The Fereldan Rebellion is the uprising of Ferelden against the Orlesian Empire during the second half of the Blessed Age. Ultimately, the rebellion was successful, resulting in the country's liberation from its Orlesian overlords and the restoration of the Theirin line to the throne.
Ferelden was invaded by Orlais in 8:24 Blessed by Emperor Reville, also known as the "Mad Emperor". The conquest was successful and completed by 8:44 Blessed as a number of Ferelden nobles conspired with the Orlesian invaders in return for power and privileged places in the new regime. For the next fifty eight years, Orlais held Ferelden as one of its provinces, extorting harsh taxes from the populace to support the Empire, denying both the nobility and the common folk their ancient rights.
Control was maintained through a combination of brutal punishments inflicted on the populace for defiance, the presence of both Fereldan collaborators who aided the occupiers out of greed and fear, and the legions of chevaliers sent by the Empire to crush any resistance. This became particularly evident during the reign of the sadistic and mercurial usurper King Meghren, whose utter contempt for his subjects led to a constant atmosphere of royally-enforced terror and persecution.
A series of battles between the Highever and Amaranthine forces during the rebellion took place, which however cannot be placed chronologically. Arl Tarleton Howe of Amaranthine, an old but sharp man supported the Orlesians. However the Couslands were loyal to the rebels and after a series of bitter battles, the Couslands managed to capture the town of Harper's Ford and Tarleton. The Arl of Amaranthine was then hanged for his treachery.
Brandel Theirin's years of leadership
After the death of Brandel Theirin's father, King Vanedrin Theirin in the Battle of Lothering, Brandel didn't manage to unite the nobility behind him and eventually the whole country was occupied by 8:44 Blessed which earned him the epithet "the Defeated". Brandel continued fighting the Orlesian occupation however the resistance was scattered and disorganized. This was partly due to a lack of charisma on Brandel's own part and because of the belief among the Fereldan nobility that the country was fully lost.
Moira Theirin's years of leadership
Full-scale insurrection began in the years when Brandel's daughter, Moira Theirin, commonly known as the "Rebel Queen", assumed the command of the leadership. Her first act as leader of the rebellion was to raid an Orlesian armory in Lothering. Outnumbered and backed with only limited support, the rebellion focused mostly on small-scale hit-and-run attacks, hoping to stay alive as long as possible while they attempted to gather support from the rest of Ferelden.
Moira, unlike her father, was much more charismatic and inspired her men and the rebellion. She was also daring as she willingly allowed herself to be captured by Arl Rendorn Guerrin knowing that Rendorn's conscience would get the better of him, so eventually the Arl instead of handing Moira over to the Orlesians, joined her cause while he sent his family to the safety of the Free Marches. Rendorn became the commander of the rebel forces and proved himself as an effective but also conservative leader.
Eventually, Moira met her end when she was lured out by the promises of assistance against the Orlesians, and slain by Bann Ceorlic and several other disloyal nobles, leaving her untested young son Prince Maric to assume command. The events of Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne start to unfold after Moira's death.
Maric Theirin's years of leadership
Battle of Southron Hills
When Maric and the rebel Loghain Mac Tir had arrived at the rebel camp (after fleeing from the loyalist's forces who had attacked Gareth of Oswin's bandit camp, hunting for Maric in the wake of his mother's assassination), Maric was told that the rebel camp would soon be attacked and caught between two separate armies of the usurper, one from the north and one from the south.
It was suggested that Maric would slip away with only a handful of men while the rebel army itself would stay and fight (and likely be destroyed). However, Maric refused, and the outlaw Loghain made a suggestion which would save both Maric and the rebels. Loghain would impersonate Maric and flee to the north, straight past one of the armies to draw it off, enabling the rebels to fight and defeat the other without risk of encirclement.
While the rebels fought the southern army (along with Maric), Rowan (daughter of Arl Rendorn Guerrin) took her men on horseback to reinforce Loghain, killing the Orlesian commander, Meghren's cousin Felix, and routing the second army. The plan worked, and the rebel army had lived to fight another day, which surprised King Meghren and his advisor Severan.
