Codex text

If we are reexamining motive, let us not stop at the sons of the betrayer. For the first leader of young Orlais after the sons was Jeshavis, chattel wife of two of them. But examine the facts.

A proud daughter of the Cirean, chosen not unkindly by Isorath to be his bride. It was her reach that granted him power to unify. Consider what she witnessed in the consolidation of her people. She has always been portrayed with sadness, but what if when our nation was born, the Game was born with it? Judge her actions not as property but as master, and what changes?

As victim—Isorath, rumored cruel, breaks the clans in a lust for power. His brother, Verald, exile from his own machinations in young Nevarra, appeals to the saddened wife and promises a new path. The brothers vie, and Verald wins and then demands the hand of Jeshavis. Another Fereldan greedy for power. In a decade, the shy victim Jeshavis is the figurehead of the people's rebellion against the last son of the betrayer.

As master—bound to rivalries far older, she harbors a hatred beyond Tevinter. And while Isorath is distracted (with personal concern or with building a nation to withstand his own people's enemy?), she invites the broken brother and sets him against the driven. While accepting marriage to the victor, Jeshavis seeds rebellion among those who remember how their lands were taken not a generation before.

Both leave her as ruler, as gjǒya. But should not the rule of a victim been uncertain? Jeshavis rules for forty-two years. There were no great swings backward, no people's retribution. For she had become accustomed.

If the goals of Isorath were selfish and the goal of Jeshavis was to reverse them, then Orlais is born of the failure of both. But if Isorath built his father's wall and Jeshavis wanted revenge, then we are a nation of two successes. Two parents, in opposition but in partnership.

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

Related codex entries

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