Characters: Dragon Age II – Non-Playable Characters
This page is for listing the tropes related to Non Playable Characters who are found in Dragon Age II.
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"I'm not interested in stories. I came to hear the truth."A member of the enigmatic Seekers, who interrogates Varric in order to find the true story of the Champion.For more info, see this page.
Grand Cleric Elthina
Grand Cleric Elthina
Voiced by: Rachel AtkinsThe Grand Cleric of Kirkwall. She is the only authority that both sides of the Mage-Templar divide respect. Her presence in the city is the only thing that has stopped tensions from boiling over.
"We will never have peace unless we try to understand one another."
- Badass Pacifist: Elthina is able to look Orsino and Meredith in the eyes and basically tell them to go to their rooms. They will comply.
- Big Good: In theory, anyway.
- Cool Old Lady: She remains friendly, polite and level-headed at all times. She barely even raises her voice, even when dressing down some of the most powerful people in the city.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Even if you side with Petrice and don't speak out against her claims against the Qunari, Elthina sees right through it. Whether you agree with her actions (or lack thereof) in the rest of the game, this moment certainly cements she is no fool.
- Good Shepherd: Cares deeply for the people of Kirkwall and will not abandon them, even if it means assassination. She isn't a pushover though, and if Patrice gets shot down she barely blinks.
- Gray Eyes: She fits either the idealistic or cold / inflexible interpretations.
- Killed Off for Real: One of the casualties of Anders' destruction of the Chantry.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: A very sympathetic example, but she is increasingly characterized by her passivity in the face of a situation that requires proactive leadership. Her inaction leads to the Templars turning Kirkwall into a draconian police state, and radicalizes the mages, already frustrated by the status quo and perceiving her passivity as tacit approval. She defends her lack of action by saying her power is far more limited than it would seem, but still makes virtually no onscreen attempt to stop any of the events of Kirkwall beyond essentially telling Orsino and Meredith to go to their rooms at the start of Act III.
- The Mentor: To Sebastian.
- Morality Chain: To Meredith, and Sebastian, as once she dies he forgets the lessons of peace and forgiveness she taught him and swears vengeance on Anders.
- Neutrality Backlash: Her insistence on remaining neutral eventually gets her killed.
- Non-Answer: If you question her about Petrice and Varnell abusing her seal, she gives an extremely uninformative response and promises to step in "when it's time." In this case, "when it's time" apparently means "too late".
- Not Afraid to Die: Will not leave Kirkwall and abandon her flock, even as things start to get really bad and Sebastian and even the other branches of the Chantry warn her of the danger of staying.
- Parental Abandonment: Was adopted by the Chantry after her parents passed away due to illness.
- Parental Substitute: Again, to Sebastian.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- Willing to listen to Hawke despite the fanatical rantings of Sister Petrice and is opposed to violence against the Qunari despite their mass conversions. She's also one of the very few powerful people in the Chantry willing to give consideration to the mages.
- While certainly one of the most levelheaded leaders in Kirkwall, she could actually be seen as a subversion; while she will hear out both sides of an issue, she does very little to soothe tensions, fostering more anger and resentment all around and pushing things closer to the boiling point.
- When Sister Patrice is killed by a Qunari assassin, her attitude is "the Qunari have their justice, let the bad blood die here."
- Team Mom: By Sebastian's account, she's "like a mother to everyone in the Chantry".
- The Only Way They Will Learn: Too bad it doesn't work out so well in practice."The Chantry is not a domineering father with the whip always in hand. She is a gentle mother, who knows that her children learn best when allowed to learn themselves.”
- The Plot Reaper: The only person in Kirkwall keeping Meredith from wholesale slaughter of the Circle. Once she's gone, Meredith leaps at the chance to invoke the Rite of Annulment.
- Unflinching Walk: When a Qunari assassin kills Mother Petrice right behind her, she doesn't even blink, except to pause and tell Hawke to inform the Viscount.
Voiced by: Christine RobertsA seemingly benign Chantry priestess who is working to have the Qunari removed from Kirkwall so they don't interfere with Chantry rule.
"My order will soon realize the Qunari presence is more than a test of faith - it is an open challenge. But for now, I must act on my own."
- The Bad Guy Wins: Even if she gets her comeuppance, Kirkwall eventually comes to war with the Qunari, which ends with them leaving: exactly what she wanted.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: A pious Chantry priestess on the surface, but a dangerous fundamentalist underneath.
- Blatant Lies: She thinks she's good at this whole fibbing thing but, with the application of a bit of common sense, it turns out that she's really not.
- Blondes Are Evil: Very, very evil.
- The Chessmaster: Thinks of herself as one, attempting to use Hawke as an Unwitting Pawn to further her plan to eradicate the Qunari "heathens". Hawke, already suspicious of her motives to begin with, quickly puts the pieces together.
- Corrupt Church: She's been spreading suspicion of the Qunari using her lectures, in and out of Chantry services. Many of the listeners end up her rather violent followers later, spurred by promises of "earning their place at the Maker's side".
- Deceptive Disciple: If she survives Act II, dialogue in Act III indicates that she's planning to instigate a schism in the Chantry to regain power, against Elthina.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Openly flaunts the fact that no-one would believe a mercenary like Hawke over a Chantry priest.
- The Fundamentalist / Sinister Minister: One of the worst examples thus far in the series.
- Gray Eyes: Cold and unfeeling ones, to contrast with Elthina's.
- Hate Sink: Petrice's general loathsomeness is one of the few things the Dragon Age fandom agrees on.
- Karmic Death: If you side against her. She's denounced by Elthina and then killed by a qunari.
- Karma Houdini: Possibly subverted. If you side with her, she gets no serious comeuppance beyond a stern lecture from Elthina and a demotion. However, it's possible that she was killed in the Chantry explosion. Granted, that would be overkill on karma's part, but take what you can get.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Fans cheered when Sister Petrice was shot in the head by a Qunari.
- Knight Templar: A different flavor than the actual Templars, and directed at a different place. The real moment that cemented it was killing Seamus for being "corrupted" by the Qun and using false information about the incident to try to start a holy war.
- Manipulative Bastard: Although not as much as she'd like to believe she is.
- Oh, Crap: If you side against her, you can expose how much of a colossal bitch she is before Grand Cleric Elthina. Her expression afterwards reeks of this trope.
- Obviously Evil: There's no way any player mistook her for a good person.
- Smug Snake:
- It's obvious she considers herself a Magnificent Bitch, and even more obvious that she doesn't have the chops.
- Though when you first meet her, she admits she's new to the whole chessmaster thing.
- It's actually possible for her to succeed in her plans... but only if Hawke decides to work with her. Considering that Petrice goes out of her way to antagonize Hawke early on... yeah, she didn't think this through.
- Too Dumb to Live: When you first meet her she walks down an alley with a bunch of thugs. Subverted, in that she was testing the skill of her rescuers.
- Underestimating Badassery: When you first meet her, she hires you fully expecting you to die to advance her agenda. When you get back, after killing a squad of Qunari, she makes the... questionable decision to outright tell you this, expecting you to just disappear in Lowtown. Years later, after you're made nobility and you've made a name for yourself, she's still largely dismissive of you and expects you to play right into her hands.
- She also seems to think the Grand Cleric is very, very stupid. Unless you actively play along with her attempt to frame you she'll talk herself into being surrendered to the guards for her deeds.
- Unreliable Expositor: It quickly becomes obvious during "Shepherding Wolves" that her information isn't entirely accurate and the other party members point this out repeatedly. By the end of the quest, it's revealed she set up the whole ambush to further her own cause, and much of what she told you was entirely fabricated. Unfortunately, her quest is one that must be completed to continue the game, so she can't be ignored.
- Villainous Breakdown: Right in front of the Grand Cleric, no less. Oops.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Although it's possible to subvert said publicity.
Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard
Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard
Voiced by: Jean GilpinLeader of the Kirkwall Templars. Since the current Viscount only holds power due to the support of the Templars, this makes her a very influential woman.
"Cold corpses speak louder than abstract freedoms, do they not?"
- Artifact of Doom: Her lyrium broadsword.
- And Your Little Dog Too: During the Final Battle, Meredith may grab your Love Interest, stab him/her, and taunt Hawke about it.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Quoth David Gaider: "Meredith is not to be fucked with."
- Ax-Crazy: Mostly in Act III.
- Badass: The Final Battle consists of her versus your ENTIRE team plus Cullen and (potentially) Donnic, Nathaniel, and Zevran, and for all intents and purposes she is WINNING. The only reason she actually goes down is because she overdoses on the power from her Lyrium sword, leaving her Taken for Granite.
- Bad Boss: She turned Samson onto the street for carrying letters to Maddox's sweetheart; as Varric puts it, she's "not a high bar" to clear as an employer.