However, the losses that the rebel forces sustained were also heavy. In the upcoming months, the rebels tried to regain their power by hiding in the remote corners of the country while Maric travelled around the country to inspire the rebellion once more, since few believed that Maric was capable of liberating the country, especially since his brilliant mother failed to do so. Maric in his travels met Grand Cleric Bronach in the Kinloch Hold as well as Arl Byron Howe of Amaranthine. The latter joined Maric's cause along with his men. However, the Fereldan Circle of Magi declined to aid him, desiring to maintain neutrality.
Battle of White River
While the southern army was searching for Prince Maric, the northern army, led by Bann Angus Eremon of the Waking Sea, moved to counter the two new regiments of chevaliers crossing the Fereldan border before they stormed the Hinterlands. Angus took the northern army to block the narrow valley of White River. However, the rebel army arrived only shortly ahead just of the Orlesians, and only had time to put up hasty fortifications. The Orlesians outnumbered them two to one. For two days, the northern rebel army narrowly held back the Orlesian advance before finally ordering a retreat. Bann Eremon was killed during the final flight and Rendon Howe was severely wounded. Only fifty of the initial army of a thousand escaped the valley alive. Howe, Bryce Cousland and Leonas Bryland were among the few survivors.
First Battle of Gwaren
After two more years of making alliances with nobles and replenishing its numbers, the rebel army attacked Gwaren, which had recently been given to one of Meghren's cousins. The militia offered little resistance, but the true fight was yet to come. An elven messenger, Katriel, informed Maric that Arl Byron Howe of Amaranthine and his forces, which were used as a distraction, would soon be defeated, and an army of King Meghren's forces was on its way to Gwaren. Unable to defeat this new Orlesian host in pitched battle, thanks to the losses sustained in taking the town, the rebels elected to conceal themselves in Gwaren and ambush the Orlesians in its narrow confines once they arrived. The Orlesians were defeated and withdrew, but Maric was wounded. After the battle, Loghain was promoted to Commander, subordinate to Arl Rendorn Guerrin.
Battle of West Hill
Upon hearing that West Hill was the location of a large amount of money intended as pay for the chevaliers, the rebel army resolved to attack West Hill. Without the resources to pay and equip the chevaliers (who composed the true backbone of the Orlesian occupation), Maric reasoned that Meghren's army would begin to crumble, leaving the usurper defenseless. However, this was a trap in which the army was led into by Katriel. Some time before the battle began, Meghren changed his mind from having Maric delivered to him to letting him die in the battle. Half of the rebel army, including Arl Rendorn, was killed.
The forces that remained fled back to Gwaren and the King's forces soon surrounded the Brecilian Forest, preventing the rebels' escape. However, Maric, Loghain, and Rowan survived and with the help of Katriel, reached Gwaren via the Deep Roads. Along the way they made new allies, the Legion of the Dead, who saved them from death at the hands of the darkspawn, during their time in the Deep Roads. Maric and Katriel convinced the dwarves to return to the surface with them and resist the Orlesian occupation in exchange for the chance to win glory and redemption in battle.
Second Battle of Gwaren
The rebel army, seeing their prince alive, considered it a miracle from the Maker which gave them a boost in morale in the coming battle. The rebels were also assisted by a regiment of the Legion of the Dead. In the ensuing battle, the Orlesian army experienced tremendous losses but was able to force the rebels into retreat. Half of the chevalier force was slain by the Legionnaires. However, as the Orlesian loyalist army entered Gwaren and before they could regroup to pursue the fleeing rebels, a riot erupted as Gwaren's townfolk rose up and overwhelmed the Orlesian lines, killing Commander Yaris, among others. This created confusion in the Orlesian camp which Maric took advantage of as he ordered his retreating forces to turn back to Gwaren. Caught between the rioting townsfolk and the rebel counterattack, Meghren's forces were defeated and abandoned Gwaren to the rebels.
