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What could hold back an empire? Another. What could hold back so defined a people as Tevinter? Another. Let us consider if eldest Isorath was not meant to honor Maferath, for the father's fate was already condemned by hidden betrayal. Let us consider that Isorath was told to turn from ties to Maferath, to look forward, not back. What of his actions then?
Isorath was granted a land of tribes, of scattered alliance. His answer was the grand unification, which most condemn as arrogance. Sweeping changes in trade, relocations to break local allegiances, all to favor centralized trade and power. Cities were leveled to expand a new capital, a powerful and influential city of a new nation: Val Royeaux of Orlais. And all in the name of not lost Andraste, but of holding back looming Tevinter.
Power was united, but cultures less so. Investing everyone in the new Orlais stratified the classes, and through it all spread a bitterness that a Fereldan ruled. Isorath avoided the stain of his father, for he was seen as victim, too, but he was still Alamarri. What if, dear readers, the final unifying element came not from accident, or even the deliberate actions of Isorath, but from a common hatred, and not the common hatred of the day? The sons of Maferath would succeed at creating a peer for Tevinter, but only at the cost of themselves.
—Excerpted from A History Not of Heroes: Readings in the Ugly Heart of Change, collected by Philliam, a Bard!