- The Baroness: Overlaps with Knight Templar and Church Militant.
- Big Bad: About as close that the game gets to having one, given its Inherent in the System conclusion. The Kirkwall Templars were always powerful, but before her "reforms" they had some leeway in carrying out their duties (e.g Malcolm and Maurevar). Meredith puts an end to that, leading to both sides radicalising.
- Big Damn Heroes: How she first meets Hawke — pulling the party out of the fire as things start to look bad.
- Blondes Are Evil: As Bartrand puts it, "She glittered like the sun, but her heart was ice."
- Chekhov's Gunman: Briefly seen at the beginning of Act I and occasionally mentioned. It's not until the end of Act II that she starts gaining significance. She doesn't even get a speaking line until after she takes out a Saarebas that had gotten the drop on Hawke and co. in Act II.
- Church Militant: In addition to her belief that Mages are dangerous, Meredith is a strongly religious woman. Her faith is such that the Grand Cleric is pretty much the only person in Kirkwall she will listen to, and even that is rapidly deteriorating.
- Conspiracy Theorist:
- Turns on Hawke in the endgame on both paths out of an insane conviction that Hawke is somehow behind the entire conflict.
- If Hawke is a Mage, it's implied she's under the delusion that they've used Blood Magic to enthrall her fellow Templars against her. When Cullen, her loyal second-in-command, informs her that to get to Hawke she'll have to go through them, it only serves to convince her further.
- Control Freak: Was like this to begin with, which only got worse with her Sanity Slippage.
- Cool Sword: Her lyrium broadsword.
- Dark Action Girl
- Death by Irony: During her boss fight, she animates statues to fight against you. She dies by accidentally turning herself into one.
- Death Glare: When Hawke is proclaimed the Champion of Kirkwall. It becomes far more insidious if Hawke is also a Mage. She also doesn't take kindly to you undermining her command when three mages surrender during the Templar endgame.
- Deliberately Bad Example: The most dangerous Knight Templar the Order has been seen to produce.
- Disproportionate Retribution: An apostate blew up the Chantry? Let's wipe out an unrelated Circle of Magi. Orsino and Sebastian both lampshade this. Anders was counting on it.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu:
- Played with. Meredith clearly sees herself as the hero, but this doesn't stop her from realising just why testing a Paragon Mage Hawke's patience is clearly a bad idea.
- After Hawke becomes the Champion, this appears to be why Merrill and Anders are left alone. In fact, should Hawke take Anders with them to the Gallows in Act III, he will chew out the Knight-Commander to her face, causing her to glare quietly and then remark that Anders' friendship with the Champion protects him only so far.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: During the final battle.
- Enemy Mine: If you're playing a mage, she overlooks your status as an apostate without hesitation in order to help drive back the Qunari in Act II. Should Mage Hawke get snippy with her in Act III, Meredith will not fail to remind Hawke that their clemency is only at her discretion and her leniency does have its limits.
- Establishing Character Moment: Her first introduction to Hawke features her taking out a Qunari Sarabas in the most Bad Ass fashion.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the Anders companion quest "Dissent," you'll find a letter that states that Meredith rejected a proposal by an especially extreme Templar to make all mages in the Free Marches Tranquil.
- Evil Is Petty: In the Templar campaign of "The Last Straw," when Meredith calls for the slaughter of mages who surrendered to the Champion, Silly!Hawke calls it out as being petty when s/he decides to spare them. Meredith angrily glares at Hawke while her men carry out Hawke's orders.
- Evil Weapon: Her lyrium broadsword is melted down from an Artifact of Doom, with all of its effects intact.
- Fallen Hero: She rose to power by overthrowing the previous Viscount, who tried to oust the Templars and is remembered by some as a tyrant. Unfortunately, she's less than suited to life-or-death power over her charges.
- Fantastic Drug: As a Templar, she's been addicted to lyrium. Its side effects include delusions, paranoia, dementia, obsessive behavior, and hallucinations.
- Final Boss: Regardless of which side you take in the mage/Templar conflict, Meredith is your final opponent.
- Foe Yay: With First Enchanter Orsino, according to Snarky!Hawke.Hawke: The way you two carry on, people will talk!
- Foreshadowing : One of the more common loading screens shows a painting of her becoming dark and corrupted.
- Freudian Excuse: Her sister was an apostate-turned-abomination who killed their family (Meredith survived, obviously) and many villagers before eventually being slain by the Templars.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Snarky!Hawke even comments on it.
- General Ripper: Enemy X being blood mages.
- Hypocrite: Sees magic as a curse, and mages as a major threat to her city who must be contained at all costs. So she uses an ancient magical artifact to give herself magical superpowers and animate statues to indiscriminately attack people in the final battle. While at least some of her decline can be attributed to the influence of the artifact, that she chose to purchase it from Bartrand (apparently without her colleagues' knowledge) and use it to begin with is certainly suspect.
- Icy Blue Eyes: She has rather striking blue eyes and a very cold disposition.
- Ignored Epiphany: During the final battle with her, she openly wonders if she's doing the wrong thing by fighting against the mages. She then blows it off with her next line of dialogue, and goes straight back to fighting.
- Iron Lady: Varric calls her such at one point.
- Jerkass: Few people, if any, genuinely like her, and even fewer support her out of anything but fear.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: In Act III, where you have the most direct contact with her, she shows a more human side...but ultimately decides to annul the Circle for the actions of one apostate. Tellingly, she claims to be acting out of necessity and that it "breaks my heart" to treat people this way... then admits she's eager to get started during the Templar endgame.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Her methods start out brutal and just get worse from there.
- Knight Templar: One doesn't become Knight-Commander in the Templar Order by being anything less.
- Lady of War: Subverted. Her first on-screen action is a Big Damn Heroes Back Stab that saves Hawke's life... but then she decapitates the attacker with a BFS. Grace and elegance be damned.
- Light Is Not Good: During the final battle, she claims that the Maker will smile on her actions.
- Madness Mantra: As she finally loses it during the final battle, she starts quoting the Chant of Light.
- Make an Example of Them: Should you turn over Grace and the other Starkhaven apostates, Thrask will tell you Meredith has three of them executed at random, "to teach them a lesson." And this is still Act I, years before the idol.
- Not So Different / Foil: Her backstory actually resembles that of a non-mage Hawke, from the mage younger sibling to being a Self-Made Woman. Particularly noticeable if a non-Mage Hawke chooses the Templar ending, where they ascend to the Viscountcy, much like Meredith had assumed power after Dumar's death.
- One-Winged Angel: Subverted. She tries...
- Pet the Dog: Siding with Meredith and working with her in Act III shows us a human side to her. If Emile de Launcet is convinced to surrender without incident, she thinks of executing him, but his father pleads that he was merely an idiot. Hawke can comment that he said he was a blood mage just to impress girls. Meredith laughs, and simply imprisons him.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Working with Hawke at the end of Act II is this. With the Qunari invading, she knows she has to put aside her antipathy for them, as the present crisis is more important. Once the Qunari are defeated, she goes right back to being antagonistic, until she needs something again.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Blessed are those who stand before the corrupt and the wicked and DO! NOT! FALTER!"
- Rabid Cop: Her natural inclination.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: A side effect of the Red Lyrium Idol.
- Regent for Life:
- After Viscount Dumar's death, Meredith takes control of Kirkwall. She soon begins using her power to crack down harder on mages, causing further tension between mages and templars. She refuses to consider appointing a proper successor, claiming that as long as evil exists, Kirkwall needs its Templars more than it needs a new viscount.
- It's implied that another reason she refuses to do so is because many of the nobles want Hawke to take the job.
- Sanity Slippage: At the end of the game.
- Sarcasm-Blind: Her interaction with Snarky!Hawke - she's either totally sarcasm-blind or is refusing to play along no matter what. A glib comment about her armour gets a weary "I do not wear this armor for the way it looks."
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Meredith's career as Knight-Commander. She comes down hard on the mages, they turn to blood magic to survive or escape, she takes that as an excuse to come down harder.
- Self-Made Man: Rose from next to nothing to become Knight-Commander, as well as de-facto ruler in Kirkwall in the power-vacuum caused by the murder of the Viscount.
- Slave to PR: She claims to be this when invoking the Rite of Annulment, claiming that the people of Kirkwall will want blood in retaliation for the destruction of the Chantry. Ultimately, though, she reveals that she is pursuing her own agenda, as the destruction of the Kirkwall Circle is not enough to satisfy her sense of "justice."
- Taken for Granite: Is frozen into a statue due after overtaxing the Lyrium Idol by trying to go One-Winged Angel. Also, according to Varric in Inquisition; she hasn't been moved because everyone is too afraid to touch her.
