This page is for listing the tropes related to Non Playable Characters who are found in Dragon Age II.
A member of the enigmatic Seekers, who interrogates Varric in order to find the true story of the Champion, and has to deal with a lot of his bullshit on the way.
For more info, see this page.
Grand Cleric Elthina
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Rachel Atkins (English), Heide Domanowski (German)
The 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.
- Ambiguous Situation: Throughtout the game, Elthina presents herself as a voice of reason who tries to make sure to protect the rights of mages. However, it's never stated if it was only PR to keep the mages from revolting or she's really unable to do much to help as it's stated many times that it is an open secret how appalling the conditions of the Gallows circle were and that Meredith was using the Rite of Tranquility on innocent mages for minor crimes or dissent, something illegal in Chantry law, but the story never gives us insight on her private beliefs.
- Authority in Name Only: Played With. While both sides of the Mage/Templar conflict claim to defer to her (and are legally subordinate to her), Elthina claims to have no actual influence over them. Whether this is an Invoked Trope by Elthina, played completely straight, or Zig-Zagged is left ambiguous. It is safe to say that, by the time of Act 3, she has lost all control over Meredith (whom she directly appointed to the position of Knight-Commander), and that, at least early in her role as Grand Cleric, Elthina was not this (given that she replaced a prior Viscount and got to personally select the Knight-Commander). Beyond that, it's up to the player's interpretation.
- 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; in practice, her decision to remain a passive observer causes more harm than good in Kirkwall. While she's publicly advocating for peace and attempts to keep calm between the various extremist factions in the city, she also directly promoted and appointed several clear-cut villains (Petrice, Meredith) to positions of authority even after they began acting out. Ultimately, for all her talk of peace, she never actually does anything to attain that peace, making it read as posturing. Nevertheless, she's so respected by everyone in Kirkwall that things go to hell in a handbasket when she dies.
- 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: Potentially, if the player views Elthina as good. 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 proves that she is no fool.
- Good Shepherd: Invoked Trope by Elthina. She openly states that she cares deeply for the people of Kirkwall and will not abandon them, even if it means assassination, as well as taking the ideal that the Chantry should be a "loving mother" instead of a "domineering father," clearly trying to create this image of herself publicly. Elthina is also certainly no pushover; just look at her response to Sister/Mother Petrice. Whether or not it's actually true is, like all attributes of Elthina, subject to extreme Alternate Character Interpretation.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: Regardless of how much one sympathizes or doesn't with Elthina, one of her most defining characteristics is her passivity in the face of situations that requires proactive leadership. While Elthina preaches peace for the entire game, there are only two points she will ever take direct action during it: in Act 2, Elthina will demote Petrice if and only if the player sides with her during the Qunari conflict. Additionally, in the opening of Act 3, she will tell Orsino and Meredith to go to their rooms. Ultimately, her total inaction over the course of nine years ultimately serves to make each conflict worse:
- During the Qunari conflict, many of Elthina's subordinates are actively creating conflict in an attempt to start a war as early as Act 1 (with one going so far as to steal the seal of the Grand Cleric, unless Elthina actually gave it to her making this an Invoked Trope by Elthina). Elthina opts out of interacting or doing anything about said subordinates for most the game and even promotes one of them, allowing them to run completely rampant and ultimately leading to the Qunari conflict taking a truly awful turn. By the time Elthina finally does something ( demoting Petrice if you side with her or giving Petrice a stern talking to before yet again passively allowing the Qunari to take care of her for good), it's far too late for it to matter. This is a particularly unambiguous case given she has total authority over the subordinates.
- Throughout the game (but most prevalent in Act 3), 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 3.
- Years after Elthina's death, mages continue to cite her example as the reason why they shouldn't bother waiting for the Chantry or the Divine to do anything about problems in the Circles.
- Killed Off for Real: One of the casualties of Anders's destruction of the Chantry.
- The Mentor: To Sebastian, acting as a mother figure and attempting to guide him on the correct path. She at least postures as this for the city (if the leadership and citizens are interested), although the truth is more complex.
- Morality Chain: To Meredith (out of fear of directly clashing with a Grand Cleric, and as Meredith reveals once she goes off the deep end, a personal friend of hers), and Sebastian, as once she dies he forgets the lessons of peace and forgiveness she taught him and swears vengeance on Anders and all of Kirkwall if Hawke stands in his way.
- Neutral in Name Only: Hawke can accuse her of this. Because the Templars hold the legal power, and those same laws make Elthina their direct superior, Hawke argues that Elthina remaining "neutral" vs openly siding with the Templars is a Distinction Without a Difference.
- Neutrality Backlash: Her insistence on remaining "neutral" eventually gets her killed, and her death is the first step towards a continent-spanning war.
- 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: Either an Invoked Trope or Played Straight. Elthina 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. At the same time, Elthina makes it very clear throughout Act 3 that she feels she is in no real danger, even going so far as to say "I am a Grand Cleric — who would dare attack me?"
- The Only Way They Will Learn: Too bad it doesn't work out so well in practice.Elthina: 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.
- Parental Abandonment: Was adopted by the Chantry after her parents passed away due to illness.
- Parental Substitute: Again, to Sebastian. His parents shipped him off to the Chantry when he was a teenager, and she essentially raised him since then.
- 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 Right of Annulment.
- This trope is, actually, deliberately Invoked, as Anders killed Elthina to force these issues to a very public head to make Meredith look as bad as possible while simultaneously making the mages look as sympathetic as possible. Elthina's neutrality was proving to be an obstacle for all the other political factions in their attempts to find any resolution to the Mage/Templar conflict, so finally one of them just decided to get rid of her and move his plans ahead.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Played with. Elthina is usually willing to listen to the various groups in a conflict from a rather neutral position, break up immediate fights between their leaders... and that's basically it. Elthina does absolutely nothing to soothe tensions or pursue any kind of resolution to Kirkwall's problems, instead content to let them bubble beneath the surface, fostering more anger and resentment all around and pushing things closer to the boiling point. In addition, she often undermines the efforts of those who do seek some kind of resolution, including but not limited to having Hawke lie to the Divine about just how serious the Mage/Templar problems in Kirkwall are. Unsurprisingly, the various political factions in Kirkwall get tired of Elthina doing absolutely nothing which causes the situation to spiral even out of Elthina's control. Twice. She does, however, bring up some valid points on why she doesn't explicitly take a side, as that would only increase tensions. At the same time, her claim that her power is less than it seems falls flat because the Chantry Hierarchy places Elthina as Meredith's direct superior, and there is no indication that Elthina is actually doing anything about Meredith's flagrant violations of Chantry law. Hawke can also make the argument that staying neutral is effectively the same as siding with the Templars. Still, her death is what causes the tense stand-off to culminate in all-out slaughter.
- Team Mom: By Sebastian's account, she's "like a mother to everyone in the Chantry".
- Tell Me About My Father: Hawke can have a nice conversation with her in Act 2, where she talks about the Amells and having been the one to dedicate Leandra as a baby.
- Unflinching Walk: When a Qunari assassin kills Mother Petrice right behind her, she doesn't even blink, except to pause and ask Hawke to please inform the Viscount about his son's death.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Christine Roberts (English), Ulrike Stürzbecher (German)
A seemingly benign Chantry priestess who is working to have the Qunari removed from Kirkwall so they don't interfere with Chantry rule.
- 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.
- 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 2, dialogue in Act 3 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 priestess.
- Egocentrically Religious: She considers anyone who follows the Qun an insult to the Maker, and turns her nose up at a Hawke who so much as uses a Qunari word.
- Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: The fact that the Qunari have a non-Chantry belief system is all the justification Petrice needs to want them dead.
- The Fundamentalist / Sinister Minister: One of the worst examples thus far in the series.
- Hate Sink: Petrice's general loathsomeness is one of the few things the Dragon Age fandom agrees on.
- Icy Gray Eyes: Her cold and unfeeling gray eys, contrast with Elthina's.
- Impoverished Patrician: According to World of Thedas, Petrice is a Blue Blood whose family lost their holdings when she was young. It explains a lot about her desire for power and influence.
- 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's killed later in the Chantry explosion. Granted, that would be overkill on karma's part, but take what you can get.
- Karmic Death: If you side against her. She's denounced by Elthina and then killed by a Qunari.
- 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 cements it is when she kills Seamus Dumar for being "corrupted" by the Qun and uses 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.
- More Hateable Minor Villain: Knight-Commander Meredith and First Enchanter Orsino may be the final bosses, but Mother Petrice is the game's main Hate Sink, being a paranoid bigot who constantly raises tensions between the Qunari and the rest of Kirkwall in the hopes of getting the Qunari banished from Kirkwall or killed off.
- 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 beyond maybe the first five minutes.
- Smug Snake:
- It's obvious she considers herself a Magnificent Bitch, and even more obvious that she doesn't have the chops. However, 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 in their acquaintance... 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.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Although it's possible to subvert said publicity.
- Villainous Breakdown: Right in front of the Grand Cleric, no less. Oops.
- War Hawk: She's absolutely chomping at the bit for a holy war to drive the "heathen" Qunari from Kirkwall. She gets her wish, but it blows up in her face.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: If Hawke sides with her and she survives Act 2, we never learn whether or not she was in the Chantry when it exploded, leaving her fate unknown.
Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard
Appears in: Dragon Age II | Absolution
Voiced by: Jean Gilpin (English), Kerstin Sanders-Dornseif (German)
Leader 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.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: During the Final Battle, Meredith may grab your Love Interest, stab them, and taunt Hawke about it.
- Artifact of Doom: Her red lyrium broadsword drives her even more crazy than she already was. As later novels reveal, red lyrium was infected by the Darkspawn's taint, which meant it was turning her into a Ghoul.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Quoth David Gaider: "Meredith is not to be fucked with."
- Ax-Crazy: Mostly in Act 3, thanks to both lyrium poisoning and Darkspawn taint corrupting her mind.
- Back from the Dead: The Stinger of Absolution reveals she is back as the Crimson Knight
- 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 a reasonable employer.
- Badass Boast: Does it right before the Final Boss fight."Blessed are those who stand before the corrupt and the wicked... and do NOT falter!"
- 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, giving her Templars almost unlimited authority. However, in spite of all of that, Varric admits that Meredith was "irrelevant" in the grand scheme of things.
- Big Damn Heroes: How she first meets Hawke — pulling the party out of the fire as things start to look bad.
- Black-and-White Insanity: As far as she's concerned Templars are good, mages are evil, and woe to the person who says otherwise.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Briefly seen at the beginning of Act 1 and occasionally mentioned. It's not until the end of Act 2 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 2.
- 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 to whom she will listen, 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 heretofore loyal second-in-command, informs her that to get to Hawke she'll have to go through him, it only serves to convince her further.
- Control Freak: She was like this to start, and it only got worse with her Sanity Slippage.
- Cool Sword: Her red lyrium broadsword, Certainty.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Her final moments are spent screaming in agony as her body gets transmuted into a statue made from red lyrium, the horror and pain permanently etched onto her stone face.
- Dark Action Girl: She is the Knight-Commander for a reason.
- 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 Hawke 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: As Hawke says, Meredith tends to add one and one and get eleven. Orsino even mention that, sometimes, is one hundred and eleven.
- She is notorious for using the Rite of Tranquility at the slightest provocation, even on mages who have passed their Harrowings, which is explicitly forbidden by Chantry Law. One such instance described in Dragon Age: Inquisition was using the Rite on a mage who was having love letters passed between himself and a Templar lover using another Templar as a willing intermediary. The charge was "corrupting the moral integrity of a Templar." Cullen then says that this was not Meredith's most egregious abuse of the Rite. This was all years before she got a hold of the lyrium idol.
- Meredith's response to endgame events is even worse. Her reaction to an apostate blowing up the Chantry was to wipe out an unrelated Circle of Magi. Orsino and Sebastian both lampshade this, and 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 (mage or not) 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 3, he will chew out the Knight-Commander to her face, causing her to glare quietly and then remark that his 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 2. Should Mage Hawke get snippy with her in Act 3, 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 Saarebas in the most badass fashion.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She cares deeply for Elthina, despite their disagreements on how mages should be treated. Her death is what makes Meredith go off the deep end and attempt to kill every mage in Kirkwall for what Anders and Justice did. Though background chatter in the Gallows confirms that Meredith was going to do that regardless; Elthina's death just meant that Meredith threw off all pretenses of going through the proper channels first.
- 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 (though it is debatable whether her objections were moral, practical, or because she knew the Chantry would never agree).
- Evil Is Petty: In the Templar campaign of "The Last Straw," when Meredith calls for the slaughter of mages who surrendered to the Champion, Snarky Hawke calls it out as being petty when they decide 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. Especially once the true nature of red lyrium is discovered in later games.
- 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.
- Fascist, but Inefficient: After the Viscount is executed by the Arishok at the end of Act 2, Meredith fills the power vacuum and turns Kirkwall into a police state. The city just becomes worse than ever due to her complete indifference to anything besides cracking down on mages, and said mages resorting to escape, blood magic, and demonic possession in record numbers out of desperation to escape her iron fist. Her madness and paranoia eventually destroys the city. Even before then, Meredith was the de facto leader of Kirkwall due to said Viscount being a Templar-installed Authority in Name Only, and Kirkwall had long been a Soiled City on a Hill and Wretched Hive of crime, poverty, urban decay, and disenfranchisement.
