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Codex entry: Jeshavis, Mother of Orlais

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Codex text

It is said we owe much to the Sons of Betrayal. Three brothers were charged with girding against an Imperium in wait. And in mourning Andraste, we tribes of the crescent willingly bartered diversity for solidarity. Tevinter would not be defeated in Our Lady's lifetime, but would be balanced against for lifetimes to come.

While a Son of Betrayal named the fields "Orlais," it was Jeshavis, his wife, who shaped what we are. Her hatreds were older, bound to tradition. All our hatreds were abandoned so we would call strangers kin and stand as one against the Imperium. Greater her spite for how necessary the cost, because she knew we had a choice in that day, or no choice the next. She brought the marriage that wed tribe within tribe, but promised an untold vengeance of her own: if we stand against outsiders, we stand for ourselves. She would not suffer the rule of Alamarri, son or no son of Betrayal or Prophet.

Jeshavis plied brother against brother in turn, then named both as partners in crimes against faith. With artful turns she invited invasion, then crafted rebellion against the courts she inspired. Brother would kill brother and be killed in turn, two liberations that she would then own. Eight generations before the empire, before Drakon, here were the seeds of elegance to come. Jeshavis, twice married to Sons of Betrayal, twice widowed, our first chieftain born from us, of what would become true Orlais—where we venerate faith and the beauty of sacrifice, with daggers well hidden but well within reach.

It is true, we owe much to the Sons of Betrayal, for they were the tools that a master cast down. Let others claim credit for birthing the nation. Jeshavis claims nothing and gave us the Game.

—————

This text was translated from Oer Gyoja Jethvis, a highly romanticized account of the first gyoja, or female chieftain, of the unified Ciriane tribes of Orlais. The region and people would later coalesce under Drakon into the modern nation of Orlais. Many culturally distinct communities were forcibly merged during the rule of Maferath and his sons, ostensibly to create more efficient barriers against the likelihood of a Tevinter return to conquest. The effects of this relocation can still be observed in many Orlesian, Nevarran, and Free Marcher traditions.

—Collected and excerpted by Philliam, a Bard!

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