- Tautological Templar: Is fully convinced she, not Hawke, is the true hero of the story and this justifies her actions.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Even if you support the Templars, Meredith still tries to kill you.
- Villainous Breakdown: During the final battle.
- Villainous Rescue: She is introduced saving Hawke from a Qunari Saarebas.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Averted at the end. For much of the story, her harsh methods can be justified by the chaotic conditions in the city and her desire to bring some manner of order...until she decides to exterminate the Kirkwall Circle of Magi for a crime they did not commit. She has many opportunities to achieve her goals without extremism — or at least acting on it. By the ending, it's clear she's in it for the bloodbath. She's a one-woman example of how extremism erodes well-intentioned aims.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: A great deal of her problems stem from either her unwillingness or her inability to negotiate, and her belief that using harsh measures at all times will address the problems surrounding her.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: A side-effect of Red Lyrium exposure.
- With Us or Against Us: As the conflict with the mages becomes more dire, she becomes convinced that anyone who doesn't completely support her is either a blood mage or a blood mage thrall.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: As mentioned above, Meredith seems to be under the impression that she's The Hero.
- You Monster!: The first diplomatic dialogue option when confronting Meredith before the Final Boss Battle in the mage campaign of The Last Straw.
Knight-Captain Cullen Rutherford
Knight-Captain Cullen Rutherford
"Mages cannot be treated like people! They are not like you and me."A returning character from Origins, where he was one of the surviving Templars of the Circle tower massacre. Sent to Kirkwall due to his newfound radical view on mages, he is now Meredith's second in command, and your primary contact in the Templar allegiance.For more info, see this page.
Voiced by: Jamie GloverA Templar who has been stationed in Kirkwall since before Meredith came to power. While he is loyal to the order, he has doubts about Meredith's harsh methods.
"The Circle is a sanctuary, not a prison! If you kill these people, I will see you disciplined by the Divine herself!"
- Anti-Villain: He orders the kidnapping of Hawke's lover or sibling, in order to convince them to join his rebellion against Meredith. Hawke can respond by pointing out that they might have done so if he had just asked!
- Covert Pervert: Surprisingly, he can be found at the Blooming Rose.
- Dark Secret: His daughter is a Mage. Thrask doesn't keep this secret because he's ashamed of her, but because he fears what the other Templars would do to both of them if they found out.
- Defector from Decadence: He rebels against Meredith once he decides that she has gone too far in containing the mages.
- Heel Face Door Slam: Grace kills him before he gets the chance to negotiate with Hawke.
- Kick the Dog: Hawke can blackmail him with the knowledge of his daughter being a Mage.
- My Greatest Failure: Blames himself for the death of his daughter, Olivia, during her escape attempt.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction if he helps kill Ser Karras.
- Odd Friendship: Varric's short story indicates he comes to the Hanged Man every once in a while for a few drinks and a card game.
- Also could be seen to have one with a Mage Hawke.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His daughter Olivia, killed after becoming an abomination.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- One of the scarce few Templars in Kirkwall who are. If Hawke informs him they sent Feynriel to the Dalish, he praises them for finding a better solution to the problem and considers the matter dropped.
- Subverted later on, as he becomes an Anti-Villain.
- Redemption Equals Death: He finally realises he's gone too far and tries to negotiate with Hawke, but Grace kills him.
- The President's Daughter: Tasks Hawke with rescuing some escaped mages who've been targeted by slavers, one of whom is his daughter, Olivia. Unfortunately, she succumbs to Demonic Possession and becomes an abomination, forcing the party to kill her.
- You Monster!: His response to Hawke blackmailing him with his daughter's letter.
Ser Wesley Vallen
Ser Wesley Vallen
Voiced by: James Daniel WilsonTemplar and Aveline's husband. He and his wife join the Hawke family when they flee Lothering. He has been infected with the Blight, and prior to escaping Lothering, must be mercy killed.
"Be strong, my love..."
- Battle Couple: With Aveline. Their first meeting actually entailed fighting side-by-side.
- Enemy Mine: Despite Bethany (and possibly Hawke) being apostates, is convinced to put aside his duty as a Templar while they escape the darkspawn.
- Fantastic Racism: Against mages. Pretty standard for a Templar.
- Honor Before Reason: He threatens the apostate Bethany when they first meet, despite being heavily wounded. Fortunately, Aveline makes him see reason before a Hawke of any gender or class plants him six feet under the nearest hill.
- I Gave My Word: He admits that he will be forced to do his duty to arrest Bethany and Mage Hawke once they are safe out of danger, but pledges that until that time, he will protect them from danger as they have an accord.
- Mauve Shirt: Despite being Aveline's husband and a Templar, he contracts the taint in the battle where you meet him.
- Mercy Kill: He is being slowly and painfully turned into a mindless ghoul. Either you or Aveline must kill him.
- Pet the Dog: Says a prayer for Hawke's fallen sibling; particularly poignant if it's Bethany.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Comes across as being one of the saner Templars. In fact, his reaction to Snarky!Hawke's gentle ribbing of him being a Templar is to joke right back, even though Hawke possibly is a mage.Snarky!Hawke: The wrath of the Templars is terrible indeed.
Wesley: Moreso their wives! But as long as there is a greater danger, you and I have an accord.
- Sacrificial Lamb: For the prologue, along with one of Hawke's siblings.
- Sadistic Choice: Do you kill him, make his wife do it, or let her decide who does it? She chooses herself in the latter case.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Only appears for less than a quarter of an hour,before dying.
Ser Otto Alrik
Ser Otto Alrik
A sadistic Templar whom Hawke and their companions encounter in the quest "Dissent", although they witness his handiwork in "Tranquility".
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Oh, come on. "Tranquil Solution", anyone?
- Bald of Evil / Beard of Evil: As befitting him being a rather Sociopathic Soldier.
- Chekhov's Gunman:
- The letter ordering the Tranquil ritual on Karl bears his name.
- If she is sent to the Circle, in her letter, Bethany will mention him as a "creep" and one of the Templars she specifically avoids. The Big Brother/Sister Instinct goes Up to Eleven when you find out what kind of man he is, especially since his target, Ella, is one of Bethany's apprentices.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: According to Anders' informants, he likes to "experiment on mages, find out what it takes to push them into the arms of demons."
- Creepy Blue Eyes: Of the extremely sinister pale kind.
- Evil Old Folks: He's one of the senior Templars in the Gallows.
- Final Solution: Have a guess.
- Flat Character/Hate Sink: He's evil, sadistic, sexually abusive, and trying to turn all mages Tranquil. And that's really about all there is to him.
- For the Evulz: He doesn't even try to justify his actions to the party.Anders: The knight-commander is at least sincere in her convictions. However misguided, she believes she's helping people. Ser Alrik's a sadist. Cold-blooded as a lizard.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty:
- Implied through his threatening Ella to make her Tranquil that he intends to use her as a sex slave.
- A conversation between a recently-made Tranquil mage and her former lover in the Gallows in Act II strongly suggests that this isn't the first time.
- Mind Rape: Is not above using the Rite of Tranquility on mages that have passed their Harrowing, especially on young females. This is supposed to be illegal except in extreme circumstances (Uldred comes to mind), and the Chantry is definitely not in favor of the Templars abusing their power that way.
- Obviously Evil: One of the few antagonists who is never portrayed in any shade of moral grey.
- The Soul Saver: Some of the mages he's made Tranquil imply he views himself as such, saying he calls the Rite of Tranquility the only thing that can keep their souls from the Void. They refer to the ritual as rescuing them from their "sins."
- Tranquilize Em All: Bear in mind that most mages view being made Tranquil as a Fate Worse Than Death.
Voiced by: Mark Lewis JonesA Templar tracking down a ruthless serial killer in Kirkwall, first encountered in "The First Sacrifice".
"What if one of the women who died was someone you loved?"
- Aesop Amnesia: Despite realising he's getting too old for adventure in "The First Sacrifice", apparently decides to begin investigating again sometime before "Prime Suspect", long enough to earn Aveline's ire.
- Cassandra Truth: Despite no-one believing his warnings, he turns out to be entirely correct about a serial killer operating in Kirkwall.
- Character Death: Killed by a Shade in "Prime Suspect".
- Covert Pervert: Can be occasionally found in the Blooming Rose.
- Occult Detective: Although he's a little past his prime.
- Perilous Old Fool: According to Aveline, who's a little frustrated that his well-meaning investigations keep causing him to blunder into things that really should be left to the Kirkwall City Guard to deal with.Aveline: Why can't he spend his declining years building a boat or something?
Voiced by: Gideon EmeryA former Templar who helps runaway mages flee the city.
"Huh. "Retired." Sounds better than "burned-out husk of a templar begging for coins in the chokedamp."