- Fantastic Drug: As a Templar, she's addicted to lyrium. Its side effects include delusions, paranoia, dementia, obsessive behavior, and hallucinations. When she gets the idol, which is made of red lyrium (which Inquisition explains in greater horrible detail), it only gets worse.
- Final Boss: Regardless of which side you take in the mage/Templar conflict, Meredith is your final opponent.
- Foe Romance Subtext: 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.
- Her state during her assault on the Gallows in the endgame serves as this two-fold for Inquisition. a) By drawing on the power of the red lyrium idol embedded in her sword she effectively becomes the first Red Templar, a recurring enemy faction in Inquisition should you side with the Rebel Mages, and b) her death is basically a much faster version of the fate that ultimately awaits all Red Templars; slowly being overtaken by the red lyrium circulating in their bodies until they crystallize into statues of red lyrium that are then mined by other Red Templars to feed their addictions.
- Freudian Excuse: Her sister was an apostate-turned-abomination who killed their family (apart from Meredith, obviously) and many villagers before eventually being slain by the Templars. Meredith always leaves out the detail that Amelia didn't become an abomination until the Templars were literally on the family's doorstep.
- General Ripper: Enemy X being blood mages.
I will have my war!
- In Absolution she seems to have switched to Tevinter Empire as a whole.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Her eyes glow red when she uses the power of the Lyrium Idol/Certainty.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Absolution, where she is the Crimson Knight, the one Hira is working with to destroy Tevinter Empire.
- Heel Realization: Subverted. She nearly has one during her boss fight, but dismisses the thought at the last moment.Meredith: Why is this taking so long? Can one so evil truly be so powerful? Maker, guide your humble servant. Please tell me what I must do. What if... I'm not doing the right thing? What if this is all madness? No! I must remain vigilant.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: While she was never exactly a nice person, what's clear is that by the time of Inquisition, even those who support the Templars blame her for most of the problems in Kirkwall and the start of the Mage Rebellion. Though she may have had a point regarding some cases, her methods were frowned upon by everyone. By the time of the Trespasser DLC, everyone in Kirkwall celebrated when her petrified remains were finally removed, and Ser Jerran, a former Templar from Kirkwall-turned-Qunari, pretty much states that Meredith was mad and that only the Viddasala was worse.
- For all she claims to be serving the Chantry and following the Maker's will, Meredith frequently violates Chantry law, such as extending her abuse of the Rite of Tranquility to mages that have passed their Harrowings. She only gets worse after buying the idol.
- 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 magically 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.
- Templars vow never to hold worldly power, but Meredith is Viscount in all but name, refuses to allow the election of a new Viscount, and effectively turns Kirkwall into a police state where she and her cronies have free reign. The few moderate Templars in Kirkwall explicitly believe she is more interested in consolidating power than doing her duties.
- She rationalizes everything she does as a necessity to protect innocent people from mages. Should Hawke question her extreme methods, she brings up Quentin's murder of Leandra and effectively blames it on Hawke. The fact that, in the course of nearly a decade, exactly one of her Templars showed any interest in stopping the offender doesn't seem to occur to her.
- And for all her crackdowns, not only did the Templars completely fail to stop Quentin, but in one of the companion quests, a literal Tevinter magister can waltz into Kirkwall with impunity. (And out again, depending on Hawke's actions.) She's really bad at her job.
- 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.
- Implied Death Threat: She gave the newly-appointed Viscount Dumar the crushed and bloodstained ring of the previous Viscount with a note saying "his fate need not be yours." She gives a much less subtle one to a Mage Hawke if Hawke tries to brush her off during the Qunari attack, saying that they have one chance to prove themselves. That's not proving themselves worthy of living free, but of living at all.
- Iron Lady: Varric calls her such at one point. Cullen further refers to her having a "spine of iron".
- 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 3, where you have the most direct contact with her, she shows a more human side... but ultimately sends for the Right of Annulment at the start of Act 3 (according to her flunky Karras) and decides to use the actions of one apostate as an excuse to immediately Annul the Circle. 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. Several other Templars note how hostile she made the Circle, driving mages to do anything to escape it.
- 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: An intensely religious blonde dressed like a Knight in Shining Armor — who has people executed or made Tranquil for the slightest provocation even before she bought an Artifact of Doom. As Bartrand puts it, "She glittered like the sun, but her heart was ice." During the final battle, she continues to insist the Maker will smile on her actions.
- Living Weapon: Certainty was made of lyrium, which is actually blood from ancient beings known as the Titans. Blood that can be infected by the Taint and turned into red lyrium.
- 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." If the Starkhaven mages escaped only to be captured later, Meredith randomly chooses three to be made Tranquil instead. And this is still in Act 1, years before the idol/Certainty destroyed her mind.
- Military Coup: Viscount Dumar was installed as a part of one, when the Templars overthrew Perrin Threnhold under her leadership. The official party line in the Chantry was that Threnhold was a heretic and Meredith's campaign an informal crusade, but her detractors note that Threnhold's major offense was that he was obstructing Orlesian trade. Opinion on her was therefore divided between "holy warrior" and "Orlesian stooge."
- Mirror Character: 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.
- Misplaced Retribution: Calling for the Right of Annulment in response to the destruction of the Chantry. Meredith knows that Anders was never a resident of the Gallows; she had been looking for an excuse to annul the Circle for some time, and Anders gave her exactly that. Her excuse was so flimsy that several Circles revolted on the spot when news reached them, and those that didn't started on the path toward total war. Her 'retribution' was essentially the equivalent of blaming Czechoslovakia for starting World War 2 on the grounds that most Czechs speak German.Orsino: The Circle didn't even do this!
Sebastian: Why are we debating the Right of Annulment when the monster who did this is standing right here?!
- Motive Rant: She can go into two of them during her boss fight if she stuns the party, raving on her murderous hatred towards all of magekind.It's not enough that they make innocents suffer! No! We must also have insult added to injury! Spare the mages, give them freedom, and they would use it to tear down everything we hold dear! No, no, it cannot be allowed! I will stop it! Do you hear me, Champion?! I will defeat you!"I tried to have sympathy. Maker knows I have tried! But how can we allow them freedom when so many would use it to commit atrocities?! They control minds. They become Abominations. They began the Blight itself! And now... Elthina. Oh, poor Elthina. I will avenge you, dear friend."
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Look, it's understandable that a Templar might be driven to extremes, especially in Kirkwall, and Abominations really are that dangerous. And that might be true for other Templars... but not Meredith. No matter how hard she tries to justify herself, it becomes increasingly clear throughout the story that she just hates mages and is looking for any excuse to kill them. And by the time she invoked the Right of Annulment on a Circle for basically existing in the general direction of Anders, everyone in universe can see that she's totally insane and that the system must be broken if it allowed someone like her to get into power.
- One-Winged Angel: Subverted. She tries...
- Clipped-Wing Angel: But all she gets is petrified.
- Pet the Dog: Siding with Meredith and working with her in Act 3 shows 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.
- If Hawke is not a mage and Bethany goes to the Circle, it's noted that even Meredith considers her to be an exemplary mage, though she's not above using veiled threats against Bethany to keep Hawke in line.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Working with Hawke at the end of Act 2 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.
- Predecessor Villain: The power she gained from her exposure to her red lyrium broadsword inspired Corypheus and Samson to create the Red Templar faction that would go on to terrorize Thedas for years to come. Her transformation into the Crimson Knight made her the first and most powerful of their numbers.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Blessed are those who stand before the corrupt and the wicked and do! Not! Falter!"
- Rabid Cop: Her natural inclination; her strategy for doing her job is that if she kills every mage ever to exist, then surely she'll have gotten all the demon-summoners and blood mages in there somewhere.
- 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.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: She's not wrong that the Kirkwall circle plays with demons, as it's eventually revealed that Orsino was deliberately sheltering a Serial Killer blood mage. She is, however, wrong about them being associated with Anders, and she never stops to think that her 'kill 'em all and let the Maker sort it out' policy leads to mages deciding that if she's gonna murder them even if they do toe the party line, they may as well use forbidden magic to get enough of an edge to possibly survive.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The final catalyst for her fall to madness and her attempt to exterminate Kirkwall's Circle is the death of Elthina, who was a close friend of her.
- Sanity Slippage: At the end of the game she is so far over the deep end that she is ranting about all of her soldiers being against her.
- 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 armour 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.
- The reason her parents kept her sister Amelia out of the Circle was fear of how she'd survive in such a strict environment. Moreover, according to World of Thedas, vol. 2, Amelia only fell prey to possession when she saw Templars almost literally on her doorstep. Meredith's reaction to this was to join the Templars and create a Circle no parent would ever want their child to join. She brushes off all attempts to point this out to her.
- 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.
- Silver Vixen: Snarky Hawke even comments on it — she's athletic, intense, and has a kind of harsh and practical beauty that improves with age. Too bad about the personality attached.
- Slave to PR: As she claims when invoking the Right of Annulment, saying 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 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. At some point, however, her remains were revived as a creature known as the Crimson Knight.
- 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.
- Unwitting Pawn: Anders plays her like a fiddle in the final act. His actions may have gotten the ball rolling on the mage rebellion, but it was Meredith's response to his actions that guaranteed there would be no going back. Just like he planned.
- Villainous Breakdown: Her insanity comes to a head when Cullen tries to have her arrested for attempting to order Hawke's execution.Meredith: My own knight-captain falls prey to the influence of blood magic. You all have! You're all weak, allowing the mages to control your minds, to turn you against me. But I don't need any of you! I will protect this city myself!
- Villainous Rescue: She is introduced saving Hawke from a Qunari saarebas, although the player previously gets a glimpse of her at the beginning of Act 1.
- Was Once a Man: After her battle with Hawke, she was transformed into a solid crystal statue. Normally, this would be the death of any Red Templar, but she somehow was revived as an undead being of pure red lyrium known as the Crimson Knight.
- 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."
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.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Jamie Glover
A 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.
- 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.
- Idiot Ball: It could be argued he picks this up when he decides not to just talk to Hawke, especially when he has his group kidnap Hawke's sibling or most beloved companion.
- Kick the Dog: Hawke can blackmail him with the knowledge of his daughter being a mage.
- My Greatest Failure: He 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.
- Neck Snap: Grace uses her magic to kill him this way when he tries to stop her from attacking Hawke.
- 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, is killed after becoming an abomination.
- Poor Communication Kills: The entire lead-up to the quest "Best Served Cold." If Hawke worked with Thrask previously, then Thrask could have just told them about his plan to oust Meredith and reasonably expected Hawke to help.
- 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, 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.
- Too Dumb to Live: He veers into this when Hawke shows up during "Best Served Cold," lamenting that "it was too much to hope that [Hawke] wouldn't come here." Maybe, if you didn't want Hawke chasing you down, you shouldn't have kidnapped someone they love.
- You Monster!: His response if Hawke blackmails him with his daughter's letter.
Ser Wesley Vallen
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: James Daniel Wilson
Templar 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.
- Battle Couple: With Aveline. Their first meeting actually entailed fighting side-by-side.
- Distressed Dude: His Establishing Character Moment shows him being seriously injured by a hurlock attacking him from behind and rescued by his wife (who punches it into submission and then slits its throat with its own sword). He is also infected by the Blight, and has to be mercy-killed by Aveline or Hawke.
- Enemy Mine: Despite the Hawke family including at least one apostate, he is convinced to put aside his duty as a Templar while they escape the darkspawn.
- Establishing Character Moment: He fights off several darkspawn, showing that he is no slouch in combat. He is then wounded by one hurlock and rescued by his wife, who punches it into submission and then kills it with its own sword. She then takes up his sword and shield and vows to protect him to the end, showing how deeply he and his wife love and rely on each other. Right after being saved by mages, however, he immediately decries the mages and tries to take them in, despite being wounded and just having been rescued by them, showing his Honor Before Reason dedication to the Templar Order.
- Fantastic Racism: Against mages. Pretty standard for a Templar. He explicitly compares mages to darkspawn, - though only to say that darkspawn are at least predictably dangerous.
- Happily Married: He and Aveline are clearly this.
- 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.
- In the Back: The injury that puts him out of action, and ultimately kills him, is a hurlock's scimitar slashing him from behind.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Downplayed. Despite being a soldier in his own right, his wife Aveline is built like an ox and hits like one, while Wesley has a much more slim build and refined features. He is quickly bested in sword-fighting with a darkspawn while his wife punches it to death.
- 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 gently ribbing him about 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.
- Undying Loyalty: He's implied to have willingly traveled towards the bulk of the darkspawn horde to look for his wife, after he found out about the disaster that was Ostagar and he knew she was there.