Word of Maric's survival reached Meghren and the rumor that the prince had been raised from the dead by the Maker himself started spreading throughout the rest of Ferelden. Riots began in Redcliffe, prompting its Arl to ask for assistance from King Meghren, while the rest of the Bannorn could not send their troops to suppress the riots for fear of their own lands rebelling against them. In response, Meghren attempted to crush support for the rebellion by demanding that his underlings exact brutal reprisals on anyone suspected of sympathising with the rebels, and ordered that Grand Cleric Bronach tell the people that Maric was a demon impostor. However, this backfired spectacularly; the new wave of Orlesian brutality only incited further insurrection from the Fereldans and caused Bronach to flee Denerim and proclaim Maric the true heir to the throne and Meghren a dangerous tyrant. Meghren also ordered Severan to send word to the Imperial court, demanding fresh troops to aid him. Emperor Florian dispatched two legions of chevaliers to assist which combined with the forces already in Ferelden would (according to Severan) be more than sufficient to deal with the rebellion. However, Florian also warned Meghren that his patience with his cousin's inability to resolve the matter had run out, and this was the last support he was prepared to give Meghren to deal with the insurrection.
Katriel was slain by Maric shortly after she severed all ties with Severan. Bann Ceorlic and the other nobles who had betrayed Queen Moira were also killed shortly afterwards, when Maric invited them to a Bannorn Chantry under the pretense of forming an alliance; when they came, Maric had them all killed.
Battle of River Dane
The Battle of River Dane occurred in 8:99 and was a pivotal battle during the Fereldan rebellion. Two legions of chevaliers crossing the River Dane were ambushed and killed by rebels and Legionnaires of the Dead led by Loghain Mac Tir, who then claimed the Orlesian commander's armour as his own. At least a full legion of the Empire's finest warriors perished, and the significant loss of both life and treasure was enough to convince the Orlesian Emperor Florian to abandon his support of Meghren as he saw little point in squandering so many resources to secure what had become an ungovernable and rebellious province. The dwarven regiment was also lost in the fight as well as its leader, Nalthur.
At the same time, Prince Maric infiltrated the King Meghren's camp and using the instructions that Katriel had given to him, found and killed King Meghren's most effective advisor, the mage Severan.
Even after the victory at the River Dane, it took the rebels three more years of fighting until Ferelden was truly freed in 9:2 Dragon. Finally, after a long and bloody siege, Denerim fell to the rebels, and King Meghren and the remnants of his court fled and barricaded themselves inside Fort Drakon. Maric challenged Meghren to a duel and killed him in single combat, ending his rule and the Orlesian occupation. The Fereldan rebels had won their independence, but diplomatic relations were not resumed until the accession of Empress Celene I to the Orlesian throne and peace was officially made between Orlais and Ferelden in 9:20 Dragon. Even in the years after, the shadow of Meghren's rule and the occupation had a profound influence on Ferelden society and politics, and nearly every sitting noble at the time of the Fifth Blight was either a veteran of the rebellion, or a descendant of one.
- On page 133 of Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 1, it is stated that the duel between Maric and Meghren took place in 9:00 Dragon, which is conflicting with the information provided in Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne. It is unknown which version is correct.
| 8:00 Blessed|
|Emperor Reville (†8:51) · Fereldan Rebellion (8:44–9:2)|| 8:99 Blessed|
| 9:00 Dragon|
|Fereldan Rebellion (8:44–9:2) · Fifth Blight (9:30–31) · Siege of Castle Cousland (9:30) · Battle of Ostagar (9:30) · Fereldan Civil War (9:30–31) · Battle of Denerim (9:31) · Amaranthine conflict (9:31) · Battle of Vigil's Keep (9:31) · Assault on Amaranthine (9:31) · Siege of Vigil's Keep (9:31) · First Battle of Kirkwall (9:34) · Kirkwall Rebellion (9:37) · Mage-Templar War (9:37–9:41) · War of the Lions (9:40–9:41) · The Breach (9:41) · Modern Inquisition (9:41–44?) · War against the Elder One (9:41–42) · Siege of Haven (9:41) · Siege of Adamant Fortress (9:41) · Battle of the Arbor Wilds (9:42) · Exalted Council (9:44)|| 9:99 Dragon|
|Timeline · Calendar|
|Ancient Age · Divine Age · Glory Age · Towers Age · Black Age · Exalted Age · Steel Age · Storm Age · Blessed Age · Dragon Age|