- Defector from Decadence: He leaves the Mage-Templar alliance against Meredith in Act III because he realizes some of the mages were using Blood Magic the moment they felt backed into a corner. After that, he sort of saw the writing on the wall.
- Face-Heel Turn: How much of a 'face' he was in the first place is debatable, but it doesn't get much more 'heel' than leading the Red Templars under Corypheus if the Inquisitor sides with the mages in the third game.
- Fantastic Drug: Shown to be a lyrium addict. His getting back in good graces with Meredith to become a Templar is basically just to feed his addictions.
- Glory Days: Samson laments that he used to be a good Templar back when he was with the Order.
- Old Friend: He and Thrask were friends back when they were both in the Order.
- Only in It for the Money: He'll help smuggle mages out of Kirkwall... but only the ones that can pay, because he needs to get his hands on more lyrium. Though it is implied he does sympathize with them (the whole reason he was kicked out of the Templars was that he was caught delivering a letter from a Circle mage to their lover).
- Pet the Dog: You can choose whether or not to request that Samson rejoin the Order.
- Underground Railroad: Not part of the more organized efforts by certain Kirkwall residents to sneak mages out of the city, as far as we know, but he does give information or safe passage to some of the young people who have recently discovered their powers and are trying to flee before the Templars find them. For a price, of course. Surprisingly, his lack of affiliation with the mage underground that Anders is involved in is probably the only reason he survives to Act III.
Circle of Magi
First Enchanter Orsino
First Enchanter Orsino
Voiced by: Jim WardThe First Enchanter of the Kirkwall Circle of Magi.
"Blood magic, where do you NOT see blood magic? My people cannot sneeze without you accusing us of corruption!"
- Ambiguously Bi: Orsino will say the same line to a male Hawke as seen in Dirty Old Man below.
- Ambiguously Evil: Orsino was clearly involved in some pretty shady stuff, like working with Quentin, harboring blood mages, and being one himself. However, his motives as well as his exact actions are left so ambiguous that it's hard to really put a label on him.
- The Archmage: One of the youngest First Enchanters in the history of the Kirkwall Circle.
- Badass Bookworm: You don't get to be First Enchanter without being one of these. He proves it at the end of Act II if you work with him and use him as a distraction. He lobs fireballs like standard attacks.
- Blood Magic: He resorts to it in the endgame after the casualties pile too high for him to bear.
- Body Horror: He forms into a... creature... that is comprised of his dead acolytes. Anyone who played Golems of Amgarrak will recognize him as a Harvester, a flesh golem. Whether or not there's a connection is unknown.
- Broken Pedestal: May become one to Bethany if she joins the Circle and Hawke takes the Templar path. She's still horrified at having to kill him, and blames Meredith for driving him into a corner. If you side with the mages, he only briefly mentions Quentin and Bethany's reaction is much shorter.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Concept artist Matt Rhodes went full-on "Disney villain" in his design to contrast Meredith's "heroic" look. "He looks like a vampire but is a pretty nice guy."
- Despair Event Horizon: He reaches it in the mage endgame when most of his mages get killed.Orsino: Why don't they just drown us as infants? Why wait? Why give us the illusion of hope?
- Detachment Combat: In his Harvester form.
- Dirty Old Man: Hints of this if the right dialogue is chosen.Hawke: So I shouldn't slit my wrists and dance naked under the moonlight just to fit in?
Orsino: Well, if that's what you intend, perhaps I'll join you after all.
- A Father to His Men: Deconstructed. His willingness to protect his charges from Templar scrutiny means he is more likely to let transgressions slide. Then again, his opposite number in the Templars is Meredith... and when he sees so many of them die, he snaps and turns himself into a monster.
- Foe Yay: Silly!Hawke can call him and Meredith on it.Hawke: The way you two carry on, people will talk.
- Hawke assumes his face in Feynriel's "Pride" dream before you meet him in person.
- In the lair of Quentin, you find letters for him about getting him reference materials signed "O", meaning that Orsino is at least partly responsible for killing Hawke's mother.
- His Staff of Violation has a three-headed snake/dragon motif. A similar design is seen in the form of statues scattered throughout a Blood Mage hideout in Origins, plus one under Vigil's Keep in Awakening.
- He Who Fights Monsters / Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After suffering a Despair Event Horizon at all the dead Mages.
- Hypocrite: Ambiguity of his motives aside, Orsino is knowingly harboring blood mages in the cricle, covers for some of them like Quentin, and is one himself. He claims he does so to protect the circle from Meredith, but he's only putting them in more danger by proving her suspicions correct.
- Laughing Mad: In the Templar ending.
- One-Man Army: The man annihilates a platoon of Qunari by himself at the end of Act II.
- One-Winged Angel: He turns himself into a Harvester.
- The Rival: To Meredith.
- Schrödinger's Gun: In the mage ending, he offhandedly admits that he indeed knew of Quentin's experiments, but is clearly repulsed by them and only used Quentin's findings to turn into a Harvester out of desperation. In the Templar ending, he is much more forthcoming when admitting the connection between himself and Quentin, claiming he kept the killer's existence a secret in order to avoid provoking Meredith and adding to the anti-mage fervor. It's possible a sense of guilt led him to downplay his involvement in the mage ending, while his anger and slipping sanity in the Templar ending resulted in a more embittered account.
- Silver Fox: He's fairly easy on the eyes before he turns into a Harvester.
- Stupid Sacrifice: Going One-Winged Angel in the Mage path just meant the Champion had to waste time killing him, and strengthened Meredith's argument. Since until that moment the battle consisted entirely of Templar mooks charging into a narrow kill zone to be effortlessly slaughtered by spells, he ends up doing far more damage to his own side than the Templars had and snatches a crushing defeat from the jaws of almost certain victory.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: If you side with him in the end, he all but says this trope's name aloud right before using blood magic to turn into a Harvester.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Orsino is introduced to the player at the tail end of Act II and only has a handful of scenes in Act III. Prior to that, he's not even mentioned, except in Feynriel's Fade dream.
- We Need a Distraction: His plan during the Act II climax, in his own words. If Hawke chooses his side, he draws enemy attention and leaves fewer mooks to stand in your way.
- Younger Than They Look: Apparently the youngest First Enchanter elected in the history of the Circle. Either all the rest of them were tremendously old upon assuming their positions, or contending with Meredith has really aged him.
- Alternatively, he could have been First Enchanter for a long time.
Voiced by: Kellie BrightAn apostate who escaped from the Starkhaven Circle thanks to her blood mage lover - who Hawke kills shortly before meeting her, after which she is captured an imprisoned in the Gallows. Surely that won't sour the relationship...
- Blood Magic: Early on she claims she doesn't practice it, but in Act 3 she gives up the act and uses it to turn into an Abomination.
- Irrational Hatred: Of Hawke; should Hawke let her go at the end of the "Act of Mercy" quest, she still shows up and kidnaps someone close to Hawke, refusing to let them then go and tries to kill Hawke. Part of this is due to her blaming Hawke for killing Decimus (despite it being self-defense) and her failure to escape the Templars.
- Love Makes You Evil: Again, she was faking the opposite of this the first time Hawke meets her.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: If you insist on taking her back to the Circle, she reluctantly tells her fellow escapees to stand down rather than throw their lives away.
- Obviously Evil: Let us count the ways. A crazed Blood Mage who forces Hawke to kill him was her lover. She immediately asks you to murder one of the only decent Templars around so she can escape. Despite your best efforts to help her escape, she gets herself caught and bitterly blames Hawke for it when you meet her in the Gallows. Surely there's no way this can possibly come back to haunt you?
- Revenge by Proxy: She never forgives Hawke for Decimus's death, and attempts this with a hostage Hawke cares about.
- Tattooed Crook: Inked and untrustworthy.
- Ungrateful Bastard: She somehow convinces herself that her own failure to escape the Templars is Hawke's fault.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- If you hand her over to the Templars.
- Invokes this if Hawke is a Mage, accusing them of being a Templar puppet and betraying their own kind. Hawke can counter that they're not the one using blood magic to murder people.
Voiced by: James Daniel WilsonA hapless apostate from Starkhaven who is captured and brought to the Gallows. He seems to end up in the worst situations regularly.
"You don't know what it's like! We're locked in our cells all day, no light, no air! The Templars...ask things of us."
- Blood Magic: He's got some at least, judging by how he wakes up a hostage held under a spell later in the game. He never uses it to summon demons or attack others like the others as far as we can tell though.
- Butt Monkey: Seriously, this guy is a pretty benign mage, but he always ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. He gets involved in an escape from the Starkhaven Circle, only to panic and turn himself in when Decimus uses blood magic. After six years of abuse in the Gallows, he latches onto Thrask's plan out of desperation, only for that to blow up in his face as well. And after all that, Hawke can still sell the poor guy out to Cullen.