- Ungrateful Bastard: After being rescued by the Hawke siblings from being eaten alive by darkspawn, he immediately decries the mage siblings and threatens Bethany. All three Hawke siblings immediately call him out on it, and Aveline has to gently remind him that they saved them to get him to drop the matter. Even then, he only agrees to a temporary Enemy Mine truce until they're out of darkspawn territory. He dies before this can happen.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Only appears for less than a quarter of an hour before dying.
Knight-Lieutenant Otto Alrik
Appears in: Dragon Age II
A sadistic Templar whom Hawke and their companions encounter in the quest "Dissent", although they witness his handiwork in "Tranquility".
- Asshole Victim: If the player kills him, saves Ella, and sends her back to the Circle, she sends a letter informing Hawke that even Alrik's fellow Templars don't miss him.
- 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 a notch 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. Granted, his initial suggestion was rejected.
- 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. Given that Ella is clearly a young teenager, this is even worse than it would be otherwise.
- A conversation between a recently-made Tranquil mage and her former lover in the Gallows in Act 2 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 and it's never clear whether he's disciplined for doing so.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Oh, come on. "Tranquil Solution", anyone?
- 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".
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Timothy Watson
The Templar bodyguard of Sister Petrice. He supports her efforts to stir up tensions between the citizens of Kirkwall and the Qunari.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Inflicts this upon the Qunari delegates he captures in Act 2.
- The Dragon: To Sister Petrice.
- Dragon with an Agenda: He tires of Petrice's slow moving manipulations and instead takes direct action against the Qunari by kidnapping several of them, which causes Petrice to turn on him since he has become unreliable and too overt.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards the Qunari.
- Knight Templar: Like Petrice, he considers the Qunari a severe threat to Kirkwall and the Chantry. This causes him to do whatever it takes to rid the city of them.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After his fanaticism makes him a liability to her cause, Petrice all too willingly gives up the location where he and his fellow fanatics are meeting to Hawke; although it could be possible she did so in the hopes that Varnell and his cronies might kill Hawke. If confronted about it afterwards, she outright states Varnell is more useful to her own agenda as a martyr.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Mark Lewis Jones
A Templar tracking down a ruthless serial killer in Kirkwall, first encountered in "The First Sacrifice".
- Aesop Amnesia: Despite realising he's getting too old for adventure in "The First Sacrifice", he apparently decides to begin investigating again sometime before "Prime Suspect," and is at it long enough to earn Aveline's ire. Although this is one of the few examples wherer he actually has good reason for personally looking into the matter once more, even as it attracts a bit of legal trouble.
- Cassandra Truth: Despite no one believing his warnings, he turns out to be entirely correct about a serial killer operating in Kirkwall.
- Character Death: He gets killed by a shade in "Prime Suspect."
- Covert Pervert: He can be occasionally found in the Blooming Rose.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: A downplayed case. The way the guy pronounces some of his "R"s is not exactly the most gwaceful.
- He Knows Too Much: Quentin has a shade kill Emeric when the latter started to get too close to the truth.
- Killed Off for Real: His Plotline Death comes near the end of the quest chain.
- Nice Guy: He's always very polite and pleasant in his interactions with Hawke, and he shows genuine concern for the missing women - unlike almost everyone else.
- Occult Detective: Although he's a little past his prime, something he is aware of.
- Perilous Old Fool: According to Aveline, at least, 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 handle. That being said, he has come closer to the truth by investigating on his own than when his investigation was left to either his fellow Templars or to the city guard.Aveline: Why can't he spend his declining years building a boat or something?
A former Templar who helps runaway mages flee the city.
For more info, see this page.
Circle of Magi
First Enchanter Orsion
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Jim Ward (English), Oliver Siebeck (German)
The First Enchanter of the Kirkwall Circle of Magi.
- Ambiguously Bi: Orsino will say the line seen in Dirty Old Man below regardless of whether Hawke is male or female.
- 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 2 if you work with him and use him as a distraction. He lobs fireballs like standard attacks.
- Blood Magic: He spends much of the game frustrated that Meredith is convinced most of his people practice this. He resorts to it in the endgame after the casualties pile too high for him to bear.
- Body Horror: He forms into a... creature... which 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, as he admits that he was friends with her mother's murderer; she's distraught as she points out that if he'd only done something, Leandra would still be alive. 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." Played with, given his actions in the endgame.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments. The subject is usually Meredith and her total lack of subtlety. After learning Thrask and his group were plotting to overthrow Meredith, he'll quip that he suddenly regrets interfering.
- 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 Romance Subtext: 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 about getting him reference materials, signed "O." The initial doesn't mean anything to Hawke at the time, but it later becomes clear that Orsino is at least partly responsible for the murder of 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 circle, 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.
- Morton's Fork: Orsino's conundrum with Kirkwall's blood mages. If Meredith finds out about them on her own, she will almost certainly use it as justification for the Right of Annulment. If he turns them in, she has deteriorated to the point where she might use their existence as an excuse to call for the Right anyway.
- One-Man Army: The man annihilates a platoon of Qunari by himself at the end of Act 2.
- 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.
- Serpent Staff: Orsino carries a magic staff designed to resemble three snakes rearing up to strike.
- Silver Fox: He's fairly easy on the eyes until 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. It wasn't going to be part of the Mage path in the first place, and was only added later for the sake of another boss fight, hence its rather jarring nature.
- 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.
- In the Templar endgame, he doesn't say it outright, but is bitterly amused by the irony that he's only now using blood magic after all Meredith's years of suspicion.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Orsino is introduced to the player at the tail end of Act 2 and only has a handful of scenes in Act 3. Prior to that, he's not even mentioned, except in one of Feynriel's dreams in the Fade.
- We Need a Distraction: His plan during the Act 2 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 he 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. Or maybe he's just been First Enchanter for a long time.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Kellie Bright
An apostate who escaped from the Starkhaven Circle thanks to her blood mage lover — whom Hawke kills shortly before meeting her. Whether Hawke helps her or not, she inevitably gets captured and imprisoned in the Gallows. Surely that won't sour the relationship...
- Blood Magic: In her first appearance she claims she doesn't practice it, but in Act 3 she gives up the act and uses it, becoming an abomination in the process.
- Irrational Hatred: 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 (even though she clearly saw that Hawke acted in self-defense) and her own failure to escape the Templars. Once she falls in battle, she comes back as a Pride abomination, which makes it clear that she's too proud to admit to her failings that she projects her resentment onto Hawke instead.
- 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.
- Love Makes You Evil: Again, she fakes the opposite of this the first time Hawke meets her.
- Obviously Evil: Let us count the ways. A crazed blood mage who forces Hawke to kill him was her lover. She immediately asks Hawke to murder one of the only decent Templars around so she can escape. Even if Hawke does 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 who is important to Hawke — the surviving sibling if they're still alive, or the Love Interest if they're not, or Hawke's closest friend if the Love Interest is unavailable or there is none.
- Tattooed Crook: The side of her face is inked, and the endgame shows that she's ultimately untrustworthy.
- Ungrateful Bastard: She somehow convinces herself that her own failure to escape the Templars is Hawke's fault. Varric and Isabela even call her out on it.Isabela: Aren't you that mage lady whose arse we saved?!Varric: I had a feeling you weren't the grateful type.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- If you hand her over to the Templars. It doesn't help that Karras is right there being awful.
- 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.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: James Daniel Wilson
A hapless apostate from Starkhaven who is captured and brought to the Gallows. He seems to end up in the worst situations regularly.
- 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 1, some lines in Act 2 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, meaning that someone else is doing it.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the apostate group that Decimus and Grace lead. Later, he's this to Grace and Thrask's group.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
A friend and former lover of Anders from the Fereldan Circle, he was eventually transferred to Kirkwall. While plotting to escape with the aid of Anders (and Hawke), Karl's plan is discovered and he is made Tranquil to lure Anders into a trap.
- Creepy Monotone: Speaks in one as a Tranquil.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Seeing the Chantry violate its own laws further motivates Anders to tear down the Circle.
- 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.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Karl admits that if there were a way to give up his magic without becoming Tranquil, he would take it.
- Mercy Kill: He is killed by Anders to prevent him from having to live as a Tranquil, having begged for death when Vengeance's emergence briefly held back the effects of Tranquility.
- Straight Gay: Or maybe he's bi. He shows zero stereotypical traits and was romantically involved with Anders in the past. Their prior relationship is only mentioned if Anders is romanced by male Hawke, although details can be found in The World of Thedas, vol. 2.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Has maybe ten minutes of screen time before his Mercy Kill.
Emile de Launcet
Appears in: Dragon Age II
The son of two minor nobles from Orlais, Emile was taken to the Kirkwall Circle at the age of six. After two decades of confinement, he made a break for it in the same escape as Evelina and Huon.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To a female Hawke and also Isabela if Hawke suggests she help him live a little.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Attempts to invoke this by spreading rumours that he's a blood mage — without much apparent success.
- Disappeared Dad: If he has his hour with the tavern girl and then goes back to the Circle without complaint, he becomes this, as she's left pregnant by the event.
- Gonk: He's kind of weird-looking, and even Isabela can remark that he's revolting.
- Irony: Hawke's mother was once engaged to Emile's father so that the Amells could try to gain back some of their status after producing so many mages. Emile ended up being a mage without Leandra's contribution.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Emile is stated to be the fifth son of the Comte de Launcet, and also has two sisters who appear in Mark of the Assassin, for a minimum of seven children.
- Must Not Die a Virgin: All he really wants is to live a little.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Fenris seems to think he's doing this. He's in the minority, however. Even Meredith realizes that the stupidity is genuine.Fenris: This is an act. The mage makes himself out to be harmless.
Anders: No, I think he's really that pathetic.
- Too Dumb to Live: Goes around claiming to be a blood mage... in Kirkwall. Your companions are quick to point out how suicidal this is.
- Unexplained Accent: Like all characters with an Orlesian background, he has a heavy French accent. Which doesn't make much sense considering that he's been born in Kirkwall and has been separated from his Orlesian parents since he was six.
- Upper-Class Twit: From a noble family and generally clueless. In his defense, he's been in the Circle since childhood.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: If he's told to run away, he sends Hawke a letter note where he assures them that he's doing fine and is currently in a relationship with a woman. If he stays in the Circle, his ultimate fate is left unknown after the endgame.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Tim Bentinck
A maleficar Serial Killer who preys on Kirkwall's female populace.
- 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 sewing them together into a new body for her soul to possess.
- Calling Card: Prior to kidnapping his victims, he sends them a bouquet of white lilies.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Quentin's handiwork is the subject of an early side quest.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: In the endgame, it's not only revealed that Quentin and Orsino worked together in some capacity, but Orsino uses Quentin's magic to go One-Winged Angel.
- 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: In 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 struck him down 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 scattered notes 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.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Kellie Bright
In Isabela's words, an "apostitute" note who works at the Blooming Rose to enchant any Templar customers and make them more susceptible to demon possession.
- The Atoner: If Hawke spares her in Act 1, she writes them a letter in Act 2, thanking them for your mercy and informing them that she has found religion in the Circle. She also sends information about dangerous spellbooks so that Hawke can find them before they fall into the wrong hands.
- Blood Magic: Sensing a pattern yet? She uses it on any Templar she "services" to make it easier for them to be possessed by demons, and she also uses it on Hawke and party when they attempt to interrogate her.
- Heel–Face Turn: Should Hawke turn her in to the Circle, she undergoes a reform and even informs Hawke of existence of demonic tomes scattered across Kirkwall so that Hawke can destroy them.
- No-Sell: If there are no mages in the active party, Hawke can throw off her Psychic-Assisted Suicide, either through their own spell or, for a non-mage Hawke, through sheer force of will.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. It's even worse if a non-mage Hawke does this all on their own, especially since they immediately kill her afterwards.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Tries to do this to Hawke but fails.
- 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.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Susan Duerdan
The 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 liberally seeking out power as opposed to being a helpless waif.
- Gonk: Her appearance is certainly unsettling. The white lip color doesn't help anything.
- 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: Her makeup is not exactly attractive or even normal-looking, and it makes her look just as crazy as her plans.
- You Got Spunk!: Her response to Hawke pointing out they just cut through all the enemies to get to her.Tarohne: Good, good, the demons like spirit!
- You Monster!: Hawke has the option of calling her "worse than a monster."
- You're Insane!: It's obvious she's not the most mentally grounded. A snarky Hawke can even comment, "Good to know you're barking mad."
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Chris Nayak
A 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 Kirkwall's Templars... and a gang of slavers... and several demons.
- Big Damn Heroes: Offscreen, but worth mentioning. A noblewoman in the Act 3 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.
- 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 child. 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.
- The Dreaded:
- If he is possessed by a demon in "Night Terrors," a terrified Guardsman in Act 3 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.
- Dream Walker: By Act 3, he can communicate with sleeping people via the Fade.
- 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.
- 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 there due to the ruthlessness and cruelty of the magisters.
- To Michel de Chevin from The Masked Empire. Both are young men with elven mothers and human fathers raised in an alienage. However, while Michel is ashamed of his elven heritage (to the point that he participates in an "initiation ritual" that involves murdering random alienage elves to fit in with human Chevaliers), Feynriel fully embraces his elven heritage and longs to fit in with the Dalish. Feynriel also doesn't have the option to pass among humans due to his rare dreamer abilities.
