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Kirkwall is guarded by mountains to it north, the tallest of which is Sundermount. The mountain has a fearsome reputation. Legend says it was the site of the final battle between the Tevinter Imperium of old and the ancient empire of elves that perished with Arlathan. Both sides unleashed horrors into the waking world, and Fade creatures prowl the heights to this very day, unaware that the war for which they were summoned is long since over.

There is a tale in the Free Marches that Blessed Andraste, upon reaching Kirkwall with her armies, sojourned up the slopes of Sundermount alone. She stayed there three days. When she returned, she wept as if her heart were broken.

I stayed two months in Kirkwall, and despite my best efforts, I never found a guide willing to take me up the mountain.

—From In Pursuit of Knowledge: The Travels of a Chantry Scholar, by Brother Genitivi

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