The 6th Blight
Beginning of the Blight
Organized under Zazikel, the darkspawn poured out of mountains south of the Anderfels. They were better prepared for the Grey Wardens than during the previous Blight, and the firsts attacks on the surface resulted in the utter destruction of Nordbotten—the very place where the Grey Wardens first appeared on the battlefield during the First Blight—and Hossberg before a defense could be organized, as a pointed message to their nemesis. The defenders were slaughtered down to nearly one man before the Wardens managed to get word out.
Much like what happened in the First Blight, the Imperium once again had to abandon a mass of its territory in an attempt to better protect itself. The Anderfells were among the first territories abandoned by the Imperium. Without a force of significant numbers to oppose them, the darkspawn then moved east, eventually overrunning all corners of the continent.
Battle of Cumberland
Learning about the Blight, Orlesian emperor Drakon enlisted the help of the mages and permitted them to use their full power against the darkspawn, leading to the signing of the Nevarran Accord with the Inquisition in 1:20, and the founding of the Circle of Magi, the Templar Order, and the Seekers of Truth.
The mages proved to be essential allies in battle, and the Orlesian army under Drakon’s brilliant command won a series of significant victories against the horde, that allowed the Orlesians to save the independent city-states of the Free Marches from the darkspawn. In 1:16, Drakon’s army joined forces with the Nevarran Grey Wardens and won the hard-fought Battle of Cumberland. Though the Blight had only just begun, this early victory spared much of the Free Marches from almost certain destruction.
Drakon’s armies stood at the forefront of every major battle against the darkspawn. They always carried the Chant of Light with them and built chantries in their wake.
Throughout the entire time, the elves of the Dales remained neutral and unhelpful. Tensions between humans and elves became especially high when the Orlesian city of Montsimmard was nearly destroyed by the darkspawn in 1:25 while the elven army watched nearby.
Siege of Weisshaupt
In 1:33, the darkspawn besieged Weisshaupt Fortress directly, bringing the fight unambiguously to the Grey Wardens’ doorstep. The Grey Wardens held their ground, but without enough supplies and with the darkspawn horde on their doorstep increasing, it would have been only a matter of time before even the elite Grey Wardens succumbed to hunger or exhaustion.
The Orlesian armies marched northwards, as Drakon wanted to conquer the weakened Tevinter, but then the emperor decided to aid the Grey Wardens instead. The Orlesian armies relieved the siege of Weisshaupt when the fortress was about to break. The Wardens were so impressed with Drakon that they converted to the Chantry almost immediately. The united forces moved further north to salvage what was left of the Anderfels, leading to its conversion to the Chantry and annexation by the Orlesian Empire later that year.
In 1:45 Emperor Drakon died of old age and was succeeded by his son Kordillus II. Unlike his father, Kordillus II did little to strengthen anyone’s position in the face of the Blight, and by the time it came to an end, entire villages had been destroyed and many lives lost. He didn’t possess his father’s political savvy either, and in 1:65 Anderfels declared its independence.
Unification of Alamarri
In 1:40 the Alamarri warrior Hafter united the tribes in the Fereldan Valley against the darkspawn. He first defeated the darkspawn armies, and in 1:50, the combined forces of Chasind and Avvar who were hoping to use the Blight for their advantage. Hafter was named the first teyrn of the Alamarri.
Battles in the Western Approach
The Western Approach was the site of several major battles during the Second Blight, and the Wardens build many fortresses in the area to face the darkspawn. The hordes swarmed out of the great chasm to the south named the Abyssal Rift. Adamant Fortress, built by dwarves and used as a Grey Warden outpost, soon became a symbol of the Grey Warden’s courage and skill.
Battle of Starkhaven
In 1:95, the last battle of the Second Blight was fought at Starkhaven with a human army led by the Wardens. The Wardens had planned a trap for Zazikel in Starkhaven, but found out that the Archdemon had somehow been aware of the assault, and they found themselves surrounded by darkspawn instead.18 Both sides suffered heavy losses, but Zazikel was finally slain by the Grey Warden Corin. His mage lover and fellow Warden Neriah sacrificed herself, using her own body to shield Corin from an emissary’s bolt. She died instantly, but allowed Corin to cut his way through the darkspawn and plunge his blade into the Archdemon, killing both himself and the beast, thus ending the Second Blight.
With the slaying of the Archdemon, the darkspawn were forced underground. The following period became known as the Rebuilding. Trade, culture and religion flourished, and the next age was named Glory, predicting a grand rebirth of the world. Many believed the Second Blight to be the last.
While the newly formed Chantry was overshadowed by the Blight, it continued to spread rapidly throughout the next hundred years. Despite the glorious triumph of the Orlesians in many battles, the Orlesian empire began its slow decline. The Anderfels remained independent.
Since the Second Blight, the land in the Western Approach is corrupted beyond recovery and the Veil is exceptionally thin in the region.