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Codex entry: The History of the Chantry: Chapter 3

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On the betrayal of Andraste

It is said that at the Battle of Valarian Fields, Maferath stood and looked out over his armies. He had conquered the southern reaches of the greatest empire the world had ever known and built splintered barbarian clans into a force to be feared. With pride in his heart, he turned to congratulate his men and found that they had turned from him.

Maferath fell to the evil of jealousy. After all that he had done, his wife was the one to receive all the glory. He saw his wife's power and influence, and tired of his place as second husband, below the Maker. His heart swelled with fury. If he had conquered just to have his wife wrested from him by a forgotten god and a legion of faith-hungry rabble, then perhaps this war was not worth the trouble.

Here, history and the Chant of Light come apart. History tells us that Maferath looked north into the central Imperium and saw nothing but more war against a rapidly regrouping army, and he despaired. The Chant of Light holds that Maferath chafed with jealousy of the Maker, and jealousy of the glory that Andraste received although it was he who led the armies.

Maferath traveled to the Imperial capital of Minrathous to speak with the Archon Hessarian. There he offered up his wife to the Imperium in return for a truce that would end hostilities once and for all. The archon, eager to put down the voice of the prophet that stirred his own people against him, agreed. Maferath led Andraste into an ambush where she was captured by Imperial agents, putting an end to her Exalted March.

Crowds of loyalists stood in the central square of Minrathous to watch Andraste's execution. By command of the archon, she was burned at the stake in what the Imperium believed to be the most painful punishment imaginable. According to the Chantry, however, Andraste was instead purified and made whole by the flames, ascending to life at her Maker's side. By all accounts, there was only silence where they expected screams. At the sight of the prophet burning, the crowds were filled with a profound guilt, as if they had participated in a great blasphemy. So moving was the moment that the archon himself drew his sword and thrust it into the prophet's heart, ending her torment and leaving those assembled to consider the weight of what they had seen.

Whereas the execution of Andraste was meant to be a symbol of defeat for the faith of the Maker, in truth it all but sealed the fate of the worship of the Old Gods and paved the way for the spread of the Maker's chant.

--From Tales of the Destruction of Thedas, by Brother Genitivi, Chantry scholar.

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