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It is said that in the midst of the Black Age, when werewolves stalked the lands of Ferelden in numbers that kept every farmholder indoors and a hound on every doorstep, a powerful arl of the Alamarri peoples stood and declared that he would put an end to the threat. His arling stood on the border of the dark forest on the southern border of the Ferelden Valley, and he claimed that the werewolves used the forest to launch their midnight assaults on humanity.

For 20 years, this arl led an army of warriors and hounds deep into the forest. In his hunt for the werewolves, he slew not only every wolf he came upon, but also every member of the Chasind wilder folk. Any one of them, he said, could harbor a demon inside and thus be a werewolf in disguise. For 20 years, the forest rang with screams, and the rivers ran red.

The tales say that an old Chasind woman found her sons all dead at the arl's blades. She pulled one of those very blades from one son's heart and plunged it into her own chest, cursing the arl's name as she did so. Where her blood touched the ground, a mist began to rise. It spread and spread until it was everywhere in the forest. The arl's army became lost, and it is said that they died there. Others say they wander still. The ruins of his arling stand to this day, filled with the ghosts of women waiting eternally for their husbands to return.

The forest of the legend is, of course, the Korcari Wilds. There are as many legends about the great southern forest as there are shadows, or so the saying goes. The Chasind wilder folk have made their home there since mankind first came to these lands, and the wildlands spread as far into the south as anyone has ventured. Beyond the mists are vast tracts of snow, white-capped mountains, and entire fields of ice. It is a land too cold for mankind to survive, yet the Chasind eke out an existence even there, and they tell of horrors beyond the Wilds that the lowland folk could not begin to comprehend.

To most, Ferelden simply ends with the Korcari Wilds: There is nothing beyond. The Wilds is a land of great trees, wet marshes and dangerous monsters. What more need be said?

--From Land of the Wilders, by Mother Ailis, Chantry scholar, 9:18 Dragon.

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