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Dales

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See Dalish for the modern remnant of the civilization of the Dales.

Location
Dales

Area-The Dales
Type:
Aristocracy/Oligarchy (formerly)
Absolute monarchy
Location:
South-eastern Orlais
Inhabitants:
Appearances:

The Dales are the area of southeastern Orlais to the west of Ferelden. From -170 Ancient to 2:20 Glory—a period of nearly four centuries—they were the homeland of the elves of Thedas.

History Edit

The Founding of the Dales Edit

During the centuries of slavery after their ancient civilization of Elvhenan fell to the Tevinter Imperium, the elves lost most of their language, history and lore. However, when Andraste and her husband Maferath led their Alamarri army against Tevinter in 1020 TE,[1] the elven slaves led by Shartan rose up and helped fight against their masters.

Shartan was killed when Andraste was betrayed to the Tevinters, but in 1025 TE, Maferath and Andraste's sons gave the elves the Dales as a reward for their part in the war. At that time, the Dales were on the fringe of Tevinter territory and were barely populated, with only the scattered Ciriane people to the west, and the barbarians of Fereldan Valley on the other side of the Frostback Mountains. The freed elves set off for their new home from Tevinter on foot in what would come to be called "The Long Walk". Many perished along the way, but those who survived founded the city of Halamshiral – meaning "the end of the journey" in Elvish. They were joined by elves from across Thedas and began the task of restoring their lost language, religion and lore.

Wolf Carvings DAI

Carvings of the "Knights's Guardians" of the Emerald Knights

The Dales were patrolled by a border guard known as the Emerald Knights. These elven warriors protected the boundaries of the realm, riding halla mounts[2] and accompanied by their steadfast Wolf companions known as "Knight's Guardians." These loyal wolves fought and lived with the Emerald Knights, and guarded them as they slept.[3]

The Fall of the Dales Edit

In their attempt to regain the lost glory of Elvhenan, the elves cut themselves off from their human neighbours. Throughout the Second Blight, which lasted for most of the Divine Age, the elves of the Dales remained neutral and unhelpful. When the city of Montsimmard was nearly destroyed by darkspawn in 1:25 Divine, it is alleged that the elven army simply watched from nearby. Partly because of this, the end of the Blight saw increasing hostility between the Dales and Orlais. According to human accounts, border skirmishes escalated into full-scale war after the elven forces attacked the Orlesian town of Red Crossing in 2:9 Glory. However, there is also reason to suspect the Chantry, which objected to the worship of the elven pantheon, of inciting fear and hatred of the elves by allegedly spreading false rumours of human sacrifice. The Dalish claim the war started after the Chantry sent templars into their sovereign territory after the elves kicked their missionaries out of the Dales.[4] By 2:10 Glory, elven forces had captured Montsimmard and were on the doorstep of Val Royeaux.

At this point, the Chantry called for a holy war against the elves that became known as the Exalted March of the Dales. While the elves eventually sacked Val Royeaux and pushed well into human lands, Halamshiral was conquered and the elves were completely crushed by 2:20 Glory. The Dales were appropriated by the Orlesians, who uprooted elven settlements and forbade worship of the elven gods.[1] Elves who accepted the Chantry's offered truce were required to accept the Maker and live in slums, known as alienages, within human settlements, becoming the city elves. Some elves, however, refused to give up their worship or their dream of their own homeland. These became the Dalish, retaining the name of their second lost homeland and vowing to keep elven language, lore and religion alive.

Orlesian civil war Edit

700 years later the Dales still belong to Orlais, and blood is yet again shed on its lands. As the Orlesian Civil War rages on, the supporters of both sides meet on the battlefields of The Exalted Plains to battle for their beliefs.

Geography Edit

The Dales are the area of southeastern Orlais on the western side of Gherlen's Pass from Ferelden and are approximately the same size as the Bannorn. They are bordered by the Arbor Wilds on the southern end, the Frostback Mountains to the east, and the Waking Sea to the north. They are in the mountain shadow of the Frostbacks, with little rainfall and no major rivers, so most of the present-day human settlements are along the coast.[5]

Notable areas Edit

  • Emerald Graves: home to an elven burial site where a tree was planted for each soldier killed in the Exalted Marches.[6]
  • Exalted Plains: this is where the elves of old made their last stand before they were defeated.
  • Halamshiral: During the time when the Dales were home to the elven nation, their capital and only city was Halamshiral in the northeast. The city is home to the Winter Palace, which has since become an estate in the possession of Empress Celene.[7]

Gallery Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dragon Age: Origins: Prima Official Game Guide, Collector's Edition, p. 342
  2. World of Thedas, pg. 32.
  3. Tumblr blog Remember the dream.../
  4. Codex entry: The Dales
  5. BSN Mary Kirby (August 28, 2009). "The Dales today" . BioWare Social Network. Retrieved on June 4, 2011.
  6. The Bioware Forum-XBox Magazine Dragon Age Inquisition Preview.
  7. Dragon Age: Asunder, p. 24.

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