- To Slim Couldry from Dragon Age: Origins. They're both elf-blooded men who grew up in the Alienage. However, while Slim is a muggle with a large family (at least 15 cousins) with a strong sense of community, Feynriel was raised alone by his mother due to his Dalish heritage and magical abilities, and longs for a sense of community and family among the elves (and/or his father).
- To Solas, whose name is Fen'Harel. Both are extremely powerful mages who stroll around the Fade as if it were a Sunday trip. The only difference is that Feynriel is inexperienced enough to get possessed by a demon if he isn't careful.
- Girl of My Dreams: Gender-flipped. 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.
- Half-Breed Discrimination: As an elf-blooded human, he'll never be fully accepted in human society. As the child of a human parent, he'll never fully pass or fit in among the elves. "Night Terrors" reveals that he longs to be fully embraced by the Dalish, and Merrill confirms that while the Dalish will take him in on account of his elven mother, he'll always be a "half-breed" to them. His character quote even says it all.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Subverted as all Human/Elf children are fully human, but he invokes this in hopes that simply being elven born will help the Dalish accept him. It's mostly an issue growing up, since being raised by an elven parent gives him away to most humans, and his human appearance prevents him from fitting in among elves. If he leaves for Tevinter, he's able to pass as a fully human mage to study his abilities, and his mother is able to move back with the Dalish since she doesn't have a human child in tow.
- 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.
- Irony: He's dismissed as an elf-blooded human by most humans and elves, yet he has more ancient elvhen power than most modern human or elven mages combined. He has the Fade-walking abilities of Ancient Elvhenan. The most optimal ending involves sending him to Tevinter to help him learn the extent of his abilities, which as of Dragon Age: Inquisition is double ironic since Tevinter magisters based most of their magic and society on what they stole from Ancient Elvhen.
- Magic Is a Monster Magnet: This is a bigger problem for him than most mages due to his rare abilities, which attracts many demons due to the power it could give them should they manage to possess him.
- Meaningful Name: In-Universe. Feynriel's name is an awful lot like Fen'Harel, who is responsible for creating the Veil, and both he and Solas travel the Fade often.
- Parental Abandonment: His father abandoning his mother hit him hard. "Night Terrors" reveals that he secretly wishes his Vincento would embrace him and take him traveling as father and son.
- 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.note
- Played straight in that his human appearance prevents him from passing among the elves. Feynriel fully embraces his Dalish heritage, but his human apperance prevents him from fitting in or being fully accepted by them. "Night Terrors" reveals he secretly longs to be fully accepted and embraced as one of the Dalish, but his human parentage prevents that from ever happening.Merrill: It will be your humanity who marks you among the people, not your magic.
- Played straight in that his human appearance prevents him from passing among the elves. Feynriel fully embraces his Dalish heritage, but his human apperance prevents him from fitting in or being fully accepted by them. "Night Terrors" reveals he secretly longs to be fully accepted and embraced as one of the Dalish, but his human parentage prevents that from ever happening.
- Spot the Thread/Pull the Thread: The only way for "Night Terrors" to end well. If Hawke gently questions and points out inconsistencies in how Marethari and Vincento treat Feynriel in his dream compared to how they were in reality, Feynriel slowly comes to notice and question the inconsistencies himself, until he eventually realizes he needs extra help learning to control his dreamer abilities. However, if Hawke decides to shatter the illusions too quickly by bluntly telling him it's a demon, Feynriel becomes so devastated, confused, and overwhelmed that he begs to be made Tranquil.
- 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.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
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 2, she can be encountered in Darktown asking for money to help feed the children under her care.
- 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 in to 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 Ferelden 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 arrested 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.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Chris Nayak
An escaped elven mage, and husband of Nyssa, whom Hawke needs to track down in "On The Loose."
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: He was described as a kind and loving husband to his wife, Nyssa. And then he was dragged away to the Circle in chains. It's heavily implied that the torture and abuse he received there for ten years under Meredith's rule eroded his sanity, leaving him dangerously unstable.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: He has bright and borderline-supernatural clouded milky eyes, which enhance his creepiness and insanity.
- Driven to Madness: It's strongly implied that spending ten years in the Gallows under Meredith's rule has eaten away at his sanity.
- Fantastic Racism: Living with racism as an alienage elf was bad enough, but being dragged to the Gallows and receiving abuse and mistreatment for his magic as well? No wonder he snapped.
- Flat Character: He has the least characterization of the apostates in "On The Loose." He's insane, he's power-hungry, he fatally stabs his wife to use her blood to summon demons, and that's it.
- Foreshadowing: He mentions that there's great magical power within elves, and humans keep them down because they fear them. Come Dragon Age: Inquisition, Solas confirms that ancient elves were magical and immortal, and Tevinter magisters learned everything they knew from them before enslaving them, and Southern Thedas humans who hate/fear magic and look down on elves (both because of Tevinter) gives modern elves a double-whammy of Southern Thedas oppression.
- Happily Married: He used to be a kind and caring husband to his wife, Nyssa. Then the Templars dragged him away in chains, he spent ten years in the Gallows under Meredith's jurisdiction, and by the time he escapes, he's already become dangerously insane.
- Humiliation Conga: Being dragged from the alienage in chains, in front of everyone, is implied to be the first of the many humiliations and abuses he received from the Templars, which eventually drove him insane.
- Insane Equals Violent: He was a kind and caring husband to his wife, Nyssa, when they lived together in the alienage. Then he was dragged to the Gallows in chains, and it's implied the torture and abuse he received for ten years caused him to become deranged and violent. His ensuing insanity is what fuels his murder of his wife, to use her blood to fuel his magic.
- Obviously Evil: Clouded milky eyes, unblinking stare, creepy monotone? Yeah, who could have guessed he'd turn out to be a dangerously insane blood mage?
- The Unblinking: On top of his cloudy milky eyes, he never blinks on-camera.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Tom Chadbon
A powerful and highly influential Tevinter magister and Fenris's former master.
- Bad Boss: To Fenris, although that's putting it mildly.
- Blood Magic: His affinity for it is precisely why Fenris is adamant that all blood mages are inherently evil and self-serving.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He is more or less the poster boy (or old man, in this case) for "evil Tevinter magister".
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Fenris uses the lyrium markings to reach into Danarius and crush his brain within his skull.
- Depraved Homosexual: Heavily implied to have used Fenris as a sex slave as well as a bodyguard. David Gaider confirms this was the case.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's pleasant enough to Hawke, until/unless they refuse to give him what he wants.
- Flat Character: He's an unrepentant slave-owning, murderous, demon-summoning (possibly implied) rapist. That's the extent of his characterization.
- Half-Human Hybrid: While nothing is hinted at in-game, he has a lither build, bigger eyes, and slightly pointed ears than the standard human male (like Feynriel), which can leave one to wonder if he has elven heritage. If so, it might put a new spin on his abhorrent behavior.
- Hate Sink: He lacks even the slightest hint of any positive character traits.
- Karmic Death: Should you decide to fight him, Fenris will kill him after the battle with the very lyrium markings that he ordered to be put on Fenris in the first place.
- Obviously Evil: Between his corpse-like features, strange facial hair, and spike-adorned staff, he couldn't come across more villainous if he tried.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: He owns property in Kirkwall and waltzes into the Hanged Man without any problems from the Templars.
- Skippable Boss: If you hand over Fenris, Danarius leaves without giving Hawke or Kirkwall any more trouble.
- Would Hurt a Child: According to Fenris, he once sacrificed a young boy for a blood magic ritual to impress his fellow senators at a party.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Susan Duerden
The apprentice to Danarius, sent to capture Fenris.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Orana felt sorry for her, saying that everything was fine until she sacrificed slaves (including Orana’s father) for a blood magic ritual to protect herself from Fenris.
- Bad Boss: Treated her master’s slaves cruelly (Fenris in particular), believing that she could get away with it at any time.
- The Chain of Harm: Was treated cruelly by other magisters and their apprentices, which caused her to be cruel to slaves whom she had power over, particularly Fenris.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: Befitting her cruel personality.
- The Dragon: To Danarius.
- Evil Matriarch: According to Fenris, she would sell her own children into slavery just to please Danarius. It's not clear whether she actually has children or if he's speaking hypothetically.
- Karmic Death: Eventually killed by Fenris, one of the slaves she abused, despite him agreeing to let her go if she told him about his sister. Hawke can call him out on this.
- Oh, Crap!: The look on her face when after giving Fenris genuine information about his sister, his tattoos glow blue as she realizes he knows she's telling the truth and still intends to kill her anyway.
- Troubled Abuser: As her codex notes, Hadriana was treated cruelly by other magisters and their apprentices, which caused her to lash out at the slaves, particularly Fenris.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Miranda Raison
A Tevinter mage in training. She's the long-lost sister of Fenris.
- Ambiguous Situation: How conflicted was she about her betrayal? Would Danarius have really made her a Magister? Can Tevinter elves even become Magisters, given how steeped the country is in Fantastic Racism? Or was she so desperate and/or naive about Tevinter politics that she chose to believe it?
- 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. She does it, but her expression and tone of voice suggest that she is severely uncomfortable with it, if not outright regretful.
- Happiness in Slavery: Indicates that Fenris accepting the lyrium markings in exchange for her and their mother's freedom didn't do her any favours.Varania: [To her brother] Freedom was no boon. I look at you and I think you received the better end of the bargain.
- Hypocrite: Was willing to see her brother killed for her own advancement, then begs for her own life when her brother is about to kill her in retaliation.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Claims she had to betray Fenris to Danarius because her life as a freed slave was hard needed the higher status.
- 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.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: According to what her brother learns about her, she's a tailor.
- 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.
- Unreliable Narrator: Claims that Fenris wanted his lyrium markings and competed for them (which Word of God has disproved—Fenris competed to free his family, but didn't know the lyrium marks would be his other "prize"), but she also lied about wanting to reconnect with Fenris to lure him into a trap, and says so pretty spitefully after Fenris almost kills her for her betrayal. However, since it was well over a decade ago, she wasn't there when he got the marks and most likely heard what happened from Danarius, it's entirely possible she's just saying what she thinks happened.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: If Fenris doesn't kill her, she leaves the Hanged Man, but there is no mention of what becomes of her afterwards.
Keeper Marethari Talas
Appears in: Origins | Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Carolyn Seymour (Dragon Age: 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.
- Accomplice by Inaction: Marethari informed the Sabrae clan of what Merrill intended to do with the mirror, which encouraged them to hate and fear Merrill for researching the eluvian and learning blood magic by a spirit. While she tells Merrill that it was her duty to warn them as their Keeper, it's implied that she actually did so with the hopes that the resulting harassments and ostracization that Merrill will be faced with will cause her to stop. All the while, Marethari — while clearly voicing her disapproval of Merrill's actions — never once joins in on the verbal castigations herself.
- Ambiguous Situation: Is the eluvian really dangerous and Marethari is protecting Merrill from a dark path? Or did Merrill prove it was safe by cleansing it of the darkspawn taint that infected Tamlen and Mahariel, and Marethari is doubling down by claiming it's still dangerous for vague reasons, stonewalling Merrill's attempts to safely repair it at every turn, and ensures Merrill's quest ends in failure by letting the demon possess her because deep down Marethari is too proud to admit she might be wrong about the eluvian? Whether Hawke pursues a Friendship or Rivalry path can give credence to either interpretation.
- Given what we learn about the nature of spirits and demons in the next game, was the "spirit" that Merrill encountered really a demon out to possess Merrill and Marethari saved her from it? Or was it a Spirit of Wisdom when Merrill approached it seeking knowledge (and willing to give it the benefit of the doubt), but Marethari (and by extension, the rest of the clan) subconsciously corrupted into Pride Demon due to her refusal to see it as anything else (as spirits are forced to reflect the expectations of mortals)? Again, whether Hawke pursues a Friendship or Rival path gives credence to either interpretation.
- It is also ambiguous when exactly Marethari became possessed. The barrier blocking the way to Audacity's prison disappears between acts 1 and 2, indicating that Marethari became possessed in the interim. This raises the question of how much Marethari turning the rest of the clan against Merrill was really of her own volition.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Deconstructed. Marethari believes Merrill is going down a dark path due to her belief that the eluvian, blood magic, and spirits are all inherently dangerous, and does everything in her power to prevent Merrill from restoring the eluvian. However, Merrill is shown to always mean well with her actions and uses every precaution to restore the eluvian slowly and carefully to ensure minimal risk to herself or others. Even if there was no complete guarantee that Merrill would be able to keep everything under control, Marethari's efforts to sabotage Merrill's research by any means necessary do far more harm than any of Merrill's research itself, culminating in Marethari allowing the demon to possess her behind Merrill's back.
- 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.
