Jeshavis, also known as "the Mother of Orlais", was the first female chieftain, or gyðja, of the unified Ciriane tribes that established Orlais. Eight generations afterwards, her tribe would coalesce under Emperor Kordillus Drakon's rule as the Orlesian Empire.
Jeshavis was a Ciriane tribeswoman whose lands were under control of Maferath. When Andraste died and the Alamarri returned from their Exalted March to occupy the lands they conquered, Isorath, Maferath's eldest, was given the Ciriane territory to call his own. To tighten the grip on his subjects and to form a buffer against any Tevinter retaliation he sought to consolidate the disparate and culturally distinct Ciriane tribes. He called it the Grand Unification. Once all the Ciriane were one, he called his newly created nation Orlais. Isorath married Jeshavis to rule the land with her.
Out of xenophobia, revenge for the forceful unification, or perhaps simply for the satisfaction of practicing what would become The Grand Game of modern bards, Jeshavis planned to eliminate her foreign husband. When Verald, her brother-in-law, lost control over Nevarra City, he moved to Orlais to take the power from Isorath. Jeshavis manipulated Verald into killing her first husband, then married him. She later killed him as well.
This development allowed her to insure the sovereign culture of the Ciriane people in the face of change, as well as to resist the encroachment of Alamarri dominance. Though Jeshavis appeared to have an abundance of faith, she was a nevertheless practical woman who looked out for the welfare of her own people as well. It is arguable that even in its neophyte period, Jeshavis nonetheless played the Game at its highest level.