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Codex entry: Adventures of the Black Fox

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Born Lord Remi Vascal in 8:63 Blessed, the Black Fox was a dashing thief and rogue who went on to inspire so many tales of his exploits that it is nearly impossible to determine today which are true and which are merely fabricated legend. Despite coming from nobility, he has become something of a hero of the common people.

His initial exploits involved ridiculing the tyrannical and powerful lord of Val Chevin. Wearing a mask, he would appear in public and disrupt the lord's plans to the point that the lord angrily put a huge bounty on the life of "this cunning fox" (the origin of the nickname, which stuck). That the primary bounty hunter who took the job, Karolis, ended up becoming Remi's lifelong partner in crime (only after nearly killing him several times) is one of the most popular tales told in taverns today. The story is often exaggerated to make Remi appear initially buffoonish, until Karolis becomes so furious at the Black Fox's inexplicable ability to survive that the cunning Remi gains the upper hand, which impresses Karolis so much that the bounty hunter joins him.

After years of terrorizing the lord's men and foiling his tax collectors (a favorite pastime of Remi's, according to the Orlesian commoners), Remi was supposedly betrayed by his lover Servana de Montfort (in some versions of the tale a mage of the Circle, no less) and was captured. After more than a year of torture, Remi was rescued from prison by his compatriots (including a repentant Servana), and together they escaped Orlais. In this period of Remi's adventures, he appears almost everywhere in Thedas: As his legend grew, more innkeepers and merchants were happy to claim that the Black Fox had visited their village or establishment and performed some legendary feat. If the tales are to be believed, Remi led the lord's men on a merry chase. He became embroiled in political intrigue in Nevarra, was hunted by the Crows of Antiva, and then kidnapped by a powerful mage in Tevinter. In each situation, Remi escaped death at the last moment, foiled the evil-doer, and improved life for the poor and downtrodden. Then, inevitably, he rejoined his band of adventurers and moved on to the next land. His companions Karolis and Servana, the wise dwarf Bolek, and the tempestuous knight Ser Clementis have each spawned their own individual legends over the years.

The stories all agree that, at some point, the Black Fox disappeared: He and his fellow adventurers voyaged into the heart of the Arlathan Forest seeking the sunken city of the elves and never returned. Many more are the tales that expand on what ultimately happened to them in that forest and postulate on how they could someday be rescued.

-- From the Adventures of the Black Fox, by Gaston Gerrault, 9:11 Dragon.

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