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Andraste, Our Lady, the sword and the fire against Tevinter. Betrayed to the empire in exchange for a kingdom. Maferath, now synonymous with treachery. But would Andraste have won, and if not, what would we have lost? Let us look not just at the act, but at the why of it.
As the armies of faith pierced the imperial homeland, it was revealed not as a wave but as an arrow. And as any hunter will attest, if your aim is not true, there is no returning to the bow. We must consider: how much of Our Lady's victory to this point was against true Imperium, and how much was against the echoes of empire? Andraste the inspiration may not have considered such. But Maferath the general fought for homeland, not visions. Was it victory or defeat that his betrayal held at bay?
Maferath made the deal that killed Our Lady. That is fact. And when Andraste died, Maferath was gifted everything from the southern plains south. How generous, and impossible to hold, this must have seemed. Let us look on Maferath and the legacy he divided among his sons not with eye for accusation, but from a tactical consideration. For he must have known that mere rivals had never stopped Tevinter. What if he set about creating peers, and none of this was accident?
—Excerpted from A History Not of Heroes: Readings in the Ugly Heart of Change, collected by Philliam, a Bard!