- Both Sides Have a Point: At the end of the game, both Marethari and Merrill made some fair points about the eluvian. Marethari is right that the eluvian tainted Tamlen and Mahariel and thus it's dangerous. Merrill counters that it only tainted them due to the darkspawn corruption, and with a cleansing ritual purging the taint the eluvian is safe to handle. Marethari counters that consorting with demons and blood magic is not a toy. Merrill counters that she only resorted to learning blood magic from a demon because Marethari refused to help her practice the ritual safely with lyrium, and has otherwise limited contact with the demon and used due diligence to ensure its safety. Whether one agrees with Marethari or Merrill more can largely depend on whether Hawke pursues a Friendship or Rival path with Merrill.
- Control Freak: Implied. Merrill mentions that Marethari kept her separate from the rest of the clan so she could focus on her studies as Keeper's First. While understandable, given that Merrill was brought in from another clan as a little girl, this just kept her even more isolated and lonely. Merrill also mentions that Marethari liked to "lecture her" a lot, though it's up to the player to interpret just what kind of lectures they were. However, it was when Merrill deviated from Marethari's approved lesson plan by trying to research the eluvian that Marethari refused to hear her out. When Marethari couldn't dissuade her from studying the mirror, she informed the clan of Merrill's plans which resulted in them treating her like an outsider, and it's implied that Marethari is hoping that the alienation would pressure Merrill into stopping her plans. It is eerily similar to some situations where if abusers can no longer control someone, they try to control how other people view them.
- Demonization: Whether it was what she truly intended or not, Marethari telling the clan about Merrill's deal with the spirit (or demon, depending on the player's interpretation) causes the clan to fear and hate Merrill to the point that they see her as little more than a demon wearing elven skin, even before Hawke shows up.
- Demonic Possession: Allows herself to be possessed by the demon in the mirror to protect Merrill.
- Destructive Saviour: Marethari's methods to keep Merrill from researching the eluvian end up doing more harm to her clan than Merrill herself. Keeping the Clan near Kirkwall for years causes the clan to suffer from hunger, harassment by Templars, several hunters getting killed by a varterral, and ultimately culminates in Marethari letting the demon possess her, and can result in her entire Clan being wiped out in a violent confrontation with Merrill unless Hawke chooses the right dialogue option to soothe their tempers.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: She 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.
- Didn't Think This Through: Sure, sacrificing herself by letting the demon possess her to save Merrill was a noble intention, but Marethari went to the spirit without informing the rest of her Clan, which resulted in them wandering into the cave to look for her just after she became possessed and Merrill arrived, which can result in a violent confrontation that can leave her whole clan killed.
- Dumbass Has a Point: She's less of a dumbass and more of a mentor who holds the Idiot Ball way more often than she should. Nevertheless, she raises a good point when she reminds Merrill that the eluvian cost their clan the lives of Tamlen and Mahariel (whether or not the latter becomes a Warden). Even when taking into consideration the cleansing of the mirror's corruption and the possibility of learning more about their history, it's easy to understand why the clan (sans Merrill) doesn't want to have anything to do with the mirror.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: She firmly believes (and repeatedly reminds Merrill) that messing around with eluvians, blood magic and demons is not a safe hobby, albeit not without reason.
- Fatal Flaw: Stubbornness and Pride, much like Merrill. She let her reputation as the Keeper and Merrill's mentor go to her head and thus believes she is always right, even when shown direct evidence that there is an alternative, or when called out on some of her more questionable actions.
- Figure It Out Yourself: When it comes to Merrill, she expects Hawke to do what she would do without properly informing them of the truth behind the eluvian.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She sacrifices herself to the demon residing in Sundermount in order to prevent Merrill from suffering the same fate. That said, it ultimately becomes a Senseless Sacrifice, given how she failed to inform anyone of her plans beforehand, let alone outright tell Merrill or Hawke long before about what the demon possibly had planned with Merrill.
- 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 (supposedly), but in Act 3 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, either to Merrill herself or to Hawke. Doubles up as an Out of Character moment when you consider how much unrelated stuff she does share with Hawke.
- If she had simply explained to Hawke why she wants to keep Merrill out of harm's way, it would have been nipped in the bud very early in the game. While one could argue that she might not have trusted Hawke as a shemlen, the argument does not hold up that much, given that after Hawke befriends Merrill, and (potentially) helps Feynriel on Acts 1 and 2, she'd realize that Hawke is a friend to the Dalish.
- Her Heroic Sacrifice. She went to the demon and allowed it to possess her without telling the rest of her clan, which ensured that they went wandering over to the cave looking for her, which then ensured that they would stumble into either the newly possessed Marethari (who probably would have slaughtered them all), or Hawke and Merrill (whom Marethari spent years turning the clan against) after the latter neutralized the demon. Either way, Marethari clearly didn't consider how her actions would affect her clan in the long run.
- I Gave My Word: Downplayed. When Merrill approaches Marethari to ask for the arulin'holm to repair the eluvian, she invokes a right where she performs a service for them, to which then they are honor-bound to fulfill her request. When said request is performed, Marethari does give the arulin'holm, but she gives it to Hawke rather than to Merrill in the hopes that they will withhold the artifact from Merrill. Marethari may have agreed to give the arulin'holm, but was never specific on her terms regarding who she would give it to.
- Informed Attribute: She's presented as a Big Good and Team Mom who keeps a watchful eye over Merrill and asks Hawke to keep her on the right path, and braves entering a city run by Templars to help Feynriel when his dreams become too much for him. However, she's repeatedly shown to endanger her clan by prioritizing Merrill. She keeps her (nomadic) clan on Sundermount for years so she can stay close to Kirkwall to watch over Merrill, which leaves the clan vulnerable to being harassed by Templars (one of whom kidnaps and tortures an elven child to try to provoke the Dalish into attacking), vulnerable to hunger since they've picked through the forage and hunting grounds for years, Marethari's actions contribute to Pol's death since he rushes straight into danger to flee from Merrill, and her Senseless Sacrifice can lead to the death of her whole clan due to letting the demon possess her behind their backs just as Merrill was returning, ensuring that Merrill, possessed Marethari, and the clan would all cross paths for a violent confrontation.
- While she is convinced that Merrill's quest to repair the eluvian will endanger the clan, Marethari actually endangers the clan far more by keeping them on Sundermount for years to keep an eye on Merrill (creating hunger when they pick through most of the local wildlife, allowing them to be harassed by Templars, getting several hunters eaten by a Vartarrel) to prevent Merrill from restoring the eluvian than Merrill ever did by working on the eluvian herself.
- Marethari is convinced that Merrill's quest to restore the eluvian will end with her getting possessed by the demon, yet Marethari willingly lets the demon possess her to keep it away from Merrill. And to double the irony, Marethari let the demon possess her without letting Hawke, Merrill, or the rest of her clan know, which just put everyone's lives in danger when they stumbled upon her unaware. Meanwhile, Merrill knew the demon might try to possess her and brought Hawke along to give her a Mercy Kill if need be to ensure that if any possible resulting damage is mitigated and kept to a minimum. In short, in spite of Marethari's repeated warnings, Merrill is seen taking more precautions to protect those around her than Marethari ever did.
- The Millstone: Marethari does everything in her power to prevent Merrill from restoring the eluvian at every turn. When Merrill asked for help using a magic ritual to cleanse the eluvian shard of its darkspawn taint, Marethari refused. When Merrill used blood magic to power the ritual instead, it's implied that Marethari (subtly) turned the clan against Merrill in the hopes their scorn would force Merrill to quit. When Merrill went into self-imposed exile instead, Marethari encouraged Hawke to prevent Merrill from researching the eluvian. When Merrill returned to the spirit she learned blood magic from as a last resort (with safeguards in place in case it tried to possess her) to learn how to activate it, Marethari let the demon possess her behind Merrill's back, ensuring that whatever knowledge it might have had will die with her.
- Logical Fallacies: Marethari points to Tamlen and Mahariel being tainted as "proof" the eluvian is dangerous. Merrill counters the eluvian was just corrupted by darkspawn taint, learned a ritual to cleanse the taint, and asked for lyrium to power the ritual. Marethari refused, which caused Merrill to learn blood magic from a spirit to power the ritual herself. However, even after Merrill had purged the darkspawn taint from the shard (which no longer made it dangerous or fatal upon touch), Marethari just pointed to Merrill learning blood magic from a demon as "proof" that the shard is still dangerous and Merrill is still going down a dark path by researching it. However, in Merrill's final personal quest, Marethari states outright that darkspawn taint or no, she (and her clan) does not want to do anything with the very artifact that led to the deaths of (possibly) two well-loved members of the clan.
- The Mentor: Serves as one to Merrill, even after she enters her self-imposed exile.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: It's pretty sad to watch. Of course, she chose that herself.
- Never My Fault: For all her intentions, she is guilty of the trope many times over.
- While she is aggrieved towards Merrill for refusing to listen to her, she refuses to listen to Merrill as well. One of the main conflicts in Merrill's personal quests is that neither Merrill nor Marethari are willing to meet each other halfway.
- She refused to try the ritual or provide lyrium to cleanse the shard, but is never seen acknowledging that her refusal to help was part of the reason Merrill learned blood magic in the first place. Even if Merrill was impatient for not trying to look for any other possible options, it doesn't change the fact that Marethari refused to help Merrill every step of the way.
- Marethari ends up turning the clan against Merrill by telling them of what Merrill did to cleanse the eluvian shard and warning them of what she perceives would be the possible consequences of Merrill's actions, and it's implied that she was hoping that the clan's hostile reactions would pressure Merrill into giving up her research. However, Marethari then claims Merrill brought their hatred and fear on herself.
- Marethari also refused to take responsibility for Pol's death, even though it was because of her fearmongering that caused Pol to be so terrified of Merril that he ended up fleeing straight into the monster.
- Noodle Incident: We never find out in the game what happened that caused her to owe a debt to Flemeth. However, The World of Thedas Vol. 2 reveals that she made a bargain with Flemeth to exact vengeance on the Avvar who attacked her clan and killed her husband.
- Obi-Wan Moment: The Act 3 quest "Pride's End."
- Parental Substitute: Since Merrill was taken from her birth clan after her magic manifested, Marethari essentially functioned as her mother figure.
- Poor Communication Kills: For seven years, she tells Merrill that trying to repair an ancient magic mirror is dangerous and will 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 that of the entire clan.
- Pride: Both she and Merrill are alike in that they're too proud to change their minds about what they believe should be done. Hawke can agree or disagree with either of them depending on whether they pursue a Friendship or Rivalry path with Merrill.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: For all the flaws she has shown in her disagreement with Merrill and how she handles their conflict, Marethari proves to be capable of governing other matters properly, like in Feynriel's case.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Marethari spends seven years warning Merrill that repairing the eluvian will end in doom and endanger the clan. Marethari ensures this is the only possible outcome by sabotaging Merrill's attempts to repair the eluvian at every turn, all while keeping the clan near Kirkwall (which endangers them for years), ending with the demon possessing Marethari because Marethari offered herself to it behind everyone's backs.
- Slippery Slope Fallacy:
- Marethari believes that the eluvians and all other relics of the ancient elves were lost for a reason, and that pursuing that knowledge is inherently dangerous. To that end, Marethari stonewalls Merrill's attempts to safely research and restore the eluvian at every turn, which ironically drives Merrill to use more reckless methods to restore the eluvian (such as learning blood magic from a spirit after Marethari refused to help her power a cleansing ritual), which Marethari then used as "proof" that the eluvian itself is dangerous.
- Likewise, Marethari also seems believes that since repairing the eluvians is dangerous, that means her methods of keeping Merrill from restoring the eluvian would ensure no one gets harmed, even though doing so actually directly endangers her clan for years and has cost them some lives. On top of this, Marethari letting the demon possess her behind her clan's back causes her to attack Merrill, and can result in her entire clan being killed in a violent confrontation with Merrill, Hawke, and co.
- Stupid Sacrifice: Mary Kirby, the writer for Merrill's story arc, stated that Marethari's "sacrifice" and Merrill's various sacrifices were an example of how some women’s instinct to willingly sacrifice and suffer for the sake of their loved ones can become vicious and toxic.
- Team Mom: To the whole clan, but especially Merrill. That said, she constantly endangers the clan in her attempts to protect Merrill (see Informed Attribute).
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: She refuses to try to restore the eluvian because she believes the knowledge was "lost for a reason." Merrill counters that as Keepers it's their job to try to restore their people's lost knowledge, both good and bad, so they can learn from it and guide their people to a brighter future. The first game did show, however, that Marethari was curious about the eluvian, but decided that it wasn't worth examining further when it had already cost the lives of some of the people of her clan.
- Vagueness Is Coming: She cryptically warns Merrill many times that the eluvian is dangerous and that researching it will lead Merrill down a dark path, but doesn't elaborate how it's dangerous. While she does have a point in her claim that it was fatal to Tamlen and possibly Mahariel as well, Merrill cleansed the shard of the darkspawn taint, which was what made the eluvian dangerous in the first place. That aside, she also points out to Merrill learning blood magic to cleanse the shard (which Merrill only did when Marethari wouldn't help her power the cleansing ritual) and that consorting with demons is dangerous. Marethari then allowed the demon to possess her behind her clan's back, thus ironically creating the catastrophe she warned Merrill against.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Possibly. Given that Dragon Age: Inquisition reveals that spirits and demons are shaped by the emotions and expectations of mortals, it's possible that Merrill really did encounter a "Spirit" of Wisdom trying to share knowledge, and Marethari inadvertently corrupted it into a Pride Demon due to her own Pride, or her stubborn refusal to see it as anything but a demon out to possess Merrill (which might have forced the spirit to play the role) subconsciously willed it to be a demon because deep down she wanted to be proven right and Merrill wrong about the whole thing. Nothing is confirmed, however, and the player is left to guess which could be the most likely truth.
