In the eave of my post coital blush with Jaal, I go to read my emails and find an endearing email from his mother asking me to explain human birth process. Which now has me questioning everything including if Angara and Human are similar enough in genetic sequence to produce a hybrid offspring. And I just…
Cullen shut the door and sagged into his seat before snatching the pendant back up.
“I’m so sorry, love. They’re gone now, we can talk.”
“Are you sure? I would hate to impose on something so terribly gripping as guard rotations with Rylen,” Dorian drawled.
“Oh, hush. You said you had news.”
“It’s nothing nearly as important as your meeting, I’m sure. A trifling thing. Only, I’m in the stables.”
“Going somewhere?” Cullen smiled, settling more comfortably into his seat.
“Well, I already have, you see. I should specify. I’m in the Skyhold stables. You should come down.”
“WHAT?” Cullen shot out of his chair, banging his hip hard against the desk. He didn’t notice.
“You should come down,” Dorian repeated, laughter in his voice.
They met just outside the stables. Cullen half-ran the last few steps, catching Dorian up in a mighty hug.
“Careful, idiot, you’ll strain yourself!”
“I don’t care. What are you doing here!?”
“Well, I got a call to speak at the Collegium in Nevarra, and from there it was just a jaunt to check in on that untrustworthy toad–you remember we talked?–in Jader, and from there I thought–are you going to smile like that the entire time? I’m afraid you’ll pull something.”
Revered Mother Giselle is perhaps best known for her actions as revered mother of the chantry in Jader. In the years following the Fifth Blight, Jader saw an influx of Fereldan refugees fleeing either the violence of the Blight or the corruption and loss of their lands. The overpopulation led to an outbreak of disease that nearly crippled the city, followed by famine in the poorer sections of Jader when it was quarantined.
Mother Giselle wrote to Val Royeaux asking for assistance from the Chantry. When help was not immediately forthcoming, it is said that she addressed the clerics of her chantry. "As Andraste herself said, ‘My faith sustains me; I shall not fear the legion,’ then so shall faith sustain the hungry in this time of need. As we have devoted our lives to divine contemplation, such a diet should come to us quite easily”. With that she took the step of taking all of her chantry’s food into the poor quarters of Jader, distributing it to peasants.
Shocked and shamed by what some in Val Royeaux referred to as an ostentatious bullying tactic, Chantry officials coordinated relief efforts. Food arrived quickly, along with instructions on how it was to be distributed: first to the Jader chantry to end its hunger strike, then to the Orlesian peasants, then to the Fereldan refugees, and finally to the elves of the alienages. Mother Giselle replied to the orders by saying, “If we believe that some have fallen further from the Maker’s grace than others, then those who have fallen furthest are in greatest need of our care. We cannot fill their souls until we have filled their bellies”. With support of Lady Seryl of Jader, Giselle ignored the directives and fed the poor of the city without regard for race or nationality.
total distance: 320 miles | horseback time: 6 days 40 miles on mountainous trails 1 week on foot | 4 days on horseback + 35 miles on roads (to jader) 1 ¾ days on foot | 1 day forced march | ¾ day on horseback | ½ day fast carriage | ½ day horse relay + 245 miles at sea 3 days merchant ship | 2 ½ days fast ship | 1 ½ days fast ship peak weather
antiva city to denerim : light green
540 miles at sea 6 ¾ days merchant ship | 5 ½ days fast ship | 3 ½ days fast ship peak weather
minrathous to kirkwall, route a : purple
1820 miles at sea 3 weeks merchant ship | 2 ½ weeks fast ship | 2 weeks fast ship peak weather
minrathous to kirkwall, route b : dark green
total distance: 765 miles | horseback time: 10 days 190 miles at sea (to vyrantium) 2 ¼ days merchant ship | 2 days fast ship | 1 day fast ship peak weather + 365 miles on the imperial hwy (to cumberland) 2 ½ weeks on foot | 2 weeks forced march | 1 week horseback | 6 days fast carriage | 4 ½ days horse relay + 210 miles at sea 2 ½ days merchant ship | 2 days fast ship | 1 ½ days fast ship peak weather
adamant fortress to weisshaupt : blue
910 miles on roads 6 ½ weeks on foot | 4 weeks forced march | 3 weeks on horseback | 2 weeks fast carriage | 11 days horse relay
Four routes to Weisshaupt from Ferelden Warden bases (Vigil’s Keep, Soldier’s Peak, and Denerim) commissioned by @debbiepuff – thanks for commissioning me!