- Rape as Drama: If you let Ser Karras live in Act I, some lines in Act II imply he's sexually abusing Alain and threatening to make him Tranquil if he tells anyone. If you kill Karras, the above quote from "Best Served Cold" still doesn't change.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the apostate group that Decimus and Grace lead.
"I would rather die a mage than live as a templar puppet."A friend of Anders from the Fereldan Circle, he was eventually transferred to Kirkwall. While plotting to escape with Anders help, Karl's plan is discovered and he is made Tranquil to lure Anders into a trap.
- Creepy Monotone: Speaks in one as a Tranquil.
- Emotion Suppression: A side effect of being made Tranquil is a total lack of emotion, to the point where Karl is perfectly willing to help lure Anders into a trap because he will comply with any orders from the Templars.
- Mercy Kill: He is killed by Anders to prevent him from having to live as a Tranquil, having begged for death when Vengence's emergence briefly held back the effects of Tranquility.
Voiced by: Tim BentinckA maleficar Serial Killer who preys on Kirkwall's female populace.
"I have done the impossible. I have touched the face of the Maker and lived."
- Ax-Crazy: One look at his absolutely demented expression should be enough to tell you the kind of guy this man is.
- Blood Magic: A very unique and unsettling use of it compared to most, since his plan is to revive his dead wife by killing women and magically sew them together into a new body for her soul to possess.
- Calling Card: Prior to kidnapping his victim, he sends them a bouquet of white lilies.
- Chekhov's Gunman:
- The Dragon: To Orsino... sort of. Maybe. It's complicated.
- A God Am I: Listen to his rant when Hawke catches up to him. He's got delusions of grandeur up the wazoo.
- Ignored Epiphany: During a Codex entry written by Quentin, he wonders if he is doing the right thing and if he should just surrender and be killed when someone inevitably finds him. He brushes it off, figuring he's already too far gone and if he was doing the wrong thing, the Maker would have smote him long ago.
- Love Makes You Crazy/Love Makes You Evil: He clearly misses his wife and loved her dearly, but his grief turned him into a murderer willing to pervert life itself to bring her back.
- Mad Scientist: In his lair, you can find notes scattered about detailing his research and experimentation.
- Necromantic: As if being a mere Necromancer wasn't enough, he's willing to spend the rest of his life with a zombie version of his wife.
- Serial Killer: Murders women who have features that resemble his late wife's. He then cuts them off and stitches them together into a Frankenstein-esque monstrosity in order to recreate his wife.
- We Can Rule Together: To Gascard. You can convince him to not accept, though Varric won't let him make a choice..
Voiced by: Kellie BrightAn "apostitute" who works at the Blooming Rose.
- The Atoner: If you spare her in Act I, she writes you a letter in Act II thanking you for your mercy and informing you that she has found religion in the Circle. She also sends you information about dangerous spellbooks so you can find them before they fall into the wrong hands.
- Blood Magic: Sensing a pattern yet?
- Heel-Face Turn: See The Atoner, above.
- No Sell: If Hawke is a mage, they can throw off her Psychic-Assisted Suicide. Leads to a wonderful Oh, Crap reaction from her.Mage Hawke: I... will not... be toyed with!
- Oh, Crap: When either Mage Hawke or one of the mages in the Hawke's party stops her Psychic-Assisted Suicide.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Tries to do this to Hawke but fails.
- Reliable Traitor: Turns on Tarohne the moment her spell on Hawke and co. fails and offers up all the information she knows in exchange for her life.
- The Vamp: As soon as Hawke starts asking questions, she starts up with the overly flirtatious remarks and body-language. Then, when that doesn't work, in comes the Mind Manipulation.
Voiced by: Susan DuerdanThe head maleficar in the quest "Enemies Among Us".
- Blood Magic: Her whole deal is transforming Templars into Abominations with it.
- Deal with the Devil: A bit more forthcoming about her dealings with demons than most.
- Evil Sorcerer: She certainly makes a big deal out of liberality seeking out power as opposed to being a helpless waif.
- Hypocrite / Selective Obliviousness: Passionately hates Templars for their belief that Mages are dangerous tyrants who could destroy a city in a fit of pique... but freely admits her plans involve planting demons in Templars to drive the Knight-Commander mad and attempting to recreate another Imperium, since it's obvious to her that Mages should rule everyone. A snarky Hawke can point out how utterly insane this proves she is.
- Uncanny Valley Make Up: It makes her look just as crazy as her plans.
- You Got Spunk: Her response to Hawke pointing out s/he just cut through all the enemies to get to her.Tarohne: Good, good, the demons like spirit!
- You're Insane!: A snarky Hawke may comment to her: "Good to know you're barking mad."
- You Monster!: Hawke has the option of calling her "worse than a monster."
Voiced by: Chris NayakA half-elven boy who's been dodging the attention of the Circle even as his magical powers grow harder and harder to disguise, making him the target of the Kirkwall Templars... and a gang of slavers... and several demons.
- Big Damn Heroes: Offscreen, but worth mentioning. A noblewoman in the Act III quest "Who Needs Rescuing?" recounts how Feynriel saved her life from a pack of thugs; impressively, he managed this while his body was still in Tevinter.
- Boy of My Dreams: If you let him go to Tevinter, he becomes this for Orlanna. He appears in her dream to assure her she'll be safe just before killing her kidnappers.
- Break the Cutie: Snapping him out of demonic illusions too quickly will result in him begging to be made Tranquil.
- Dare to Be Badass: Hawke can pull this with him to make him control his Fade-walking powers.
- Dark Is Not Evil: If you help him fight off the demons in the Fade, he journeys to Tevinter and learns to control his power from a magister, remaining a good mage at heart.
- Disappeared Dad: Vincento walked out on Feynriel's mother when he discovered she was pregnant, partly because his work as a trader couldn't allow family time, but mostly because he wasn't interested in having a son. It obviously had quite an effect on Feynriel, because in "Night Terrors," the Desire Demon's Lotus-Eater Machine scenario involves him being accepted by Vincento and taken along with him on his travels.
- Dream Weaver: As a dreamer, or "somniari," he can enter the Fade without lyrium and exercise a certain degree of control over it - to the point that he can kill people in their dreams. Hell, one quest reveals he can make people kill each other while they're still awake. From the other side of the continent.
- The Dreaded: If he is possessed by a demon in "Night Terrors," a terrified Guardsman in Act III calls him the Dreamstalker.
- And a heroic version in "Who Needs Rescuing?", rescuing a woman from her kidnappers by causing them to murder each other, whilst his physical body is located half a continent away.
- Fate Worse Than Death: He can be made Tranquil at the end of "Night Terrors".
- Fish out of Water: The Circle, the Templars, and the Dalish all lack either the will or the knowledge to help him cope with his powers and to control them. Eventually he goes to Tevinter, where he finally masters his powers; sadly, he also feels out-of-place here due to the ruthlessness and cruelty of the magisters.
- Half-Human Hybrid: All Human/Elf children are 100% genetically human, but he invokes this in hopes that simply being eleven born will help the Dalish accept him.
- Heroic Bastard: Born from an affair, so he fits the Bastard part. However, he only becomes heroic in Act 3 if you help him control his powers in act 2.
- Hero-Worshipper: Demonstrates shades of this behaviour to Hawke in his letters.
- Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Dalish mother (Elf), Antivan father (Human).
- Pass Fail: There's no defined "half-elf" category in this universe, but Feynriel is lither and has more pointed features than a human while being taller than the average elf, in addition to his eyes being larger and more elven than human. In Kirkwall, he felt everyone could tell, but if you let him join the Dalish, he comes to appreciate how easily he passed for human.
- Took a Level in Badass: Should he make it to Act 3 alive. He becomes a full fledged dreamer and has enough power to kill people from half a continent away.
- You Are Not Alone: How Mage Hawke reassures him that they understand what he's going through.Feynriel: Why do you care? You don't even know me!
(Hawke creates a ball of light in their palm)
Mage Hawke: (gently) I am you.
A Fereldan apostate who lives in the sewers of Darktown. She is one of several escaped mages whom Knight-Commander Meredith asks Hawke to hunt down.
- Blood Magic: She turned to this and a demon to escape the Templars and return to the orphans she had been protecting.
- Chekhov's Gunman: During Act II, she can be encountered in Darktown asking for money to help feed the children she is caring for.
- Demonic Possession: Her fight against the Templars resulted in her becoming possessed, and she turns into an abomination when confronted by Hawke.
- Driven to Villainy: Originally Evelina was a heroic mage who protected orphans and tried to willingly turn herself into the Templars after arriving in Kirkwall. The brutal and unfair treatment she received from them drove her to blood magic and turned her evil.
