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- See also: Enasalin
Little knowledge remains of the great war the Tevinter Imperium waged upon the elves of Arlathan. Many human scholars believe that Arlathan was the only elven settlement of note, and that if elves existed elsewhere on the continent their forces were at best negligible. My conversations with the Dalish, however, indicate that there was a time when the elves had many cities, and it's possible that the elven civilization declined long before the Imperium entered the height of its power.
An example of such a place is Sundermount in the Vimmark Mountains near Kirkwall. According to Dalish legend, this was a burial site for elders and the location of a great battle between Imperial and elven forces—nowhere near Arlathan (if one believes the city was near the forest of the same name in northeastern Thedas).
The arcane warriors that remained at the mountain to defend their slumbering elders were known as the Enasalin'abelas, or "sorrowful victory". These elves knew they were going to die, but were bound by duty to protect their charges. The enchanted armor that belonged to these warriors was looted by the Imperial victors, so pieces that resurface today are considered relics of great importance.
—From An Investigation into Arlathan, by Alstead the Sage, 9:18 Dragon