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Edgehall is an arling located in western Ferelden, and during the Fifth Blight the area became rife with conflict.
Much of the surrounding area is hills and open fields with patches of dense forest. It is not the richest of lands, but the hardy Fereldans who work the soil make a good living and small towns and settlements dot the landscape. Closer to the Frostbacks, the land becomes rocky and less hospitable. Pockets of darkspawn activity and other dangerous creatures lurk in various caves and abandoned ruins in the area, making travel a risky proposition for the unarmed and unprepared.
Situated in the borderlands of west Ferelden, Edgehall was originally a minor outpost of the surface dwarves. They abandoned it when its links to the Deep Roads were severed. The esteemed Lendon family took possession of Edgehall during the height of the Steel Age, using it as a base to help drive out the Avvars and pacify the region for Ferelden. In gratitude for this service, the King granted the Lendons the hereditary title of arl and the lands surrounding Edgehall.
Edgehall was one of the first keeps to fall when the Orlesians invaded, and they used it as a base throughout the occupation. The chevaliers were not kind to the people in the area and resentment and anger toward Orlais runs strong here. Years of diplomatic efforts and repaired relations between the two nations made less of a positive impact here than in many other parts of Ferelden.
To make things worse, Edgehall was not retaken until the Orlesians withdrew from Ferelden. Before they left, they sabotaged much of the keep’s defenses, leaving it a shadow of its former glory and a constant reminder of the occupation. Though control of Edgehall was returned to the Lendon family, things were never the same.
Internal division and external conflicts weakened the once noble family and its stalwart keep. When the last arl of Edgehall, Fergus Lendon, died without a clear heir, much of the administration of the surrounding lands fell to the local nobles until a new arl was chosen. Politics and infighting stalled this progress as the nobles continued to squabble. Individual settlements and lands still do well enough, but the governance of the region as a whole has suffered.
This instability has recently allowed Gell Lendon, half-brother to the old arl, to return from exile abroad to seize his “birthright” during the Fifth Blight. Aided by mercenaries under the command of the disgraced Orlesian Chevalier Marcel Corbin, Gell has retaken the keep from his brother’s widow and declared himself Edgehall’s new Arl. He hopes the overwhelming power of his mercenary forces will cow the local nobles into avoiding conflict with him.
He has since set to repairing Edgehall’s decrepit defenses, hiring or pressing into service laborers and craftsmen to accomplish the task. While many in Ferelden see Gell as a usurper or possibly even an Orlesian puppet, his nominal legitimacy and the need for the crown to concentrate their efforts in defending against the Blight makes direct action to remove Gell and expel his forces impractical. Instead, a Fereldan agent known as Engar has been directed to find people who can deal with the matter in a way that gives the crown deniability but also removes a threat to the nation’s authority and sovereignty.