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Codex entry: The Troubles of a Chantry Scholar

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Codex text

As students of culture, it is important to always recognize your biases. I wear my Chantry perspective openly, for if my readers do not understand the lens through which I view the world, they cannot account for how these biases may color my writing.

Gathering accurate information is challenging in a place as vast and fragmented as Thedas. One man may go on at length about lurid dealings with a king, then refuse to provide his name or some proof of the account. Other sources may conflict wildly. Fixing travel to some of the more remote areas of the continent is nothing compared to the difficulty I've had finding contacts I can trust. I cannot tell you how many times "reputable people" have tried to deceive me, sometimes for personal notoriety, more often in the interest of a pet cause. Trustworthy Qunari, Dalish, and Tevinter contacts are especially scarce, and I prize those I have kept friendly. Often it is I who must earn their trust.

Texts too can be unreliable. From extensive readings, I have determined that Andraste was a Fereldan Orlesian who was born in every town from here to Hossberg. What little remains of elven history has been told and retold, shifted and skewed, until the tales are unrecognizable. I have particular respect for the dwarves, for there is no other people so obsessed with recording an accurate and complete history. If only the Shapers were as open as the skies they fear.

If I can be honest, the long reign of the Chantry has made the recording of reality at times a trial. Most common histories have been rewritten through the filter of my religion. Everything has meaning as it pertains to the Maker. And while this is unavoidable, it sometimes leads to conflicts between what is officially taught by the Chantry and what I have seen with my own eyes.

While my belief in the Maker is absolute, only a fool would ignore the lessons to be learned from other societies and religions.

Take the Fade. Was it the kingdom of the Maker, as common knowledge dictates, or the realm of the Tevinter Old Gods? Few people would contest its existence, but beyond that, there is little agreement among scholars. Though there are many who would disagree with me, I have come to believe nothing is for certain. I've met too many people and encountered too many perspectives not to keep an open mind about these things.

—Excerpt from a lecture by Brother Genitivi at the University of Orlais, delivered shortly after the release of his seminal work, In Pursuit of Knowledge: The Travels of a Chantry Scholar

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