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Codex entry: The Legend of Calenhad: Chapter 3

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On Calenhad's fall

Calenhad's legend tells that Lady Shayna harbored a love for her king that went beyond friendship, a love that she had kept secret out of her sense of duty and honor. When offered a love potion by a witch in disguise--a witch who would later turn out to be the vengeance-seeking sister of Arl Simeon--Lady Shayna gave in to temptation. She used the potion on Calenhad, but Queen Mairyn discovered the two of them together that night, and, broken-hearted, fled Denerim to return to her father. She told Myrddin everything, and he angrily threatened to revoke his support of Calenhad and begin anew the civil war.

It is said that Lady Shayna felt remorseful at her manipulation of her best friend's heart and confessed her use of forbidden magic to the court. Although her life was forfeit, Calenhad forgave Lady Shayna for what she had done and refused to have her executed. Myrddin furiously roused the other arls against Calenhad and Lady Shayna, and it was not long before Ferelden stood on the brink of civil war once again.

Against Calenhad's orders, Lady Shayna went alone to Mairyn to plead for peace and plead her case, only to be found out by Myrddin and slain. Angered but also saddened, Calenhad challenged Myrddin to an honor duel, a fight neither of them wanted but both knew was necessary, and Myrddin was slain. The death of the king's greatest ally, an important arl, was too much for the young kingdom to bear. The other arls would not back down in their claims against Calenhad. The threat of civil war rose once again. Calenhad went to his wife one last time then, although none know what he said to her, and then he simply vanished. He left with Mairyn a proclamation abdicating his throne in favor of the son his queen carried in her belly, who eventually ascended to the throne as King Weylan I, the king credited with establishing the Theirin dynasty lasting to this day. Calenhad would never reappear.

The legend of Calenhad himself only grew over time, as stories and sightings multiplied, even long after the point when Calenhad could possibly still be alive. Some say he disappeared into the Korcari Wilds or went to live with the dwarves or even became a monk in a reclusive Chantry order. The Chantry named Calenhad one of the Anointed in 7:88 Storm. Calenhad's sword, Nemetos, was left with Mairyn and became a symbol of Ferelden kingship over the next century. Rumors of its magical powers grew, and when it was lost in the ambush that killed King Venedrin in 8:24 Blessed, it was seen as a great blow to the Theirin line. Several false swords have appeared since that time, but never has the true sword resurfaced.

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

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