The Fereldan Rebellion was the uprising of Ferelden against the Orlesian Empire at the end of the Blessed Age. Ultimately, the rebellion was successful, resulting in the country's liberation from its Orlesian overlords and the restoration of the Theirin line to the throne.
Ferelden had been conquered by Orlais almost a century ago in 8:24, the Blessed Age. Despite a valiant effort by the defenders, Ferelden's conquest came relatively swiftly, as a number of Ferelden nobles conspired with the Orlesian invaders in return for power and privileged places in the new regime. For the next seventy years, Orlais held Ferelden as one of its provinces, extorting harsh taxes from the populace to support the Empire and denying both the nobility and the common folk their ancient rights. Control was maintained through a combination of brutal punishments inflicted on the populace for defiance, and the presence of both Fereldan collaborators who aided the occupiers out of greed and fear, and the armies of chevaliers sent by the Empire to crush any resistance. This became particularly evident during the reign of the sadistic and mercurial usurper king Meghren, whose utter contempt for his subjects led to a constant atmosphere of royally-enforced terror and persecution.
As such, the Orlesians were opposed at almost every turn by the Fereldens, but for the most part, this resistance was scattered and disorganized. Full-scale insurrection began just before the Dragon Age, as a group of rebellious nobles and commoners came together under the banner of Queen Moira Theirin, the "Rebel Queen," whose first act as leader of the rebellion was to raid an Orlesian armory in Lothering. Outnumbered and backed with only limited support, the rebellion focused mostly on small-scale hit-and-run attacks, hoping to stay alive as long as possible while they attempted to gather support from the rest of Ferelden. Lured out by the promises of assistance against the Orlesians, Moira was betrayed by Bann Ceorlic and several other disloyal nobles, leaving her son Maric to assume command.
Battle of Southron Hills Edit
When Maric and the rebel Loghain had arrived at the rebel camp (after fleeing from the king's forces who had attacked Loghain's father's camp) Maric was told that the rebel camp would soon be attacked and caught between two separate armies of the usurper, one from the north and one from the south.
It was suggested that Maric slip away with only a handful of men while the rebel army itself would stay and fight (and likely be destroyed). However, Maric refused, and the outlaw Loghain made a suggestion which would save both Maric and the rebels. Loghain would impersonate Maric and flee to the north, straight past one of the armies to draw it off, enabling the rebels to fight and defeat the other without risk of encirclement.
While the rebels fought the southern army (along with Maric), Rowan (daughter of Arl Rendorn Guerrin) took her men on horseback to reinforce Loghain, killing the Orlesian commander and routing the second army. The plan worked, and the rebel army had lived to fight another day, which surprised Meghren and his advisor Severan.
Battle of Gwaren Edit
After several months of making alliances with nobles and replenishing its numbers, the rebel army attacked Gwaren, which had recently been given to one of Meghren's cousins. The militia offered little resistance, but the true fight was yet to come. An elven messenger, Katriel, informed Maric that Arl Byron of Amaranthine and his forces would soon be defeated and an army of the king's forces was on its way to Gwaren. Unable to defeat this new Orlesian host in pitched battle, thanks to the losses sustained in taking the town, the rebels elected to conceal themselves in Gwaren and ambush the Orlesians in its narrow confines. The Orlesians were defeated, but Maric was wounded. After the battle, Loghain was promoted to Commander, subordinate to Arl Rendorn Guerrin.
Battle of West Hill Edit
Upon hearing that West Hill was the location of a large amount of money intended as pay for the chevaliers, the rebel army resolved to attack West Hill. Without the resources to pay and equip the chevaliers (who composed the true backbone of the Orlesian occupation), Maric reasoned that Meghren's army would begin to crumble, leaving the usurper defenseless. However, this was a trap, which the army was led into by Katriel, and half of the rebel army, including Arl Rendorn, was killed.
The forces that remained fled back to Gwaren and the king's forces soon surrounded the Brecilian Forest, preventing the rebels' escape. Luckily, Maric, Loghain, and Rowan survived and with the help of Katriel, reached Gwaren via the Deep Roads. Along the way they made new allies, the Legion of the Dead, who saved them from death at the hands of the darkspawn, during their sojurn in the Deep Roads.
Katriel was slain shortly after she severed all ties with Severan by Maric, who was manipulated by Loghain and not aware that she was no longer working for Severan. Bann Ceorlic and the other nobles who had betrayed Queen Moira were also killed shortly afterwards when Maric invited them to a Bannorn Chantry under the pretence of forming an alliance; when they came, Maric had them all killed.
Battle of White River Edit
Little is known about the Battle of White River, other than that it was a devastating defeat for the rebel forces, from which only fifty rebels escaped, including Bryce Cousland, Rendon Howe and Leonas Bryland.
Battle of River Dane Edit
The Battle of River Dane occurred in 8:99 and was a pivotal battle during the Fereldan rebellion. Orlesian chevaliers crossing the River Dane were ambushed and killed by rebels led by Loghain Mac Tir, who then claimed the Orlesian commander's armour for his own. At least a full legion of the Empire's finest warriors perished, and the significant loss of both life and treasure was enough to convince the Orlesians to abandon their occupation. With this victory for the rebels, Meghren was effectively discarded by Orlais, who saw little point in squandering so many resources to secure what had become an ungovernable and rebellious province.
Even after the victory at the River Dane, it took the rebels three more years of fighting until Ferelden was truly freed. Finally, after a long and bloody siege, Denerim fell to the rebels, and the Orlesian puppet king Meghren and the remnants of his court fled to and barricaded themselves inside Fort Drakon. Maric challenged Meghren to a duel and killed him in single combat, ending his rule and the Orlesian occupation. The Fereldan rebels had won their independence, but diplomatic relations were not resumed until the accession of Empress Celene I to the Orlesian throne. Even in the years after, the shadow of Meghren's rule and the occupation had a profound influence over Ferelden society and politics, and nearly every sitting noble at the time of the Fifth Blight was either a veteran of the Rebellion, or a descendant of one.