- Shoot The Shaggy Dog Story: She fled from the Circle of Magi in Fereldan to escape the Fifth Blight, not because she was trying to flee from the Templars, even going out of her way to protect a group of orphans on the way to Kirkwall. After attempting to get help from the Templars of the Gallows for herself and the orphans, Evelina ended up being locked as an apostate by the extremely strict Kirkwall Templars while the orphans were left to defend themselves. She later managed to escape and destroy her phylactery, but killed several Templars in the process and ended up becoming possessed by a demon after returning to protect the orphans, becoming a dangerous abomination who was a threat to the very people she had been trying to protect.
Voiced by: Miranda RaisonA Tevinter mage in training.
- Armor-Piercing Question: To her brother if she survives, regarding how he fought for the lyrium markings and wanted them, in direct opposition to how he's regarded them for the entire game.
- Deal with the Devil: Not literally (for once) - Danarius offered her an escape from whatever "free" elves live with in the Imperium. All she had to do was lure her brother into a trap.
- Killed Off for Real: A possible ending.
- Long Lost Sibling: Fenris's sister.
- Missing Mom: Her mother died at some point after Fenris went through the ritual.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Her brother worked hard to earn her a life of freedom. In response, she sells out him out to Danarius for a chance to apprentice under him. According to her, "freedom" in the Imperium wasn't a step up.
Keeper Marethari Talas
Keeper Marethari Talas
Voiced by: Carolyn Seymour (Origins) & Kate Binchy (Dragon Age II)The Keeper of the Sabrae clan, newly settled by Sundermount to flee the Blight in Ferelden. The Dalish Warden of the first game came from her clan, as did the unfortunate Tamlen.
"There are few things in this world more powerful than a promise kept. Remember that."
- The Archmage: Keepers in general tend to be some of the most powerful and adept mages in Thedas and Marethari is no exception. During Origins, she even managed to use "the old magic" to briefly stop the Dalish Warden from succumbing to the Taint.
- Big Good: To the core. Not only does she keep a watchful eye over Merrill and ask Hawke to keep her on the right path, but she even braves entering a city run by Templars to help Feynriel when his dreams become too much for him.
- Demonic Possession: Allows herself to be possessed by the demon in the mirror to protect Merril.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Claims to have been aware of Hawke's arrival in Kirkwall long in advance. Of course, it's entirely possible that Flemeth informed her that she'd be sending someone during the Noodle Incident which caused Marethari to have an undisclosed debt to her.
- Figure It Out Yourself: When it comes to Merrill, she expects Hawke to do what she would do without properly informing her/him of the truth behind the Eluvian.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices herself to the Demon in order to prevent Merrill ending up suffering the same fate.
- Hope Spot: Do enough damage to the pride demon, and Marethari will turn back to normal, expressing disbelief that the party decided to Take a Third Option by simply being strong enough to kill the demon itself. This is a lie, and falling for it will result in the fight resuming and Merrill getting stabbed for letting her guard down.
- Idiot Ball: Yes, she's a wise and benevolent leader for the Dalish, but in Act III it's revealed that she knew that a demon was manipulating Merrill into trying to restore the Eluvian and, no, it never occurred to her to explain it. Doubles up as an Out of Character moment when you consider how much unrelated stuff she does share with Hawke.
- Although, she doesn't share this with Hawke either. If she simply explained to Hawke why she wants to keep Merrill out of harm's way, it'd have been nipped in the bud very early on. While you could argue that she might not have trusted Hawke as a Shemlen, you'd think that after befriending Merrill, sending Feynriel to the Dalish in Act I and after "Night Terrors" in Act II, she'd realise that Hawke is a friend to the Dalish.
- The Mentor: Serves as one to Merrill, even after she enters her self-imposed exile.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: It's pretty sad to watch.
- Noodle Incident: We never find out what happened that caused her to owe a debt to Flemeth.
- Not-So Simple Staff: The thing's ordained with several sharp blades and it's fire-elemental as well.
- The Obi-Wan: Again, to Merrill.
- Obi-Wan Moment: The Act III quest "Pride's End."
- Poor Communication Kills: Good lord. For nine years, she tells Merrill that trying to repair an ancient magic mirror was dangerous and would only end badly, adding no further detail beyond that. There was absolutely no reason not to tell her - or anyone else - that the demon who told her how it can be repaired was tricking her into releasing it from its prison. This leads to her allowing the demon to possess her so it won't possess Merrill, which leads to her death. That would be bad enough, but her words encourage the clan to fear Merrill, leading to Pol's death and possibly the entire clan.
- The reason she never said anything is because Merrill's obsession with the Mirror had reached the critical point; she was so convinced she could make it work that nothing anybody could say would deter her. Even if Keeper Marethari had been less cryptic about why it was so dangerous, or told Hawke so s/he could attempt to talk some sense into her, it's not likely that Merrill would have listened (even if romanced, there's nothing Hawke can say that will make Merrill drop the pursuit).
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Right up until the end of her life, which cut into it.
- Team Mom: To the whole clan, especially Merrill.
Voiced by: Rick D WassermanThe leader of the Qunari army. He appeared in the "Destiny" trailer as Hawke's opponent.
"I am here to satisfy a demand you cannot understand."
- Anti-Villain: Firmly a Well-Intentioned Extremist. The Arishok spends the majority of the game bothering no one. He and his Qunari occupy a district for three years simply to retrieve an artifact Isabela stole from them. It's not until extremists provoke him one too many times that he finally lashes back.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Easily the strongest of the Qunari.
- Large and In Charge: The largest as well.
- Badass: If you pay attention in the extended version of the Destiny trailer, you can see that the staircase behind the Arishok is literally carpeted with all the guards that he had to fight through, apparently alone and without suffering so much as a scratch.
- Badass Baritone: He has one of the deepest voices in the game.
- Baddie Flattery: If Hawke becomes his Worthy Opponent, the Arishok gives this during the final confrontation.Arishok: (to Hawke) You alone are Basalit-an. (to nobles) This is what respect looks like, bas! Some of you will never earn it!
- Blue and Orange Morality: Comes with being a Qunari. Tell the Arishok that you like the chaos of the city, and he will be downright baffled.
- Bullying a Dragon: Initially, he just wants to complete his task and get the hell out of Kirkwall. But most of the populace really seem to do their hardest to try to piss him off, particularly Sister Petrice, which just serves to make him hate the city even more to the point where he's finally had enough. It is played with, however, as most of the anti-Qunari Muggles feel like the dragon is bullying them, since Qunari are best known to the general public as conquerors who kill anyone that doesn't follow the Qun.
- Catch Phrase: According to the Viscount, it's "Begone."
- Chekhov's Gunman: The Arishok was mentioned in the previous game as Sten's superior.
- The Chessmaster: Shows signs of this when he explains that the theft of the poison gas formula instead of the blackpowder formula in "Blackpowder Courtesy" was entirely planned by the Arishok, knowing he could then get Hawke to track it down and deal with it, and that the gas would kill the thieves anyway. It works.
- Climax Boss: His defeat is your Finest Hour, and the setup for the real final battle.
- Conflict Killer: Subverted - see below. He's enough of a threat for the mages and Templars to briefly join forces, but once that's resolved it's back to business as usual.
- Disc One Final Boss
- Dual Wielding: Dual-wields a longsword and an ax.
- Duel Boss: Hawke can choose to challenge him to a Combat by Champion. Either that or fight him and his guards with your party members.
- Evil Sounds Deep: As befitting a man of his stature.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Arishok is not his name, it is his title/rank. Qunari names are more akin to social security numbers, and they go by their titles in everyday life.
- Foregone Conclusion: The Destiny trailer reveals that you'll have to fight him.
- Four-Star Badass: As the overarching leader of the entire Qunari military.
- From a Certain Point of View / Metaphorically True: At the beginning of Act 2, it's mentioned that the Qunari are supposedly waiting for a second ship before they will return home. The could be considered a truthful statement, since we later learn they're looking for the stolen Tome of Koslun, which was aboard the Siren's Call when it was sunk during the same storm that stranded the Qunari. In other words, they're waiting to find the second ship that arrived with them, in the hopes of retrieving its precious cargo.
- Honesty Is the Best Policy: One way to gain his respect is by being honest with him and not lying or trying to cover up things. He himself makes no effort to hide how he feels about the city and its people, and that its corruption may force him to make a drastic change. Although, he doesn't reveal the real reason they've arrived is to reclaim the relic Isabela stole.
- Horned Humanoid: Like all the Qunari he has horns. His, however, are particularly impressive.
- Knight Templar: In a sense, but not the same as the rest of them. Every day he's in Kirkwall, he sees the corruption, depravity, weakness, chaos, and foolishness that spits in the face of the Qun. Probably wasn't a good idea to put him in a bad part of town. Eventually, he decides to do something about it.
