The teachings of the Andrastian Chantry have been part of Thedosian lives for over eight hundred years. The Chantry guides us and teaches us. We are made humble in the knowledge that we have sinned, and yet we are inspired and given hope through Andraste's story and her song. But Andraste died almost two hundred years before her Emperor Kordillus Drakon established the Chantry and spread the Chant of Light. In those terrible years, Thedosians were lost. Crying for salvation, they took to anyone and anything they hoped could give them the answers they so desperately sought. Some returned to well-known faiths, like the Tevinter Imperium's cult of the Old Gods, which we hold accountable for the curse of the Blight and the darkspawn. But others found their own paths, following false prophets and making false gods out of men. Many of these religions have disappeared, dying out with their adherents, like the Daughters of Song, or the Empty Ones. Others, like the Blades of Hessarian, may still lurk in the hidden corners of our world.
This book aims to remember them, so that we may find compassion for those who lived in those dark times, and also for they who even now are lost, and turn to shadow, trying find light.
—From Before Andrastianism: the Forgotten Faiths by Sister Rondwyn of Tantervale