Appears in: Origins | Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Yuri Lowenthal (Dragon Age: Origins), Alec Newman (Dragon Age II)
Fenarel is a Dalish Elf and a member of the Sabrae Clan.
- All of the Other Reindeer: He ostracizes Merrill, along with the rest of the clan, in the second game.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's pretty much the only member of Clan Sabrae who's willing to be civil to Merrill, even if he doesn't trust her. After Marethari is killed in A New Path, only Fenarel is willing to hear the party out, and will convince the other hunters to stand down if Hawke says they take responsibility for Merrill.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In the first game, he's very nice and helpful. In the second game, he's more hostile and closed-minded toward Merrill, like the rest of the clan. He also tries to kill her if Hawke doesn't take responsibility for her in A New Path.
- We Used to Be Friends: Like most of Clan Sabrae, Fenarel used to be on good terms with Merrill, but then things soured between them after Merrill started using blood magic.
Appears in: Origins | Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Yuri Lowenthal
A city elf who joined Clan Sabrae in the first game.
- Birds of a Feather: He was the one Merrill was closest to (besides Mahariel and Tamlen) because they were both outsiders who joined Clan Sabrae later in life. However, their kinship has clearly soured by the events of the second game.
- I Just Want to Be Free: He left the city because he was tired of living under human rule.
- Too Dumb to Live: It certainly was anything but wise of Pol to decide that Merrill is the bigger threat around and run back straight into the jaws of the fifty-foot monster he was just running from.
- We Used to Be Friends: Like most of Clan Sabrae, Pol used to be on good terms with Merrill (moreso since they were both outsiders), but then Merrill started using blood magic, which caused both Marethari and the rest of the clan to become displeased with Merrill.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Rick D. Wasserman (English), Tobias Kluckert (German)
The leader of the Qunari army. He and his men were stranded in Kirkwall after a storm crashed their ships, although he insists they cannot leave until his task is complete.
- 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. As one can only ascend into higher ranks in Qunari society by being better at one's role, the Arishok is essentially the strongest Qunari in the world.
- Large and in Charge: The largest as well.
- 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.
- Catchphrase: 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, albeit with collateral damage on the side.
- Climax Boss: His defeat is Hawke's 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.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Like most Qunari, he's easily frustrated by problems that don't match his narrow skill-set, which is why he's such a terrible diplomat and spends three years stuck in Kirkwall trying to find one stolen book.
- Damn With Faint Praise: Bring Fenris with you to meet him, and show some understanding of the Qun, and the Arishok will say he's less disgusted with you than he expected.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Hawke has to fight him at the end of the second act, either through Combat by Champion or the Qunari vs. Hawke's party. Either way, defeating the Arishok earns Hawke the title of "Champion of Kirkwall."
- Dual Wielding: Dual-wields a longsword and an ax.
- Duel Boss: You can choose to have Hawke accept his challenge of Combat by Champion as Act II's boss battle. If you choose to do so, it's a one-on-one match between Hawke and the Arishok. If you refuse, you fight the Arishok and his guards with your party members. Neither way is easy.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Even the Arishok is personally disgusted by the racial injustice Kirkwall's elves suffer, and pulls no punches telling Aveline as much. (He's also sickened by the number of people languishing in poverty while Kirkwall's elite grow fat off their labor.)
- He pauses for a moment as if taken aback if Hawke agrees to hand over Isabela.
- 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. The Arishok is the leader of the Qunari military, and one-third of the triumvirate which governs the Qun as a whole.
- 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.
- 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. However, he doesn't reveal that the real reason they've arrived is to reclaim the relic Isabela stole.
- Horned Humanoid: Like all the Qunari in Kirkwall, he has horns. His, however, are particularly impressive.
- Jerkass Has a Point: As terse and uncooperative as he is, the Arishok is not wrong about how casually corrupt, exploitative, and chaotic Kirkwall is. He's not wrong that the city runs on a small elite of lazy, corrupt, incompetent nobles getting fat off the labor of the three starving lower towns, and how these societal roles are assigned by birth rather than merit like in the Qun. He's also one of the very few characters in the game to show disgust over the systemic injustice against elves. This causes several characters (including party members) to see the Arishok in a morally-fuzzy way. The Arishok may be a jerk, but he's not exactly wrong.
- 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.
- Kryptonite Factor: In keeping with the Qunari hatred of magic, he's extremely vulnerable to anything magical in nature because he has absolutely no magical resistances — every single spell and status effect will affect him in full no questions asked. Warriors and rogues will have a hard time defeating him due to his heavy armor, insanely huge health pool and devastating melee attacks, but a properly built mage with a good mix of stunning and damaging spells can curbstomp him in fairly short order without suffering a single hit in return.
- Large and in Charge: A veritable mountain of bulging muscles and armor, the Arishok is both the supreme commander of the Qunari military and their finest warrior.
- Lawful Stupid: The Arishok follows the Qun, and allows no deviation. He's even stuck in a city he openly hates — for three years at that — all because the Qun demands that he get one book back from the one who stole it. Arishok even cops to it if you call him out.Hawke: I see a man willing to start a war on principle.
Arishok: And what would the Qunari be without principle? You, I expect.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Varric directly names this trope in Dragon Age: Inquisition in relation to the Arishok. Since his actions weren't officially sanctioned and the Qunari didn't want to suffer an Exalted March in retaliation, the Qunari said this in relation to the whole affair when they came to retrieve any surviving forces. According to Varric, that was the Qunari's attempt at an apology.
- Lightning Bruiser: The guy is big, he hits hard, and he hits fast.
- The Man Behind the Man: He was the one who sent Sten from the first game and his comrades to Ferelden to answer the question, "What is the Blight?"
- Marathon Boss: He also has plenty of HP and health potions. If you duel him, prepare for a slog on anything above Easy.
- 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. This could be considered a truthful statement, since we later learn that 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 not waiting for a ship to come and get them; they're waiting to find the second ship that arrived with them, in the hopes of retrieving its precious cargo.
- 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 Final Boss. While important to the story, he has nothing to do with the game's final act.
- 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.
- Pet the Dog: He welcomes the elven brothers into the Qun and goes to bat for them against Guard Captain Aveline, because he finds their cause just.
- Poor Communication Kills: He spends the majority of the game remaining tight-lipped about what is keeping him in Kirkwall, claiming that the bas "cannot understand" his duty. As it turns out, his mission is to recover a holy relic of his people, something that is, in fact, entirely understandable to humans (or anyone else) and his stay might have been a lot shorter and less complicated had he simply approached the Kirkwall Guard for assistance.
- Principles Zealot: And proud of it! As far as he's concerned, not being a principled and zealous enforcer of the Qun would make him no better than the casually corrupt and self-serving Kirkwall nobility he so despises, and he has no interest in being that.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers one to the nobility of Kirkwall at the climax of Act 2.Arishok: 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!
Arishok: Their actions are mere symptoms. Your society is the disease. They have chosen. The viddathari will submit to the Qun and find a path your way has denied them.
- He gives a similar one to Aveline regarding how she handles the elven brothers' claim that one of her guards raped their sister; she ignored the brothers when they tried to report a crime, but then dropped everything she was doing to arrest them first thing when they decided to seek justice themselves. He accuses Aveline to her face of being complicit in the systemic corruption and injustice that she claims to be fighting.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: If Hawke appeases 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. Similarly, if he dies, Varric states that the Qunari officially disavow his actions, meaning that his dying threat of the Qunari returning is somewhat empty.
- 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.
- Skippable Boss: You don't have to fight him, but it means handing over Isabela.
- 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.
- Take a Third Option: He practically lampshades it. He can't leave without the relic, and can't stay and remind blind to the city's "dysfunction." The only solution he sees open to him is to correct the city's problems - by force.
- 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. (Alternately, he could also simply not respect Aveline as a person, since he makes it clear that he sees her unwillingness to deal with the guard accused of raping their sister, but her insistence on arresting the elves who killed said guard when they got tired of waiting for her to do anything, as proof of her weak moral character, and thus unworthy of his attention.)
- The Unfought: If you choose to give Isabela to the Qunari, the Arishok promptly leaves the city. The relic she stole was literally the only reason they stayed in Kirkwall all those years.
- Weaksauce Weakness: His boss fight is actually ridiculously easy if the player does Legacy first and retrieves the Hawke's Key, then uses the exploit to overpower it with all twelve of the optional bonuses. Dodge his first charge, let him get stuck in a wall, and hit him repeatedly; it's all over in about thirty seconds.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: After being pushed too far by one too many anti-Qunari extremists, one of the Arishok's motivations for invading Kirkwall to bring it under the Qun is to cleanse Kirkwall of its corruption, class exploitation, and racial inequality. No more casually corrupt, incompetent nobles exploiting the starving lower towns; no more systematic racial inequality for elves or surface dwarves. However, most characters agree that launching a full-scale invasion of the city, killing countless citizens in the process, is not worth whatever improvements the Arishok thinks he's making to the city.
- Worthy Opponent: He identifies Hawke as the most "promising" in Kirkwall early in their acquaintance. This is actually the name of an achievement you can earn by being honest with him and gaining his respect. Should you earn the Arishok's respect, he refers to Hawke as "basalit-an", which is the Qunari term for a worthy foe. And coming from the Arishok, that's saying something.
- Arishok: I don't call anyone in Kirkwall an ally or even a good rival. But you have shown competence.
Arishok: Panahedan, Hawke. I do not hope you die.
Arishok: This is what respect looks like, bas! Some of you will never earn it.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race:
- Some of his comments to a Hawke he respects fairly drip with this sentiment.
- He'll also show this to Fenris, if Fenris is with Hawke during the first meeting with the Arishok. Fenris saying the Qun surprises the Arishok, who never expected to hear an elf say it. Fenris further showing respect to the Arishok prompts him to remark, "I have a growing lack of disgust for you."
- 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.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
"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.
- 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.
- Death Before Dishonor: Ketojan magically immolates himself or allows himself to be killed rather than disobey the tenets of the Qun.
- Eye Scream: Zigzagged. The blood stains on his mask imply something... unpleasant. Though if you look closely; he does still have eyes behind his mask.
- Face Death with Dignity: Rather than go on the run, he either allows himself to be killed, or immolates himself.
- Hidden Depths: He's smart enough to see Petrice and Ser Varnell for the vile, self-serving fanatics they are.Ketojan: The sister was not honest. I cannot say what she wanted, but it was certainty not of the Qun. And her guard smelled of death.
- 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).
- Unwanted Rescue: Downplayed. He was willing to die since he knew that was what the Qun demanded of him, but if Hawke chooses to defend him from Arvaarad, before killing himself he tells Hawke that he appreciates his intention to save him, even if it was misguided.
A group of elven converts accused of killing a guard for raping their sister.
- Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear whether the guard they killed deserved death, or if they jumped to conclusions. It's equally unclear whether they genuinely converted or are using the Arishok to avoid facing punishment for killing said guard.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": They are only referred to as "Viddathari", which is a term used for outsiders who have become Qunari converts.
- Fantastic Racism: On the receiving end of this due to being elves living in Kirkwall. Their plight is the main reason the Arishok is willing to go to bat for them.
- Hiding Behind Religion: Hawke can suggest to the Arishok that the brothers haven't really converted to the Qun and are simply using the Arishok as a shield to avoid punishment. The Arishok knows it's a possibility, but believes their reasons are irrelevant.
- Rape and Revenge: According to them, one of Aveline's guards raped their sister, and when they tried to report it they were turned away, so they took revenge by killing the guard themselves.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Although they're never named and appear for only a brief while, they serve as the catalyst for the climax of Act 2, prompting the Arishok's invasion of Kirkwall, murder of the Viscount, Hawke's ascension to the Champion of Kirkwall, and creating a power vacuum for Meredith to fill.
- Society Is to Blame: The Arishok firmly believes the Fantastic Racism they face as elves in Kirkwall justifies their actions. The Arishok also knows their conversion is probably insincere, but is still willing to welcome them into the Qun and shield them as one of his own.The Arishok: Their actions are mere symptoms. Your society is the disease. They have chosen. The viddathari will submit to the Qun and find a path your way has denied them.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Keith Szarabajka
A minor character and Tal-Vashoth, Maraas leaves the Qun to take up life as a mercenary.
- 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 vashoth 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
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Christopher Godwin (English), Björn Schalla (German)
He was appointed to his rank 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.
- Apparently Powerless Puppetmaster: He starts out as this...
- Authority in Name Only: ...then gets reduced to this. See below.