Vigil’s Keep to Weisshaupt : Red
Total Distance: 860 miles | Fastest Time: 23 days
Start: Vigil’s Keep To Amaranthine: 45 miles on the Pilgrim’s Path 2 days on foot | 1 day on horseback + To Kirkwall: 185 miles at sea 3 days merchant ship | 2 days fast ship + To the Imperial Highway: 210 miles on mountainous & hilly terrain 19 days on foot | 8 days on horseback + To Vol Dorma: 350 miles on the Imperial Highway 18 days on foot | 9 days on horseback + To Weisshaupt: 70 miles on rough terrain 5 days on foot | 3 days on horseback
Soldier’s Peak to Weisshaupt : Blue
Total Distance: 1130 miles | Fastest Time: 38 days
Start: Soldier’s Peak To the Imperial Highway: 45 miles on mountainous terrain 5 days on foot | 3 days on horseback + To Gherlen’s Pass: 225 miles on the Imperial Highway 11 days on foot | 6 days on horseback + To Jader: 90 miles on mountainous terrain 10 days on foot | 7 days on horseback + To Cumberland: 120 miles at sea 2 days merchant ship | 1 day fast ship + To Ghislain: 350 miles on the Imperial Highway 18 days on foot | 9 days on horseback + To Weisshaupt: 300 miles on rough terrain 22 days on foot | 12 days on horseback
Denerim to Weisshaupt, Sea Route : Pink
Total Distance: 1815 miles | Fastest Time: 22 days
Start: Denerim To Marnus Pell: 1680 miles at sea 21 days merchant ship | 17 days fast ship + To Vol Dorma: 65 miles on the Imperial Highway 3 days on foot | 2 days on horseback + To Weisshaupt: 70 miles on rough terrain 5 days on foot | 3 days on horseback
Denerim to Weisshaupt, Direct Route : Green
Total Distance: 1070 miles | Fastest Time: 21 days
Start: Denerim To Cumberland: 575 miles at sea 7 days merchant ship | 6 days fast ship + To Nevarra City: 140 miles on the Imperial Highway & roads 7 days on foot | 4 days on horseback + To Nessum: 195 miles on the Minanter River 5 days narrowboat | 4 days schooner + To Weisshaupt: 160 miles on rough terrain 12 days on foot | 7 days on horseback
Cullen stood near the back of the crowded room. He’d arrived early enough to get a seat, but had given his up to a student’s parent he knew in passing. The room had been loud, the crowd nearly unruly. Until it had fallen into a tense silence.
The school board president was staring down at Mara while another member asked, “Do you have any such proof Ms. Lavellan?”
Just as Cullen had suspected, she turned to look at Calpernia. He had known her plan centered on Calpernia and her information, but he hadn’t realized that it was what it all had hinged on. Maker’s breath, it was a gamble.
He could tell by the way Mara’s shoulders were set that she knew it. Cullen wanted to believe that Calpernia was willing to turn, that she was going to back every bit of Mara’s claims up. The crowd waited with bated breath to see what would happen, but nothing was. Calpernia wasn’t moving, wasn’t saying a damn thing.
The school board president sighed. “Well, Ms. Lavellan?”
Mara’s blonde head turned once more to Calpernia, and even from the back of the room Cullen could see the desperation in her gaze. The crowd was holding its breath as much as he was, hoping beyond hope there was something else. Mara turned her attention back to the president. “No, ma’am.”
“Well Norton, do you have anything else to add?” the president asked.
His eyes were cold as he looked to Mara. “Just that we should take a good hard look at any employees who throw around such unsubstantiated claims as Ms. Lavellan has. That any educator would behave that way is unacceptable.”
