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Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 1

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On Calenhad's early rise

Prior to the crowning of King Calenhad, Ferelden was little more than a collection of independent arlings and teyrnirs that warred on each other constantly over petty matters.

Calenhad was born in 5:10 Exalted as the third son of a Highever merchant on hard times. He was eventually sent to a distant cousin, a poor young knight named Ser Forannan, who made Calenhad his squire and dog-handler. As the tale goes, Ser Forannan and his squire became caught up in one of the wars of unity at the time: Arl Myrddin was a strong but generally disliked man who was making a bid for kingship. Forannan's own lord, a young fool of an arl named Tenedor no older than Calenhad, was besieged by Myrddin's forces at his castle, today known as West Hill. When Myrrdin called Tenedor out to parley, the young arl asked for a volunteer from among the squires, someone who could masquerade as Tenedor in the parley party. Calenhad kneeled before Tenedor and asked for the honor.

Much to Tenedor's and Ser Forannan's dismay, Calenhad immediately identified himself to Arl Myrddin. When asked by the arl why he was here, Calenhad explained that he had been asked to take the place of his lord. The arl said that he had planned to kill Tenedor--was Calenhad willing to die in his lord's place, as well? Calenhad impressed Myrddin and his allies by saying that he was. Myrrdin offered Calenhad a place as his own squire, but Calenhad refused, stating that if Myrddin had planned on betraying the right of parley, he was no man of honor. Myrddin's allies laughed at that, and Myrrdin himself conceded that Calenhad had a point. He allowed Calenhad to return to the castle safely and launched his final assault.

During the assault, both Tenedor and Forannan were killed, but Calenhad found himself in one-on-one combat with Arl Myrrdin. In front of all of Myrddin's allies, Calenhad defeated the arl and commanded he call off his armies. The arl asked Calenhad who he professed to serve now, if both his knight and his lord were dead, to which Calenhad replied that he would do as his honor bade him to, for he had nothing else.

"You are not a man known for your honor," Calenhad said, "but I believe you wish to be. You allowed me to live once, and so now I do the same for you. Perhaps if more of our people lived by honor, we would learn to trust each other long enough to live together." And with that, Calenhad withdrew his sword.

"I am humbled by your words," Arl Myrrdin told Calenhad, dropping to one knee. To his allies he shouted that he now knew he would never be king, but he knew who should be. With that Myrddin pledged allegiance to Calenhad, whom he named teyrn and ruler of Tenedor's lands.

-- From The Legend of Calenhad, by Brother Herren, Chantry scribe, 8:10 Blessed.

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