- Big Good: In Act 2.
- 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?"
- Good Parents/Parents as People: He's unfortunately too busy attempting to govern a Wretched Hive to be a very effective father. That said, he clearly loves his son and wants him to be happy; he just wishes that there was a good way to balance the wants and needs of Kirkwall with those of Saemus.
- 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.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His only child is killed by Mother Petrice late in Act 2. Dumar doesn't outlive him by very long, though.
- 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. He's also savvy enough to recognize that Hawke is a strong force for good within the city. Unlike Elthina, Dumar is willing to take steps to directly deal with Kirkwall's problems, inasmuch as his position allows.
- 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 onward.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Daniel Curshen
The only child of the Viscount, Saemus 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 this 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.
- Missing Mom: His mother is never mentioned in the game; supplemental material confirms that she died before his father was appointed Viscount.
- Nice Guy: A bit clueless about the real world, but a pleasant person and very grateful to a Hawke who treats him gently and is respectful about Ashaad's death. Upon seeing that Hawke has come to the Keep, he greets them and notes that in his opinion, they are "a good influence" for the city.
- Non-Action Guy: He is not built for any kind of violent activity and this leads to his death.
- Only Child Syndrome: He is the Viscount's only child and his mother has been dead for years; his father is busy dealing with the turbulent city and the mounting tensions between the various factions, meaning that Saemus is left to his own devices a lot. This contributes heavily to the way his part of the story plays out.
- Pardon My Klingon/Precision F-Strike: Angrily calls his "rescuer" Vashedan-bitch.
- Sacrificial Lion: His Plotline Death kicks off Act 2's downward spiral.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Talking to him quickly reveals his lack of experience in the world outside his own home.
- Strong Family Resemblance: He looks a lot like a younger version of his father.
- "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.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: David Sterne
A corrupt magistrate who uses his position of power to keep his Serial Killer son out of jail.
- Corrupt Politician: Uses his position as a magistrate to shield his son from any kind of justice.
- Expy: Of Arl Urian Kendells from the City Elf Origin. Urian was also described as a "good man" who tried to reign in his son's elven serial killing. However, he too had a serious blind spot when it came to his own son, and ultimately used his position of power to shield his son from receiving any kind of justice for his elven serial killing.
- Fantastic Racism: It's clear from his tone that he looks down on elves when he mentions that he won't let his son go to jail because of the "rumors" they make up.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: He uses his power as a magistrate to sweep his son's crimes under the rug.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: If Hawke opts to kill his son instead of returning him alive, Vanard swears revenge on Hawke. He's then never seen or heard from again.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Jamie Glover
The serial killing son of Magistrate Vanard.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: Killing Kelder is pretty much the only action that all of Hawke's companions agree on. Every companion gains Friendship points for killing him (and Rivalry points for sparing him), and it's implied the entire Kirkwall Alienage celebrates his death as well.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: When Kelder broke down crying after kidnapping and torturing Lia (a little elven girl), she asked him if he was all right. He was so moved by her kindness that he told her to run and he fled further into the ruins himself, hoping the monsters would kill him before he could hurt her further.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: While Vaughan Kendells in the City Elf Origin relished kidnapping, raping, and murdering elven women, Kelder Vanard is horrified and disgusted by kidnapping, torturing, and murdering elven children, but is too mentally ill to stop himself.
- Death Seeker: By the time Hawke meets him, he's actively trying to die. He moved further into a monster-infested ruin hoping the creatures would eat him, and begs Hawke to end his life too once they catch up to him.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: By modern standards, Kelder is clearly mentally ill and needs to be institutionalized. However, he lives in a Low Fantasy where there are no mental health services and literal demons regularly possess mages, and since he's neither a mage nor literally possessed then most people assume he's just shifting blame. He's also the son of a magistrate who uses his power to shield him from justice.
- Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: He finds elven children too "beautiful" and "perfect" to be allowed to live. See his character quote.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Literally begs Hawke to kill him so he can't hurt any more elven children. He's sane enough to be horrified by his actions, but mentally ill enough that he can't stop himself.
- Insane Equals Violent: He's otherwise kind and gentle, but the "demons" (auditory hallucinations and possible psychotic tendencies) make him a murderously violent Serial Killer.
- Lima Syndrome: Took pity on Lia, the little elven girl he kidnapped and tortured (and is implied to have raped), because she showed him kindness despite all he'd done to her.
- Meaningful Name: "Kelder Vanard" is a very similar sounding name to "Vaughan Kendells" (the Starter Villain of the City Elf Origin), another human Serial Killer of elves whose noble father shielded him from any kind of justice. It's almost a Significant Anagram, but falls short by a few letters.
- Morton's Fork: If Hawke kills him, they're killing a mentally ill person who can't help themselves. If Hawke lets him live, then his magistrate father enables him to keep kidnapping and killing elven children. There is no good outcome to this quest.
- Never My Fault: Played with. He knows deep down there's something wrong with him and he doesn't enjoy hurting elven children (like everyone thinks), but he believes he's possessed by literal demons who force him to do terrible things, and insists he's not mad and not responsible for his actions.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: It's implied that he raped the elven children he kidnapped and tortured (given the way he describes them being "so beautiful, so perfect," and how vaguely he and others describe what he does before killing them), though it's never confirmed.
- Reluctant Psycho: So much so that he literally begs Hawke to kill him so he can't hurt any more elven children, as he tried for years to stop himself but couldn't and he knows his father will just sweep his crimes under the rug.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Hawke can realize that Kelder isn't evil, but ill and needs help. Lia (Kelder's victim) also expresses sympathy for his mental illness when you meet her. However, since there's no way to spare Kelder without enabling him to kill future elven children, and Kelder himself wants to die, Hawke can reluctantly put him down.
- Tragic Villain: He's not malicious, he's mentally ill and unable to get proper treatment because Thedas lacks any real understanding of what's wrong with him.
First Lieutenant Donnic Hendyr
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Daniel Curshen
A member of the Kirkwall city guard. Aveline's Love Interest and potential second husband, starting in Act 2.
- 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 that they think highly of Donnic, Act 3 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 a female 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 is the one who's trying to do exactly that!
- 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 1, but after that he's a dedicated asskicker. And he helps out in the Final Battle, if Aveline is in your active party.
- By-the-Book Cop: Very much so.
- City Guards: Holds the rank of Guardsman.
- 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 3 she again comes to his aid during her companion quest.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: During Aveline's Act 2 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).
- Happily Married: To Aveline, if you finish the quest "The Long Road" correctly. It's mentioned in Act 3 that they spent three weeks honeymooning in Orlais and are considering starting a family.
- Heroes Want Redheads: He's clearly enamoured with Aveline from his first appearance.
- 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.
- To Aveline's surprise, he and Anders are familiar enough to discuss their concerns about Meredith's behaviour.
- Rescue Romance: Aveline comes to his rescue in Act 1, after realising he's walking into a trap.
- That Came Out Wrong: "It will be grand having you over me. Above me! In rank."
- Write Who You Know: In-universe it's implied that "Donnen Brennokovic," the main character of Varric's popular serial novel Hard in Hightown, is a Composite Character based on (or at least named for) Donnic and his fellow guardsman Brennan Evighan, as well as possibly some of the other Kirkwall city guards.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: His disgusted reaction to being given a lightweight patrol.
Seneschal Bran Cavin
Appears in: Dragon Age II | Inquisition
Voiced by: Alec Newman
The seneschal of Kirkwall. After Viscount Dumar's death, he's the highest ranking government official in the city, and is eventually named Provisional Viscount.
- Beleaguered Bureaucrat/Obstructive Bureaucrat: Has aspects of both. Kirkwall is by no means an easy city to help govern and one could hardly blame Bran for being a little snippy due to stress, but his arrogance and general unpleasantness really do not help any situation.Bran: My door is always... closed.
- In the Trespasser DLC of Inquisition, as the advisor of Varric, he's forced to put up with the new Viscount's flippant usage of his power and his disdain for paperwork.
- The Cameo: He appears in the Mark of the Assassin DLC, at Duke Prosper's party in Chateau Haine, with Serendipity as his date. He also appears in the Trespasser DLC of Inquisition.Tallis: Awkward...
- Deadpan Snarker: Starts out this way, and has perfected it by Inquisition. His form letter response to offers of "aid" from other nations is dripping with disdain.
- First-Name Basis: Everyone calls him Seneschal Bran. You only know his last name if you read the codex or other supplemental material.
- Gracefully Demoted: He's not happy about having to take on the role of Provisional Viscount, and grateful to be able to go back to being just the seneschal. See Reluctant Ruler, below.
- Insistent Terminology: In Trespasser, whenever the Inquisitor or Varric mentions Bran acting as Viscount after Marlowe Dumar's death and before Varric took over, Bran immediately interjects with "Provisional Viscount".
- Jerkass: Not the least bit nice to Hawke, even after they stop the Qunari uprising, and a diplomatic Hawke trying to be friendly will find themselves soundly rebuffed. If Hawke is female, Leandra starts looking to find her a husband of suitable rank, and mentions that Bran has a son around Hawke's age; this trope may be why nothing ever comes of it.
- Loyal to the Position: He is loyal to whomever is in charge of Kirkwall and does his best to avoid becoming embroiled in any conflict. This becomes a problem for him after the Arishok kills Dumar, since Meredith's obstruction means there's nobody filling the position in question and he feels like he has a target on his back.
- Pet the Dog:
- While his dislike for Hawke is made clear, he expresses his condolences after Leandra's death by stating he's not unsympathetic to Hawke's loss.
- He shows sorrow for Saemus's death, even though they verbally butt heads most of the time.Bran: (somberly) You don't watch a child become a man and not feel something when he is lost.
- Reluctant Ruler: By Inquisition, he gets pushed into the Viscount's seat by "unpopular vote." His reluctance isn't so much self-doubt as him understandably not wanting the hassle; he makes a point, in documents and in the Trespasser DLC, of stressing that his position is that of the Provisional Viscount, and he's only too happy to give it up when a new one is selected.
- Sex for Services: He stops sending tax collectors after Fenris in exchange for Isabela sleeping with him.
- Supporting Leader: As Kirkwall's legal ruler in Inquisition, to Aveline's Hero.
- You Are in Command Now: Eventually voted to fill in as Viscount, mostly because he's the only one left in the city who actually knows how to run the government. By the time of Trespasser, he gladly goes back to being a Seneschal after Varric is elected in his place.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: John Rubinow
Elren is a city elf and merchant living in Kirkwall.
- Anger Born of Worry: He has an explosive temper when Hawke meets him, but only because his daughter was just kidnapped by a known elven child Serial Killer. If Hawke kills Kelder, then Elren mellows quickly. Regardless of Hawke's actions, Elren eventually writes a letter either thanking them for killing Kelder, or apologizing for yelling at them for not doing it.
- Fantastic Racism: On the receiving end of this. By his own words, despite all his wealth, he's still seen as just another elf to most casually racist humans.
- Foil: To Cyrion Tabris, the City Elf Warden's father. Both are surprisingly well-off city elven men, and fathers/uncles to an elven girl kidnapped by a human noble who is also a Serial Killer. However, while Cyrion is mild-mannered and forever optimistic that things could improve for elves, Elren is pretty hot-blooded and pessimistic that elves can ever get justice. Both become furious if the Player Character spares the Serial Killer, though Elren will eventually apologize and states that he understands that Hawke did what they felt they had to do, while Cyrion never forgives the Warden.
- It's the Principle of the Thing: He believes his daughter is already dead when Hawke first encounters him, but wants someone to put Kelder down so he can't hurt any more elven children. If Hawke spares Kelder, then even though Hawke already rescued Lia, Elren is furious since it'll just enable Kelder to hurt more elven children, and flees Kirkwall with his daughter.
- Meaningful Name: Swap the "r" with an "v" and his name is Elven.
- Missing Child: His daughter was kidnapped by a known Serial Killer, and law enforcement won't do a thing about it.
- Missing White Woman Syndrome: He calls the Kirkwall guards out for not caring about another abducted elven child, and claims that if it were shemlen children missing, they'd care more. Somewhat downplayed as the guards do express some sympathy for Elren's plight, but since the courts don't care enough about missing elven children, they're not willing to go against a magistrate for a lost cause.
- Papa Wolf: He isn't afraid to chew out the magistrate's guards for shielding a serial killer of elves, and pays Hawke good coin (by city elf standards) to rescue his daughter.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: If Hawke spares Kelder instead of killing him, it's the last straw for Elren and he leaves Kirkwall with his daughter.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Subverted. If Hawke spares Kelder, Elren chews them out and leaves Kirkwall with Lia. However, eventually Elren writes Hawke a letter apologizing for yelling and seeming ungrateful for them rescuing his daughter.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Lia is a city elf and the daughter of Elren.
- Does Not Like Men: If Hawke spares Kelder, then her father Elren reveals in a letter years later that Lia has grown to fear every man she meets is secretly a "monster in disguise."
- Hero-Worshipper: If Hawke killed Kelder, then Lia's father Elren reveals in his letter that she's "found a hero" in Hawke.
