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Ferelden noble dress

Ferelden nobles

To its neighbours, the kingdom of Ferelden seems utterly chaotic. Unlike other monarchies, power does not reside exclusively with the royalty and nobility. Rather, it arises from the support of the freeholders.

The Landsmeet

Landsmeet

The Landsmeet in session

The Landsmeet is a council of the Fereldan noble class which has been held annually for almost three thousand years[1], only occasionally interrupted by war or foreign occupation. It brought together all the fractured Alamarri tribes and after the unification of the kingdom, it functions as the official legislative body for Ferelden, and can override the king or queen on any matter of law. However its members tend not to exercise this privilege if the king is particularly popular or powerful.[2] During the Landsmeet the current monarch is expected to mingle with and curry favour from their vassals.

An important milestone in the history of the Landsmeet, and of Ferelden itself, was that of the 42nd[3] year of the Exalted Age. After mysteriously gaining the support of the Circle of Magi, Calenhad Theirin marched on and seized Redcliffe, thus forcing a Landsmeet at which the nobles unanimously submitted to his kingship. This marked the birth of modern-day Ferelden and began the Theirin dynasty that rules Ferelden ever since except the Orlesian invasion.

Feudalism

Royalty

The King is the most powerful noble in the kingdom. Although Denerim was originally the official "teyrnir of the King", it has since been changed to a separate noble's arling, as the king's domain is all of Ferelden. However, even the monarch's power must derive from support throughout the land. The sight of a King asking for, and working to win the support of, "lesser" nobles is a source of constant wonder to foreign ambassadors.

Teyrnirs

H teyofhira 0

The heraldry of the teyrnir of Highever

In antiquity, Teyrns arose from among the Banns, having grown powerful enough to move lesser Banns to swear fealty to them. There used to be many more teyrnirs before the rise of Calenhad, but he downsized them during his war for the throne.[1] In modern Ferelden there are only two teyrnirs; Gwaren in the south and Highever in the north. Teyrns are still owed fealty by vassals of both Arl and Bann ranks, whom they may call upon in the event of war or disaster. However they are also responsible for lending aid to them when needed. In modern times a king or a queen has the right to name a teyrn.[4]

These are the current two teyrnirs:

Arlings

The Teyrns at some point established arlings, giving the title of Arl to those assigned to command strategic fortresses that the Teyrns could not oversee directly. Arls are more prestigious than Banns, but they usually have no Banns sworn to them - known exceptions being Amaranthine and South Reach.

These are the current five arlings:

Bannorns

Each freehold chooses the Bann or Arl to whom it pays allegiance. Typically, this choice is made based on proximity of the freehold to the lord's castle (as it's rarely worthwhile to pay for the upkeep of soldiers who will arrive at one's lands too late to defend them). For the most part, each generation of freeholders casts its lot with the same Bann as the previous generation did, but things can and do change. No formal oaths are sworn, and it is not unheard of, especially in the prickly central Bannorn, for Banns to court freeholders away from their neighbours - a practice tending to ignite feuds that can last for ages.

These are the known bannorns:

Freeholds

Freeholds are the ownership of real property, being the land and all immovable structures attached to such land. A freeholder is the term for any land-owner in Ferelden. Although most freeholds are owned by nobles, commoners can also become freeholders.

Titles

Masculine Feminine Form of address Usage
King Queen Your Majesty Title for the Ferelden ruler and his or her spouse.
Prince Princess Your Highness Title for direct family members of the ruler, including their children and siblings.
Teyrn Teyrna Your Lordship/Ladyship The highest title of the nobility. Feudal rulers of teyrnirs.
Arl Arlessa My Lord/Lady Noble title. Feudal rulers of arlings
Bann Bann My Lord/Lady Lowest title of the nobility. Feudal rulers of bannorns.
Lord Lady My Lord/Lady Courtesy title for spouses of Banns. Acceptable address for any nobility, no matter the rank, but not royalty.
Knight Knight Ser Title reserved for Fereldan knights.

Known royalty and nobility

King/Queen

In chronological order:

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.



Prince/Princess

  • Moira Theirin — daughter of Brandel and mother of Maric. Known as the 'Rebel Queen'.

Teyrn/Teyrna

In chronological order:

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.



Arl/Arlessa


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.



Bann

Bann Esmerelle

Bann Esmerelle of Amaranthine City is one of the wealthiest, and most powerful Banns in Ferelden


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.



  • Sighard — Bann of Dragon's Peak
  • Telmen[25]
  • Teoric[26] — Bann of West Hill at 9:20 Dragon
  • Tremaine[27]
  • Trumhall[22]
  • Mathuin Wulff[15]
  • Lord/Lady

    Ser

    Cousland Family History image

    Members of the Cousland family

    Notable families

    See also

    References

    1. 1.0 1.1 Codex entry: Politics of Ferelden
    2. Dragon Age: Origins: Prima Official Game Guide, p. 255
    3. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 105
    4. As evidenced by Maric giving Loghain the teyrnir of Gwaren, or Anora giving it to the Warden.
    5. Mentioned by the colonel at Fort Drakon during Captured!.
    6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 BSN Mary Kirby (2010). "Question on Ferelden Background (For the writers, more so)" . BioWare Social Network.
    7. 7.0 7.1 Mentioned by Bann Sighard if the Warden does not ask for a reward during Tortured Noble.
    8. Mentioned as a rumor by Bodahn Feddic in the Party Camp.
    9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 3
    10. Codex entry: The Bannorn
    11. Mentioned by Aldous.
    12. Shield of Highever
    13. Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 1
    14. 14.0 14.1 Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 2
    15. 15.0 15.1 Codex entry: A Letter From Bann Mathuin Wulff
    16. [[Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), A Fragile Web
    17. 17.0 17.1 Mentioned in rumors from Bodahn Feddic or the Bartender. Loghain defeated Bann Bronach forces while some people claim he met with Loghain to talk terms and the latter attacked.
    18. Codex entry: Camenae's Barbute
    19. Mentioned by Slim Couldry as the one being stolen from in Steal Master Tilver's key sub-quest.
    20. Based on the description of Fox's Pendant.
    21. Mentioned by Slim Couldry in The Private Collection and The Tears of Andraste.
    22. 22.0 22.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), A Bann Too Many
    23. See Landra, Dairren and Bann Loren's Lands.
    24. Mentioned by Cyrion Tabris to a City Elf Warden after his rescue from the slavers.
    25. See Loghain's Push.
    26. Codex entry: The Orlesian Empire
    27. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, pp. 235-237
    28. Codex entry: Aldenon's Vestments
    29. Codex entry: Freedom's Promise
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