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Chateau Haine, situated on the western verge of the Vimmark Mountains, is one of the many estates of the illustrious de Montfort family of Orlais. Duke Prosper de Montfort vacations at the estate frequently, particularly during wyvern-hunting season.
The structure was built late in the Black Age for Lord Norbert de la Haine, whose treasonous schemes to seize power in the Free Marches led to a call for his execution. Lord Norbert escaped to what was then Fortress Haine and barricaded himself within. The siege lasted a hundred days. Eventually, Antivan Crows slit the lord's throat while he slept. The estate's scandalous past left it unoccupied for long thereafter.
When the Fourth Blight ravaged the Free Marches, Fortress Haine served as a garrison for the Grey Wardens. The Wardens dug a hollow into the mountain's interior; when darkspawn attacked Kirkwall and Cumberland, citizens of both cities took refuge in the caves, which came to be known as "the Retreat."
After the Wardens left victorious, Fortress Haine was presented to Ser Gaston de Montfort, a chevalier of Orlais. The building was converted from military keep to pleasure palace and rechristened "Chateau Haine."
—From Portrait of the Free Marches, by Guillaume van der Haute