During the First Blight or shortly afterwards, Kal'Hirol was about to be overrun by the darkspawn horde and evacuations were prepared. Within days, however, it was realized that there would be no time to plan and the evacuation took place without warning. Dailan volunteered to be part of a group that remained behind to hold the encroaching darkspawn back, giving the refugees enough time to flee to Orzammar.
Two days after the evacuation, Dailan realized that around five hundred casteless dwarves had been abandoned. Dailan, feeling that the guard would fail, proposed to the casteless that they join with him in the suicidal battle, and suggested they prove they are not worthless as the dwarven society claimed. Despite opposition amongst some of the casteless, approximately two hundred volunteered for the duty. It is not known what happened to the others though at least a few attempted to find a route to the surface.
The army held back the darkspawn for five days, inspiring Dailan to stop using the term casteless to refer to his comrades-in-arms. Dailan felt it imperative to record the names of all who stood as part of the defense Kal'Hirol in order to be recorded in the Memories, and was slain by an ogre as he finished. A pile of bones belonging to him can be found in that chamber of the trade quarter which contain Partha and Kallak, now turned into Broken Sword.
Dalian's speech to the casteless:
- - For generations, they have told you you were nothing, swept you away like so much dust.
- - Now you are the only thing standing between them and the darkspawn that threaten our empire!
- - Show them that you are not nothing! Show them that you can be warriors!
- - Let the Stone tremble with the thunder of your footsteps!
- - Fight!