At the request of the Chantry, Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard became steward of Kirkwall following the death of Marlowe Dumar at the hands of the Qunari. She prevented a new Viscount being elected, and transformed Kirkwall into a templar-run police state. She claimed that martial law was only temporary until a successor could be determined and once Kirkwall is purged of all blood mages. This worried both the nobility and the mages, who began to look to the Champion of Kirkwall for aid. Orsino, the first enchanter of the Kirkwall Circle of Magi, also appealed to Hawke, as he believed Meredith had lost her mind. Even some of her own templars shared the view that Meredith was seeing enemies where none existed.
The mages saw Meredith's new powers as unacceptable, and a string of small revolts took place. Peace was only kept by the city's Grand Cleric, Elthina, though both factions now vied for her support. Despite her power and authority over the Kirkwall Circle and Templar Order, she refused to take sides, claiming neutrality, believing that Meredith and Orsino should be given time to sort out their differences. She soon received word that Divine Justinia V feared the Free Marches becoming another Tevinter Imperium and had dispatched an agent into the city to assess the danger. Elthina sent the Champion and her trusted acolyte, Sebastian Vael, to meet with the agent and convince her that drastic measures aren't necessary, fearing that if the Divine moved against Kirkwall, then more chaos would result. The two went to the meeting place in the Viscount's throne room, only to run into a group of Resolutionists, members of an offshoot of the Libertarian fraternity determine to the freedom of mages at all costs. After dispatching all the mages, they met with the agent, who warned that a rebellion in Kirkwall, spurred on by outside groups, was sure to follow and advised them to convince the Grand Cleric to flee to Val Royeaux, the heart of the Chantry. The Champion and Sebastian attempted to convince Elthina to flee, but she stubbornly refused, staying with her flock, believing that no one was foolish enough to attack her and that she could calm any conflict that could arise.
Meanwhile the templar Thrask was conspiring to unseat Meredith, teaching one mage and templar at a time that they don't need to hate each other. His activities were noticed, however, and the Champion was sent to investigate. Thrask's rebellion ended before it began when one of his allies turned on him and killed him in a futile attempt to get revenge on the Champion for the death of her lover. The survivors of the conspiracy were taken into custody by Meredith's loyalists in order to dissuade further attempts. Both Meredith and Orsino believed the other to be responsible for the conspiracy.
The last straw came when Meredith accused First Enchanter Orsino of harbouring blood mages, demanding a full search of the Gallows to root them out; Orsino refused to allow it and stormed off, intending to bring the matter to the Grand Cleric's attention. Things come to a head when Anders, an apostate healer and ex-Grey Warden and companion of the Champion of Kirkwall, interfered to tell that the friction between the Circle and templars and the Chantry's apathy towards the abuses of its own military arm had gone on for too long. Seconds later, the Kirkwall chantry exploded, killing Grand Cleric Elthina and everybody else inside. Anders stated that he destroyed the Chantry and thus removed the chance of compromise because there was no real chance of compromise, and in order to show Thedas that the Circles of Magi weren't a solution.
Immediately after that Meredith invoked the Right of Annulment, calling on the templars to execute every mage in the Kirkwall Circle, with First Enchanter Orsino gathering the Circle together to fight the templars. Both factions petitioned for the Champion's assistance: Orsino arguing the Circle was innocent of any involvement in Anders' crime, while Meredith countered that Kirkwall would descend into anarchy if the people were not granted retribution for Elthina's murder.
Violence erupted shortly after the Champion's decision of which side would be supported, with the mages and templars now in open warfare across Kirkwall. The fighting stretched from Lowtown all the way to the Gallows, where Orsino attempted to bargain with Meredith in order to persuade her to revoke the Right of Annulment. But Meredith claimed that no amount of compromise could sate Kirkwall's desire for vengeance. After a temporary ceasefire was called, Meredith led a full scale attack on the Gallows that saw many on both sides slain, to which First Enchanter Orsino retaliated by resorting to blood magic, transforming into a monstrous fleshly construct. The Champion was forced to intervene by slaying the monstrosity Orsino had become.
Following this, the Champion arrived in the Gallows Courtyard, where Meredith was waiting with a contingent of templars. It soon became apparent that Orsino was correct, and she had indeed gone mad. This was due to the lyrium idol that was salvaged from the Primeval Thaig, which Meredith had forged into a sword; the corrupting influence of the artifact had played on her paranoia, both against mages and the Champion, whom Meredith had come to believe was a threat to the city. Meredith ordered her templars to kill the Champion, but they refused, believing she had finally gone too far. When Knight-Captain Cullen ordered Meredith to stand down and declared her relieved of command, Meredith angrily accused her templars of being enthralled by blood magic. Meredith battled against the Champion and his/her companions, their allies, and her own templars, with the accursed sword in her hand granting her superhuman abilities and the ability to animate the statues in the Gallows courtyard.
When it became apparent that the Champion would prevail, Meredith refused to accept defeat and attempted to draw more power from the sword. Instead, the sword exploded, and the lyrium sank into her skin, petrifying her. The remaining templars then ceased hostilities against the Champion. Inspired by the mages of Kirkwall, Circles throughout Thedas rose up in rebellion, proving that the mighty templars could be defied.
News of the slaughter of Kirkwall's Circle spread far beyond Kirkwall's borders. The Champion's name became a rallying cry and incited all the Circles in other nations and cities to rise up against the templars and anyone standing in their way, bringing Thedas to the brink of a war between the mages and templars on a world-wide scale.
| 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|
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