- Lawful Stupid: He even cops to it if you call him out.
- Lightning Bruiser: The guy is big, he hits hard, and he hits fast.
- Marathon Boss: He also has plenty of HP and health potions. If you duel him, prepare for a slog on anything above Easy.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The Arishok is featured extensively in all marketing for the game, making it seem as if he's the Big Bad. While important to the story, he has nothing to do with the game's final act.
- Not So Different: Combined with Worthy Opponent, this is very explicitly spelled out as the relationship between him and Hawke. Even if you don't get the achievement and his respect, he still acknowledges this.
- Obviously Evil: Deconstructed. Almost everybody hates the Qunari and makes them out to be monsters because of their reputation for being militaristic heathens. Because of this, the Arishok and his followers get the blame for almost everything from destroying culture to deception and murder, no matter how much the Arishok tries to make it clear that converting Kirkwall to the Qun is the last thing on his mind. Well, until he decides he's taken enough crap from Kirkwall and launches a full-scale invasion, thus turning him into the antagonist many accused him of being.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: He dual-wields a claymore and a two-handed battleaxe; not that surprising given he's pretty darn huge even by qunari standards. Interestingly, his in-game model is a Rogue rather than a Warrior - by his standards, his weapons are daggers.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Implied and then outright stated to everyone, the only person in Kirkwall he believes is worthy enough to defeat him is Hawke.
- Orcus on His Throne: For three years, he and his people mostly keep to themselves in their corner of the docks. He turns out to be a subversion, as he spent most of the four years he was stuck in Kirkwall searching for the relic Isabela stole and on the side, planning his takeover after he became fed up with the corruption of the city.
- Perpetual Frowner: It seems to be his default expression.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers one to the nobility of Kirkwall at the climax of Act II."Look at you! Like fat dathrasi you feed and feed, and complain only when your meal is interrupted! You do not look up. You do not see that the grass is bare. You are blind; I will make you see!"
- Shaggy Dog Story: If Hawke appeased him by handing over both the tome and Isabela, the Arishok ends up losing both once again and returns home to find the Qunari equivalent of a court-martial waiting for him. He ends up being stripped of his position and replaced by Sten.
- Shoulders of Doom: His armor just wouldn't be complete without it.
- Shoot the Messenger: If you warn him about the kidnapped envoy before finding them yourself, he actually says that if anyone else had delivered that message, they'd be dead right now.
- The Stoic: He generally projects a calm and collected demeanor.
- Not So Stoic: Beneath said demeanor lies a terrible rage that really shows when unbridled.Varric: That's an ox-man ready to charge.
- Not So Stoic: Beneath said demeanor lies a terrible rage that really shows when unbridled.
- Suicide by Cop: If Hawke has his respect, he reveals strong implications of this. He doesn't believe the takeover of Kirkwall will have lasting success, nor does he want it to; he just doesn't see any other way to extricate himself from it. Killing him is one way to grant him release from his own principles.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: "The provocations we have suffered have worked."
- Try Not to Die: He expresses this sentiment to Hawke as "I do not hope that you die."
- Underestimating Badassery: Kirkwall is full of Badasses, on both sides of the field, but the Arishok couldn't care less about anybody who isn't Hawke. This is made abundantly clear when Aveline, a woman hardcore enough to beat darkspawn to death with her bare hands, confronts him about the elven fugitives; he all but ignores her and focuses on talking to Hawke instead.
- The Unfought: If you choose to give Isabela to the Qunari, the Arishok promptly leaves the city.
- Worthy Opponent: He identifies Hawke as the most "promising" in Kirkwall early on. You can earn this as an achievement from being honest with him and gaining his respect."I don't call anyone in Kirkwall an ally or even a good rival. But you have shown competence."
"Panahaden, Hawke. I do not hope you die."
"This (Hawke) is was respect looks like, bas! Some of you will never earn it."
"I have a growing lack of disgust for you."
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: Some of his comments to a Hawke he respects fairly drip with this sentiment.
- You Can't Go Home Again: He can't return to his homeland unless he completes his mission: capturing Isabela and the relic she stole. A lot of his more villainous actions are partly motivated by his frustrations over this.
- You Do Not Want To Know: Subverted. The Arishok refuses to tell you what he plans to do with Isabela after capturing her, though it clearly won't be pleasant. Afterwards, party banter between Fenris and Isabela reveals that if taken, Isabela would've likely been brutally brainwashed into an empty menial worker for the Qun.
"Ketojan" is the name given to a Saarebas, a Qunari mage, by Sister Petrice.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: If you slay the Arvaarad, he will commit suicide rather than risk the possibility that he has been corrupted by demons, as is demanded by the Qun.
- Blood Magic: Not outright stated, but the "precious thing" he gives Hawke before he immolates himself is a Blood Magic boosting accessory.
- Eye Scream: The blood stains on his mask imply something... unpleasant.
- Though averted if you look closely; he does still have eyes behind his mask.
- Body Horror: His lips are sewn shut and sealed through some sort of magic.
- Chained by Fashion: As part of his enslaved appearance, chains are used to hold together the two halves of his robes.
- Face Death with Dignity: Rather than go on the run, he either allows himself to be killed, or immolates himself.
- Man on Fire: His means of suicide.
- Mask Power: Actually, no-one's sure if his mask has any powers.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: He was given the name Ketojan by Sister Petrice. Among the Qunari, he's referred to by his rank of Saarebas.
- Principles Zealot: He either lets himself be killed or does the job himself because the Qun demands it of him.
- The Unintelligible: Until his lips are unsealed by an Arvaarad (mage handler).
Voiced by: Keith SzarabajkaA minor character and Tal'Vashoth, Maraas leaves the Qun to take up life as a mercenary.
I know what I am. I don't need to belabor it.
- Defector from Decadence: Leaves the Tal'Vashoth raiders because he doesn't want to steal or murder from caravans, and becomes a mercenary. In his words, this makes him worse than the Tal'Vashoth; he's selling his sword and his honor for coin.Maraas: I did not like my "role", so I left the Qun. I did not wish to be a murdering thief, so I left the Tal'Vashoth to warn their...victims. You are no victim.
- Hired Guns: Tal'Vashoth tend to be this, since the stigma surrounding Qunari and their own lack of training for anything else leaves them with little choice. Maraas got tired of that as well.
- Meaningful Name: After leaving the Tal'Vashoth, he chose to name himself Maraas, making him the first kossith encountered to explicitly have a name rather than just a rank/role. Maraas means "Nothing" in the Qunari language, referring to how he has no role or purpose beyond that which he chooses.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: His original reason for leaving the Qun, as he was tired of strict adherence to purpose and a role in life.
- Only in It for the Money: Refuses to work for people with titles, as they "don't have jobs, they have causes." Hawke can offer to hire him when they first meet, but he refuses to fight his own people (no matter how low they've sunk) for coin.
Lord Viscount Marlowe Dumar
Lord Viscount Marlowe Dumar
Voiced by: Christopher GodwinThe Viscount of Kirkwall is appointed after the death of Lord Viscount Perrin Threnhold at the hands of the Templars. During his reign, the Templar Order has grown extremely powerful in Kirkwall, and have become the center of Chantry strength in eastern Thedas, holding their Circle of Magi in a terrifying, iron grip.
"I am losing my sense of how to balance this nightmare."
- Apparently Powerless Puppetmaster: He starts out as this...
- Authority in Name Only: ...then gets reduced to this. See below.
- Big Good: In Act II.
- Bodyguard Babes: His office is always flanked by two guardswomen.
- Decapitation Presentation: The Arishok calmly throws his severed head down a flight of stairs.
- Despair Event Horizon: He crosses it when Saemus dies. Sadly, he never recovers, leaving the city vulnerable to the Qunari. "What hope for this city, when we fail our own so completely?"
- Killed Off for Real: He is killed during the Qunari invasion of Kirkwall. May also count as Oh, and X Dies given that the Destiny trailer and the introductory sequence both strongly indicate it.
- Our Presidents Are Different: Viscount Focus Group, mainly. Also Viscount Personable and Viscount Target.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Along with the Grand Cleric, Dumar is one of the few politically powerful players (for a given definition of powerful) in Kirkwall who doesn't seem bent on starting a full-scale war.
- Slave to PR: A good man at heart, but afraid of taking any decisive action for fear of assassination by one of the extremist Kirkwall factions.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The Destiny trailer shows him being killed by the Arishok.
- Trauma Conga Line: Not as much as some of the other characters, but he gets one. He's powerless to do anything about problems he knows full well are coming but is still held responsible for them, his son runs away to join the Qunari, is rescued, then kidnapped again and murdered by a Chantry priestess to provoke a war with the Qunari, and when that war finally happens, he gets executed by the Arishok even though he had little if anything to do with it. His life more or less goes downhill from the start of the game onwards.
