Unlike other cities, where the people are the life-blood and the character, Val Royeaux was her own person, and her people little more than decorations. There was always music in Val Royeaux, streaming from the many windows--quiet refrains and triumphant choruses. And always, floating above that all, the Chant, coming from the Grand Cathedral. It was magnificent.
Val Royeaux is the capital city of Orlais, and home to the Andrastian Chantry. It lies on the northern coast of the far inland tip of the Waking Sea. It is one of the largest cities of Thedas. The city's residents refer to themselves as "Royans."
Val Royeaux is not only the secular capital, but also the capital of the Chantry, the seat of the Divine being situated at the Grand Cathedral of Val Royeaux. There, past the imposing Sun Gates and more modest Night Gate, the Chantry performs a ritual where the entire Chant of Light is sung, a process thought to take about a fortnight to complete. From the White Spire, the Knight-Vigilant of the templars directs the Order.
Val Royeaux is home to the University of Orlais, a major center of learning that attracts young nobles from all over Thedas with the best education money can buy. It is a relatively modern institution whose liberal-minded professors have already clashed with religious conservatives over the content of their classes.
Val Royeaux is also where aging templars retire to when they can no longer adequately perform their services due to mental deterioration caused by long-term lyrium dependency.
The Alienage of Val Royeaux is the most populated and dilapidated in Thedas, with over ten thousand elves living in an area roughly equivalent in size to the market in Denerim.