The Story of Warden's Vigil
Our Canon-Divergent Setting
While the Fifth Blight remained contained within the borders of the barbarian kingdom of Ferelden, largely due to the diligent efforts of Grey Wardens Aedan Cousland, Alistair Theirin, and their array of companions, its effects have spread much further. Despite having taken extreme losses from darkspawn and civil war alike, Ferelden nonetheless continues in a slow recovery, albeit with political turmoil, Chantry crackdowns, and a foreboding sense of instability hindering those efforts. Even a new King, and the return of a much beloved Queen, cannot seem to put the people completely at ease. Those who fled the Kingdom of Dog Lords for safer lands now find themselves acclimating to their new homes. Among them are Hawke and her family who have discovered they are not immune to the hardships of acclimation as refugees in Kirkwall.
Across the Waking Sea and beyond, tensions, Chantry and otherwise, are building. Kirkwall teeters, as if waiting for something yet unknown to happen. Politics and racial unrest continue to be an ever-shifting tide in Orlais. A tug o’ war of power between the Grey Wardens and the Monarchy simmers in the Anderfels. Assassinations, coups, invasions, genocide, and revolt touch the furthest reaches of the Free Marches.
Perhaps nothing is watched with more wariness and uncertainty as the Andrastrian Chantry, bidding farewell to one Divine and ushering in a far more radical new one. Meanwhile, the Tevinter Imperium, to the north, remains shrouded in dark rumor, and their mysterious Imperial, patriarchal Chantry.
The Fifth Blight began in Kingsway, 9:29, and ended in Kingsway 9:30 when Aedan Cousland put his sword into the Archdemon’s head. His actions ended the Blight, and released her soul which, presumably, completed the ritual to impregnate his lover, Morrigan. Aedan’s whereabouts are currently unknown, but it is rumored he may have made contact with the Witch.
Following treason committed by his first wife, Alistair Theirin has formed a political alliance with his late brother’s widow, Anora. While their marriage is based on politics and a mutual desire for stability in Ferelden, they continue to strive towards friendship, perhaps even affection. Having formally adopted the three orphans of his sister, Goldanna, Alistair and Anora have named Marina Theirin as heir to the throne.
The teyrnir of Highever continues making strides towards restoration after the crimes of Rendon Howe. Racial tensions bubble on both sides of the fence of the Alienage, aggravated by the assassination of Fergus Cousland’s elven wife. Meanwhile, the teyrnir of Gwaren has seen the rise and fall of leaders since the death of Loghain Mac Tir. Its future continues to teeter between uncertainty and fragile stability. Matters are further complicated by the various Dalish clans and Chasind tribes of the southern region, who all make claims on the same lands.
The Grey Wardens of Ferelden enjoy a near-celebrity status as their numbers swell. Certainly the favor of Ferelden’s King has protected them from outright criticism, but his idealism regarding the Order is tested by the decisions made by their leadership, both local and abroad. A power struggle between the Chantry and the Wardens continually pulls him in opposing directions.
The Mage Warden Anders merged with the Spirit of Justice, who formerly occupied the corpse of the Grey Warden Kristoff, in Kingsway of 9:34. After deserting the Grey Wardens, Anders was spirited away across the sea by the Friends of Red Jenny. His presence in Kirkwall has done little to better the tightly coiled tension of the citystate, or Hawke’s patience.
Circles across Southern Thedas continue to tighten their grip on both their mages and their templars. The annulment of the Circle in Ansburg prompted the Anderfels Grey Wardens, under the guidance of the First Warden, to intervene, simultaneously bolstering their numbers and angering Chantry, Templar, and Seeker leadership. Tragedies have befallen Circles in Ostwick and Starkhaven, and there are places in the Free Marches which have become hostile to mages.
The Qunari, including their Arishok, arrived in Kirkwall in 9:34.