See also: Orlais

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When Grand Duke Gaspard attacked Empress Celene of Orlais in an attempt to claim the throne, we assumed business across the country would suffer greatly. To counter propaganda suggesting she was overly tolerant of the elves, Celene was drawn to crush an elven uprising in Halamshiral, and Gaspard's attack there destroyed her forces and cut her off from Val Royeaux. She escaped back to the Orlesian capital (with a hundred mad stories explaining how), at which point we started closing down the family shops, expecting Gaspard's army to carve a bloody path through the Heartlands and up north toward cities loyal to Celene.

Instead, the humans have been downright reasonable. We made a killing on furs and silver in Val Royeaux as Gaspard's hold on southern Orlais cut off incoming trade goods from Ferelden. The nobles in Montfort and Val Chevin also bought up violets as though their touch killed darkspawn; apparently, Celene declared that wearing purple flowers was a way for humans to show their loyalty to her.

In Ferelden, half of the cities would be on fire; but in Orlais, the nobles make jokes, and the merchants just keep peddling their wares while Gaspard and Celene's armies clash in the Dales. The only people really suffering are the peasants, but then, that's true enough anywhere.

Send extra guards on the next shipment, but save the lyrium for Ferelden. The family's doing good business here as it is.

—From a letter from Dernal Harrick, dwarven merchant, to his family in Ostwick

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