- See also: Asha Campana
There are those who believe the tale that Antiva owes its independence to the looming threat of the Crows. Yet this story—largely spread by the Crows themselves—is no more credible than the promises of a market-stall huckster. For the truth of the matter, we look instead to the Palace of the Kings in Antiva City. A grand statue of a woman in Rivaini royal garb towers over the entrance, her watchful eyes keeping sight of everything happening within those walls: Asha Subira Bahadur Campana, Queen Mother of Thedas.
When the matriarchs of Rivain arranged the marriage of Princess Asha of Ayesleigh to King Alonzo Campana of Antiva, it went unnoticed and unremarked by their contemporaries; the eyes of Thedas were on the wars of Orlais and Nevarra. The marriage of a minor princess of Rivain to an almost powerless king was beneath their consideration. Yet this wedding was, in retrospect, perhaps the most important event in Thedas's history since the blackening of the Golden City.
Queen Asha was a skilled tactician; seeing the military ambitions of Tevinter, Nevarra, and Orlais, she concocted a plan. Antiva was too prosperous to escape its neighbors' avarice, yet had no means of raising an army capable of fending off both Tevinter and Orlais without impoverishing the kingdom. If she was to safeguard her people, it must be through measures stronger than steel.
The queen spent decades making alliances in the ancient Rivaini way: marriage. She wed her many children and grandchildren strategically into nobles houses across the continent. Within thirty years, Antiva was so well-connected that any hostile action against it would force half the nations of Thedas into war.
The blood of Queen Asha runs in the veins of the Empress of Orlais, the Prince of Starkhaven, the King of Nevarra, and seven of the Dukes of the Anderfels; even some magisters of the Tevinter Imperium have ties to the Antivan royal family. Asha's web of blood ties forces most of the continent to remain at peace with Antiva, or risk terrible consequences at family dinners.
—From In Pursuit of Knowledge: Travels of a Chantry Scholar, by Brother Genitivi