Mara had already taken a seat, still sitting tall beside Vivienne, Leliana, and Josephine. In that moment, Cullen knew. He knew that they had lost. The school board was already so set against them going in, and they had failed to turn the tide.
“Well shit,” Varric said, loud enough that the rest of the faculty sitting in their area had heard.
Dorian was rubbing his temples, and Bull’s arms were crossed while he wore the same face he did when he was coaching and the team was losing. Solas was the only member of the faculty still watching the front of the room with rapt attention.
If they lost, Cullen wasn’t sure what it would do to Mara. He hadn’t wanted to consider the possibility. If she was silently imploding she was giving no such indicators in her posture. Every instinct made him want to leave his place in the back of that crowded room and go to her. He knew it would be better to wait, and that they would weather whatever this meant for them.
okay kids here’s the deal. the official maps we’re given are tragically lacking in detail & ridiculously underpopulated. so to continue my legacy as Map Nerd Extraordinaire, here’s my non-canon & much busier map of ferelden. feel free to take as much or little of this as you like, just gimme a credit if you do!
THE ORLESIAN CIVIL WAR … click image for full size view! There was one attempt on reddit to illustrate the allegiances during the War of the Lions, but it lacked the names of the supporters and missed a few of Gaspard’s allies, making it look very imbalanced, so I tried my hand at my own version. There are a few guesses on my part, so I have explanations for each city listed below.
CHURNEAU: Solange Montbelliard is a member of the Council of Heralds, the group that supported Celene’s claim to throne over Gaspard’s after Emperor Florian’s death. Presumably she continues to support the empress.
GHISLAIN: Duke Bastien’s daughter Calienne was married to Gaspard, and Bastien supported Gaspard’s initial claim to the throne. His stance on the war isn’t stated, but is complicated by his lover Vivienne being a member of Celene’s court; in either case, his illness arguably makes him unable or unwilling to commit to one side or the other. Duke Laurent, Bastien’s son and Calienne’s sister, is technically still Gaspard’s brother-in-law, which would give him reason to support Gaspard.
MONTFORT: Duke Prosper was a long-time friend and ally to his cousin Celene (her mother was a de Montfort.)
VAL CHEVIN: Marquis Etienne de Chevin is also stated to be one of Celene’s closest allies.
SERAULT: As the player-created character of The Last Court, the Marquis de Serault could ally with either side, as their allegiance is never stated in the game. It makes most sense that they would ally with the “northern hosts” and support Celene, or let their geographical isolation keep them wholly neutral.
ARLESANS: There’s almost no canon information about Arlesans, but being a border region formerly contested by Nevarra, a case could be made for their support of Gaspard, whose fame as a chevalier came from fighting the Nevarrans. Alternatively, they might support Celene for wanting to avoid picking fights with the neighbors, including Celene’s close allies in Montfort and Val Chevin.
VAL ROYEAUX: As of Asunder, the Sun Gates are shut, and the confusion around the start of the war has led many to believe Celene is dead. Contested and confused.
VAL FORET: No canon information given.
VELUN: Gaspard is able to sway Comte Chantral over to his side during The Masked Empire by saying Celene makes too many concessions to Ferelden.
VAL FIRMIN: Duke Stefan’s allegiances are never stated, but his wife Caralina is cousin to Duke Remache of Lydes, one of Gaspard’s closest allies, which might align them on that side.
MONTSIMMARD: The Marquis de Montsimmard is a chevalier and a close friend and ally of Gaspard.
VERCHIEL: Gaspard’s home, in clear support of him.
LYDES: Duke Remache is one of Gaspard’s closest allies. He’s killed early in the war, leaving a power vaccuum that the Inquisition has to resolve in order to restore stability.
HALAMSHIRAL: Comte Pierre is Celene’s ally, but is blackmailed and threatened into supporting Gaspard … until Celene returns to Halamshiral and forces his surrender. Contested. Also populated mostly by elves, who likely don’t want to support either side in the war.
JADER[not pictured]: Jader is to the east of Halamshiral. Lady Seryl supports Celene, and her forces are active during the war.