are scattered.

Of Verald, more is known, for his actions bring him to the start of our nation. But his folly begins in Nevarra, where we must ask: was this the will of a betrayer father, or a mistake of youth?

Maferath gave rule to the youngest, Verald, and never claimed Nevarra. Never did he sit on the throne, and he is thought to have rarely visited. But his name is hated there most of all, for it was bartered for legacy by the son. Unlike Evrion, Verald spoke not as example but to claim. Never his name was mentioned without that of his mother and father. His claims were bold—their actions were his, and their thoughts all shared. But from the father on his throne in Ferelden, no word is recorded. And we wonder: was it deliberate?

For when the betrayal was revealed, all with ties to Maferath were vilified. And so strong were the ties that Verald had drawn, that his court was killed to a man, and he was forced to flee. Had he kept silent, as seems the will of the knowing father, and had he girded as the father had guided the elder, Isorath, then Verald might have remained to rule.

But that would require that the betrayer not be as he is drawn. And it would have kept Verald in Nevarra. And it would have kept Verald from Orlais. And it would have prevented the further betrayal that truly birthed Orlais.

—Excerpted from A History Not of Heroes: Readings in the Ugly Heart of Change, collected by Philliam, a Bard!

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