Maferath was married to Andraste, who was unable to provide him with an heir due to a decades-long illness. Since Maferath was a chieftain of the most powerful Alamarri tribe in Thedas, he was desperate for an heir. He acquired a concubine Gilivhan with whom he sired three sons. Isorath was later adopted by Andraste upon Gilivhan's death.
When Andraste died and her Exalted March against the Tevinter Imperium was finished, Maferath ordered his armies to retreat. Maferath then proceeded to tighten the grip on the lands he had conquered in case the Tevinters decided to take them back. He tasked his sons with the same thing as he gave each of them a part of his land. Isorath was given the Ciriane lands to the west of the Fereldan Valley.
Isorath saw potential in the Ciriane, yet he thought they were too disparate and culturally different. He began what he called the Grand Unification. He united the Ciriane tribes into one nation, nation he called Orlais. Whether the tribes liked the unification or not, it made the people stronger and one of the most advanced nations in Thedas. Isorath married Jeshavis, a local Ciriane woman.
When Maferath's betrayal came to light, Isorath maintained power by having separated himself from the legacy well enough and was seen as a victim. However, his wife was angered by the detrimental effects the upheaval had on their fledgling empire and plotted to have him killed.
Maferath's other son, Verald was not as lucky as his older brother. He lost control over Nevara City and barely escaped with his life. He came to Orlais to take the power from his brother. Jeshavis, seeing an opportunity in this, manipulated Verald into killing his own brother. All of Isorath's direct children were killed as well. Once Verald had killed Isorath, Jeshavis married him, only to kill him as well. She then took charge of the united peoples, and her influence was most strongly felt on what Orlais became. She ruled for forty-two years.