Post by gervaise21 on Jan 14, 2019 20:04:31 GMT
At the beginning of the Exalted Age the 4th Blight started. Orlais were not directly affected and only sent a token force to assist but nevertheless probably decided they should consolidate at home just in case the threat could not be contained. Then once the Blight was over, they had their own problems with pressure on their borders from Nevarra. This took them into the Steel Age and the arrival of the Qunari. The ongoing defence against this new threat continued through the Steel Age and on to nearly the end of the Storm Age. This probably accounts for why Orlais did not turn its attention back on Ferelden until the Blessed Age.
There has been a long catalogue of aggression by Orlais against Ferelden even before it officially became a nation under Calenhad. When it was still just a region of loosely aligned, often warring tribes, the Orlesian Empire attempted to take over the region in 4:80. They had initial success until the teyrns put asides their differences in 4.83 Black to present a unified front against the invasion. In the end the resilience of the stronghold at Redcliffe and the harshness of the Ferelden winter forced the Orlesians into retreat. After this set back, Orlais concentrated its efforts against the Marcher states, again without success, but it was clear they wanted to expand their empire into their neighbours.
In 8:24 Blessed, Orlais crossed into Ferelden and killed King Vanedrin Theirin. This was the beginning of their campaign against the county, culminating in the sacking of Denerim in 8:44 and an occupation that lasted nearly 60 years. During this time the occupiers treated the ordinary native citizens harshly, something which Loghain witnessed first-hand. When the 5th Blight began in 9:30, Ferelden had been free of the Empire only 30 years. Whilst the Empress Celene had signed a peace treaty on ascending to the throne of Orlais in 9:20, Loghain would no doubt have heard that her cousin, Grand Duke Gaspard was in favour of military conquest and in the vicious politics of the Game might eventually persuade enough nobles and Chevaliers to bring pressure on the Empress to renege on the treaty when the time was right.
This is where the history of Orlais’ behaviour in previous Blights is relevant. During the 2nd Blight, Emperor Drakon initially marched north in the hope of making inroads into Tevinter during a time of weakness. Ultimately he relented and turned his army aside into the Anderfels at the pleading of the Grey Wardens to assist them at Weisshaupt. Grateful Wardens converted to the Chantry, as did the rest of the country when he saved them from destruction. However, Drakon then took it a step further and annexed the Anderfels, even if at the time the Anders did not object, making it part of the Orlesian Empire. It took thirty years before the Anderfels were once again able to call themselves an independent nation.
During the 3rd Blight Orlais sent an army to assist the Grey Wardens in the Free Marches. They were part of the forces that defeated the arch-demon Toth at Hunter Fell in 3:25, after which, as the Orlesian army was returning home, they attacked and conquered the city-state of Nevarra whilst it was still weak after the Blight. Once again, it took Nevarra 40 years to free themselves.
Loghain may have assumed that the reason Orlais didn’t participate much in the 4th Blight and only sent a token force is that there wasn’t much to be gained in terms of conquest in doing so, particularly as the Marcher States would be wary of their “help” after the events of the previous Blight. So it is hardly surprising that Loghain would view with suspicion the Orlesian willingness to help Ferelden this time round considering what Orlesian forces had done in previous Blights under the banner of the Grey Wardens.
You have to remember that initially the arch-demon had not made an appearance on the surface, which was the usual confirmation that a true Blight had started. Also in previous Blights, darkspawn forces had surfaced in other locations across Thedas from the focal point around the arch-demon. During the 2nd Blight Montsimmard had been sacked by darkspawn even though the main army was in the north in Tevinter and the Anderfels. In the 4th Blight, Hossberg had come under siege in the Anderfels by a darkspawn host when the arch-demon was still leading forces across the Free Marches. So whilst the darkspawn army appeared large, Loghain could be forgiven for thinking that the true threat lay elsewhere so long as there was no sign of the arch-demon.
This then accounts for Loghain’s apparent paranoia about allowing Chevaliers to enter Ferelden under the pretext of helping the Grey Wardens against the Blight.