Voiced by: Daniel CurshenThe son of the viscount, Seamus is rebellious and idealistic in his political views. He is also very sympathetic to the Qunari, making him something of a controversial figure.
- Ambiguously Gay: Many characters insinuate about his close relationship with Ashaad.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: The main reason he finds the absolute certainty of the Qun attractive.
- Non-Action Guy: He is not built for any kind of violent activity and this leads to his death.
- Pardon My Klingon/Precision F-Strike: Angrily calls his "rescuer" Vashaden-bitch.
- Sacrificial Lion: His death kicks off Act II's downward spiral.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Talking to him quickly reveals his lack of experience in the world outside his own home.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Nonetheless, in conversations with him it's clear that Dumar loves his son despite their disagreements.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: This trait costs him dearly.
Voiced by: Daniel CurshenA member of the Kirkwall city guard. Aveline's Love Interest and potential second husband, starting in Act II.
"Aveline? You're a beautiful sight. I mean, uh, I was on patrol and they came out of nowhere..."
- Aloof Ally:
- Donnic and Hawke's relationship, implied to be due to tension caused by Hawke being the "other wo/man" in Aveline's life. Even if Hawke indicates in dialogue s/he thinks of Donnic highly, Act III indicates the two never became close friends or socialise with each other unless it's via Aveline.
- Likewise, he will only join in the final battle at your side if Aveline is present.
- Amazon Chaser: Self-described; he clearly has the hots for Aveline from his very first appearance, and he explicitly states when he thinks Lady Hawke is hitting on him that he prefers women with "backbone."
- On the other hand, Donnic will think a male Hawke is trying to use him as a go between/matchmaker to Aveline and states that he doesn't like someone without backbone... when in fact Aveline was the one who's trying to do exactly that!
- Badass: As the situation in Kirkwall has deteriorated, by Act III, Donnic's patrols are frequently ambushed, leaving him fighting for his life at least twice a week! Donnic then mentions that he actually asked for the most dangerous patrols, since as one of the most capable fighters, they'd lose a lot more guards if he wasn't there!
- Badass Normal: As normal as the setting gets; no magic, no legendary weapons and armor, only as much martial training as Aveline introduces to the guard, and faces throngs of gangsters on what he considers to be a good day. He gets a Distressed Dude moment when Aveline rescues him in Act I, but after that he's a dedicated asskicker.
- He helps out in the Final Battle, if Aveline is in your active party.
- Brown Eyes
- By-the-Book Cop: Very much so.
- City Guards: Holds the rank of Guardsman.
- Completely Missing the Point: During Aveline's Act II quest, the player has to sit with him in the Hanged Man while waiting for Aveline. Aveline doesn't show, which causes Donnic to think Hawke is subversively pursuing him (if female) or using him to get to Aveline (if male).
- Distressed Dude: Keeping in line with the many gender flips found in Bioware's games, Donnic frequently plays the damsel to Aveline's Knight in Shining Armor. His introduction involves Aveline rescuing him in Lowtown from some thugs, and in Act III she again comes to his aid during her companion quest.
- Happily Married: To Aveline, if you finish the quest correctly. It's mentioned in Act III that they spent three weeks honeymooning in Orlais and are considering starting a family.
- Heroes Want Redheads: He's clearly enamoured with Aveline from the get-go.
- Oblivious Mockery: See above, although luckily Aveline isn't quite in earshot. "How sad would it be if you needed a go-between?"
- Odd Friendship: With Fenris; apparently he comes over once a week for a round of cards. Fenris is quick to add that they never gamble.
- Rescue Romance: Aveline comes to his rescue in Act I, after realising he's walking into a trap.
- That Came Out Wrong: "It will be grand having you over me. Above me! In rank."
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: His disgusted reaction to being given a lightweight patrol.
"The world will shake before you."The Witch of the Wilds, a legendary feared figure of myth and stories. She helps Hawke at the start of the game, for a simple favor.For more info, see this page.
Voiced by: Keith SzarabajkaVarric's brother, who leads an expedition to the Deep Roads that Hawke joins as a partner.
"Useless! What am I paying you idiots for ?!"
- Ambition Is Evil: Compare his behavior to that of his brother, who is content to hang out in the Hanged Man all day with a drink, some cards, and a few friends.
- Ax-Crazy: In Act II, as a result of the Lyrium Idol.
- Bad Boss: He punches a henchman who gives him bad news.
- Cain and Abel: Cain to Varric's Abel.
- Deadpan Snarker: When a Snarky!Hawke attempts to buddy up with him, he tells them to "get in line." Apparently "Half of Kirkwall wants to be my best friend right now."
- Driven to Suicide: If you skip the quest where you confront him, Varric later tells you that Bartrand killed himself and most of his underlings.
- Face Death with Dignity: If Anders temporarily restores his sanity and Varric decides to kill him, Bartrand doesn't protest or beg for his life. He just closes his eyes.
- Foreshadowing: He's essentially a look at things to come with Meredith.
- Impoverished Patrician: Unlike Varric, who was born on the surface (and is extremely happy there), Bartrand was born in Orzammar before House Tethras was exiled in disgrace. Having grown up in such a Deadly Decadent Court, it goes a long way to explain why he's such an arrogant jerk. It's also mostly his job to deal with the Merchant Guilds, which Varric says would make anyone a paranoid asshole.
- Jerkass: His introduction ends with him insulting Hawke, insults Leandra before the Deep Roads Expedition sets off, and his reaction to being told that a cave-in has blocked their path, is to punch the Scout in the face.
- Kick the Dog: If he was bad before, he only gets worse after he takes the Idol, where his first act is to lock his own brother and business partner in the Thaig. He also murders half of his henchmen in insane experiments, by force feeding them Lyrium.Varric: I always thought he was more prone to puppy-kicking than... mutilation and torture.
- My God, What Have I Done?: If Anders comes along on the "Family Matters" quest and temporarily snaps him out of his insanity, Bartrand is horrified at what he's done and asks Varric to ensure that House Tethras doesn't fall with him.
- Self-Made Man: Took over the Tethras family business after the death of their father.
- Villainous Breakdown: Due to becoming obsessed with the Idol.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity / Sanity Slippage: The idol that he takes drives him horribly insane, yet gives him unusual powers.
Voiced by: Nicholas BoultonA living corpse with a loud, echoing voice hidden in the underbelly of Kirkwall. He is the mysterious merchant who runs The Black Emporium, which houses many powerful but expensive items. One of its most important features is providing easy access to rare items, such as Maker's Sigh.
"WELCOME. TO THE. BLACK. EMPORIUM."
- Age Without Youth: He sought immortality and got it... but he forgot to clarify that he wanted an ageless body as well.
- And I Must Scream: Though he doesn't show it in front of the customers. The codex mentions that the only reason he runs the Emporium is that he's desperately looking for a cure for his condition.
- Arms Dealer: In addition to magical artefacts and curiosities, he also sells a lot of enchanted weaponry.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Shoplifting is punishable by golems, leading him to quickly yell "NO CHARGE!" when Hawke collects some free goods.
- Xenon also mentions that the Templars occasionally make the mistake of coming to the Emporium. "The bloodstains take just weeks to clean up."
- Body Horror: Due to numerous attempts at magically restoring his youth, he has a number of extra appendages on his corpse-like body.
- CloudcuckooLander: His mind has began to decay along with his body.Some Dane fellow asked me, "Why make a shop so hard to find?" I mean, really! He just has no concept.
- Collector of the Strange: And exhibitor of it, too.
- Cool Old Guy: Despite being half-insane and suffering from major Body Horror, he's pretty jovial.
- Deal with the Devil: Got his immortality through a deal with the Antivan Witch of the Weyrs.
- Depending on her age, it may have been Yavana, the Antivan Witch of the Wilds and Flemeth's other daughter.
- Fluffy the Terrible: His personal Golem, dubbed "Thaddeus Gigantus Crumbum the Third".
- Large Ham: When you're confined to a chair as a result of your decaying body and the Body Horror you caused trying to reverse your immortality, it seems you have to make your own fun.
- Our Zombies Are Different: While he appears to be a corpse, he's actually still alive - just really emaciated.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: PLEEEEEEASE. DON'T FONDLE ANDRASTE.
- DON'T! MANHANDLLLLLLLLLE! The URRRRRRRRRRRRRCHIN!
- Really 700 Years Old: He's about 300 years old. It shows.
- The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: The Black Emporium. Only those personally invited by Xenon are able to find the shop. However, if they ever decide to part with the charm he sent them, they will be rendered unable to do so, even if they already know where it is. (And the consequences will be "unpleasant.") note