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Not many people take the road west into Perendale for the sake of pleasure. Few living things inhabit the rocky countryside save for silver miners, wyverns, and an astoundingly pugnacious breed of mountain goat. In far-off days, the mountains around the city were full of dragons, and perhaps this was what first brought it to the attention of the Pentaghast kings.
Certainly, it was not the goats.
Although the region has belonged to Nevarra since the late Blessed Age, travelers here will find much that reminds them of a provincial Orlesian town. A great carving depicting the Lions Slaying the Dragon adorns Perendale's gate, and many Orlesian lions decorate the city's buildings. And there are still many citizens who cling to the hope that the empress will restore the city to the empire.
Historians mostly agree that it was not the dragons, nor the silver, and certainly not the goats that began centuries of warfare between Orlais and Nevarra. It was Emperor Etienne Valmont and the Pentaghasts.
In 7:82 Storm, the Pentaghast family, fresh on the throne again for the first time in generations and eager to build up the alliances lost by the Van Markham dynasty, approached the emperor to solidify a peace treaty through marriage. The emperor, who was under great pressure to produce an heir, set aside his empress of 17 years and wed Princess Sotiria Pentaghast, theoretically cementing a promise of peace and cooperation between Nevarra and Orlais.
Promises are hard to keep. By 7:97 Storm Sotiria was still childless, and the emperor sent her to a cloister so that he might marry his mistress. As anyone other than Etienne might have predicted, the Nevarrans took this poorly. Angry letters arrived in the Imperial Palace by the cartload. A small war party of Pentaghasts rode into Orlais and reclaimed Princess Sotiria. But the Nevarrans did not take military action yet. They were strategists, and knew to bide their time.
In 8:46 Blessed, while most of the Orlesian army was committed to a war in Ferelden, the Pentaghasts began their war against Orlais. The Orlesians rallied a defense and drove the Nevarrans from Ghislain and Arlesans, but at the cost of much of their northern territory. Perendale was lost and never recovered. A lingering sign that peace between the two nations was impossible.
—From In Pursuit of Knowledge: Travels of a Chantry Scholar, by Brother Genitivi