- In-Universe Catharsis: Downplayed. When Hawke first kills Kelder, Lia is the only one who's sad since she developed pity for her kidnapper. However, in the long run killing Kelder is the only way for Lia to gain any closure or move on from the encounter.
- Missing White Woman Syndrome: On the wrong end of this. Lia is abducted by a known Serial Killer, but most Kirkwall courts and guards don't care about another missing "knife-eared" child.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Downplayed. Lia begs Hawke to spare Kelder when they first meet. If Hawke honors her wish, then her father Elren reveals in a letter years later that Lia had unresolved trauma from the encounter, and now fears every man she meets is a "monster in disguise." If Hawke disregards her wish and kills Kelder, then when they meet again years later Lia admits she wasn't in her right mind when they met, and now she's glad he's dead.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: So beautiful, that a mentally ill Serial Killer felt compelled to kidnap, torture, (implied rape) and kill her for it.Kelder: That elf girl. She had no right to be so beautiful, so perfect. The demons said she needed to be taught a lesson, like all the others.
- Stockholm Syndrome: When Hawke first meets Lia, she's taken pity on Kelder (despite him kidnapping and torturing her), and begs Hawke to spare him. If Hawke kills Kelder, then Lia is the only one saddened by his death. However, Hawke can encounter Lia after a few time skips, and she reveals that she wasn't in her right mind when Hawke found her, and she's glad he's dead. If Hawke did spare Kelder, then Lia's father reveals in a letter that the trauma has gotten to her over time, and she fears every man she meets is a "monster in disguise."
- Sympathy for the Devil: Despite Kelder kidnapping and beating her, when he broke down crying she asked if he was okay, and begs Hawke to spare him. If Hawke kills Kelder anyway, only Lia is saddened by his death. Averted later in life, as Lia tells Hawke she wasn't in her right mind when they found her, and now she's glad he's dead.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: If Hawke spares Kelder, then the lack of closure regarding her kidnapping causes Lia to become paranoid that every man she meets is secretly a monster like him.
- Took a Level in Badass: If Hawke killed Kelder, then her father reveals in a letter that she's taken an interest in swordplay and combat, and hopes to join the city guard one day. If Aveline is in the party when Hawke meets her again, Lia reveals that she's joined the City Guard.
The Elven Fanatic
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: April Banigan
A fanatical elven woman determined to incite war between Kirkwall and the Qunari to prevent the latter from seducing more elves away from their heritage.
- Fantastic Racism: Part of the reason she wants to incite war between Kirkwall and the Qunari is to get back at the latter group for what she believes to be stealing elves away and causing them to forget their history and heritage.
- Idiot Ball: Like many Kirkwall residents, even after it becomes clear that her plan has failed and what she hoped to achieve wouldn't have been possible even if Hawke hadn't interfered, she becomes enraged by Hawke interfering anyway and attacks them. That being said, her words before attacking Hawke implies that she knows she's already done and decides to just go down killing more people while she still can.
- Loss of Identity: What she fears is happening to elves who convert to the Qun. They throw way their culture, community, and heritage for better material comforts within the Qun but at the cost of what makes them who they are.
- No Name Given: She's merely referred to as the "Elven Fanatic", but otherwise there's not even a hint as to what her name is.
- Sanity Slippage: It's clear that she's not all there by the time she shows herself to Hawke. It's implied that she's been poisoned by the saar-qamek, which helped erode her sanity.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Aoife McMahon
A Dalish elf now living in Kirkwall's Alienage. She approaches Hawke for help with her errant mage son, Feynriel.
- Broken Pedestal: If Hawke helped Feynriel in "Wayward Son" but not "Night Terrors" making him Tranquil or letting him become possessed, Arianni loses all of her good regard for Hawke.
- Driven to Suicide: If Feynriel is made Tranquil, Hawke later learns that Arianni killed herself by drinking poison, as she'd rather be dead than see her son Tranquil.
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Well, Maligned Mixed Love Affair. Arianni left her clan to have "a dalliance" with a human merchant, who left her when she revealed she was carrying his child. Her clan then refused to take her back due to her human lover and child, so she was forced to settle in the Alienage.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Her son Feynriel, something she's very aware makes both their lives harder.Arianni: When I found I was with child, neither Vincento nor my tribe wished the burden of an elf-blooded human infant. I raised Feynriel myself, here in the alienage.
- Hero-Worshipper: If Hawke helps Feynriel in "Wayward Son" and "Night Terrors," Arianni openly praises Hawke as a hero and friend of the elves.
- Killed Off for Real: If Feynriel leaves for Tevinter, then Arianni returns to the Dalish in Sundermount. If Hawke doesn't take responsibility for Merrill in A New Path and is forced to slaughter the Sabrae Clan, Arianni is among the elves killed.
- Mama Bear: Does everything in her power to keep her son safe, first from the Gallows, then the demons trying to possess him.
- Not Quite the Right Thing: Not wanting her son to be sent to the Circle, Arianni decided to train him to hide his magic herself. She grew up surrounded by magic in the Dalish, and felt confident that she knew enough to help him control it. It worked for a few years... until it became clear that Feynriel was no ordinary mage.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: After she moved to the Kirkwall Alieange, sympathetic residents helped her find work washing linens.
- This Is Unforgivable!: If Feynriel ends up possessed by Torpor, she comes to despise Hawke and eventually refuses to talk to them again.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: After her own clan rejected her for her human child, Arianni assumed all Dalish would reject her too. After "Night Terrors" in Act 2, if Feynriel leaves for Tevinter Arianni decides to join clan Sabrae in Sundermount. Keeper Marethari reveals that Arianni would have always been welcomed there, and it was she who stayed away.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: Comes to view Hawke as a model human and friend of the elves if they help her son in "Wayward Son" and "Night Terrors."
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Lora Brovold
A city elf and wife of Huon. She asks Hawke for protection in "On The Loose."
- Be Careful What You Wish For: She used to dreamed her beloved husband would return someday, but when he does, he's... changed. He's become dangerously insane. And he kills her for it.
- Character Death: Her husband Huon fatally stabs her to fuel his blood magic.
- Divorce Requires Death: She laments that her husband being sent to the Circle traps her in this "sham" of a marriage, technically married (so she can't move or remarry) but with no husband and no future. Her husband fatally stabs her when he returns.
- Mundane Horror: Her beloved husband returns after being away for years, but he's not as she remembered. He's changed—unhinged. She fears for her life, and has every reason to, since her now insane husband kills her for his own deranged reasons. This is something that happens to many real-life Domestic Abuse victims, even without blood magic.
- Stupidity Is the Only Option: Not her, but Hawke. Nyssa is afraid for her life since her husband said he'll return around nightfall. The player has no choice but to have Hawke leave the alienage and return after nightfall, arriving just after Huon has returned and fatally stabbed Nyssa.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: She's an assistant to a dressmaker.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She has exactly one conversation with Hawke and then is killed just before their next encounter.
The Witch of the Wilds, a legendary feared figure of myth and stories. She helps Hawke at the start of the game, in exchange for a simple favor.
For more info, see this page.
Appears in: Dragon Age II
Voiced by: Keith Szarabajka
Varric's brother, who leads an expedition to the Deep Roads that Hawke joins as a partner.
- Aloof Big Brother: And how. Supplemental material states that Bartrand grew up treating Varric like a coworker rather than a little brother.
- 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 2, 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, though this is from Varric's POV.
- 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.
- He's essentially a look at things to come with Meredith.
- The similarities between Bartrand going insane after he sold the idol and the Mother going insane after being cut off from the Song of the Old Gods is an early hint about the nature of Red Lyrium.
- Expy Of Viserys III Targaryan from A Song of Ice and Fire. A temperamental and slightly unhinged former noble whose family was exiled when he was a kid, and thus grows up obsessed with regaining his family's lost status. Meanwhile, his younger sibling, born in exile, isn't as invested in returning to a life they never knew. Viserys and Bartran are also lousy older brothers, yet receive grudging respect from their younger siblings since, despite their unpleasant dispositions, they did what they had to to keep their families afloat. Varric can also be encouraged to kill Bartrand for falling off the deep end, as Daenarys does to Viserys in the first book.
- Flanderization: In-unverse it's possible the Bartrand we see in the game isn't quite how Bartrand really was, since the person telling the story is his younger brother Varric, who suspiciously loses his jovial demeanor and suddenly becomes a saintly model of patience and rationality every time he interacts with his over-the-top raging jerkass brother on-screen. Not to mention Varric fibbing how his confrontation with Bartrand really went until Cassandra called him out. Though there's no denying from codexes and supplemental material that Bartrand was gruff, lacked tack, and had shrewd business sense.
- Freudian Excuse: Bartrand was born in Orzammar, grew up in its Deadly Decadent Court, and saw his family lose everything when they were exiled in disgrace. It explains his jerkass behavior and obsession with accumulating wealth to restore his family's lost status. He's also the one who mostly has to deal with the Dwarven Merchant's Guild, which even Varric admits would make anyone a paranoid asshole.
- Gold Fever: The World of Thedas Vol. 2 says that Bartrand became obsessed with accumulating wealth, even driving away his fiancée.
- 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 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 Merchants' Guild, which Varric says would make anyone a paranoid asshole.
- Jerkass: His introduction ends with him insulting Hawke; he 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. Though given that this is Varric telling the story...
- Jerkass Has a Point: He often berates Varric for not taking things seriously, and points out all he has to do to keep their businesses and their family afloat. Varric brushes him off at the time, but after Bartrand goes mad and either commits suicide, or is mercy killed or institutionalized by Varric and Varric has to take over all his responsibilities, he comes to appreciate how much pressure was on Bartrand's shoulders.
- 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.
- Killed Off for Real: Possibly. Hawke can encourage Varric to either not give up on Bartrand or to put him out of his misery.
- 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.
- Parental Favoritism: If Varric is brought along for "Night Terrors" and falls prey to the Desire Demon's manipulation, he laments that Bartrand was their mother's favorite son, even though he himself was the one who took care of her.
- Self-Made Man: As a teenager, he took over the Tethras family business after the death of his and Varric's father, and has been running it - competently - ever since. As Varric says of him in Inquisition, he doesn't have much tact, but he does have "loads of business sense."
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Varric. Bartrand is abrasive, money-hungry, and generally unpleasant, while Varric is The Charmer who gets along with everybody. About the only things they have in common are their intelligence and their hair color.
- Unreliable Narrator: Keep in mind, this is Varric telling the story. Bartrand is introduced as a pretty over-the-top abusive blowhard, but keep in mind the player is only seeing second-hand accounts from the brother he had a difficult relationship with. Note that every time Varric interacts with Bartrand, he suddenly loses his jovial demeanor and becomes a saintly paragon of patience and rationality in the face of his older brother's over-the-top Hair-Trigger Temper. Varric could have exaggerated just how unpleasant Bartrand was before the idol drove him insane, though second-hand sources confirm that Bartrand was gruff, unpleasant, and wealth-obsessed.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When he sells the idol to Meredith, he inadvertently sends her on her downward spiral of madness.
- Villainous Breakdown: Due to becoming obsessed with the idol.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity/Sanity Slippage: The idol that he takes from the thaig drives him horribly insane, yet gives him unusual powers.
Xenon the Antiquarian
Appears in: Dragon Age II | Inquisition
Voiced by: Nicholas Boulton
A 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. He and his shop return in the next game, with different offerings but just as much eccentricity.
- 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.Xenon: I have quite an extensive library on the history of forbidden magic. It's back there. Somewhere. I... I think. I haven't been able to turn my head to look for two centuries.
- Arms Dealer: In addition to magical artifacts and curiosities, he also sells a lot of enchanted weaponry.
- Beware the Nice Ones: For a given value of nice, anyway.
- 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."
- In Inquisition, he mentions the shop was visited by a Venatori. "We fed him to the monster under the floorboards! He made a delightful crunching noise!" He then asks, "Are they all like that?"
- Body Horror: Due to numerous attempts at magically restoring his youth, he has a number of extra appendages on his corpse-like body.
- Chairman of the Brawl: He's one of the rarer characters in the Heroes of Dragon Age spinoff game, and he attacks opponents with his chair. In a variant on the trope, he's still in his chair when this happens.
- Cloudcuckoo Lander: His mind has begun to decay along with his body.Xenon: 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".
- In Inquisition, he has a pet great bear - which is about the size of a nug. He nips.Xenon: You may pet the tiny bear, but be gentle! A magister specially miniaturized him at great cost! He answers to... Chauncey.
- 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.
- The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday:
- Only those personally invited by Xenon are able to find the Black Emporium. 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
- That said, it's implied that it is possible to find the shop without the charm, just incredibly difficult. Templars have been known to try, but they always meet with a sticky end at the hands of Thaddeus. Or should we say, under them.
- They also "accost poor Urchin" in an attempt to force her (him?) to tell them where the store is; but unfortunately for them, Urchin is mute.
- According to his Inquisition codex entry, the Seekers have concluded that the place doesn't exist after an extensive investigation. And not because the agent sent looking gave up after six months; shut up, Tristan. But that magister managed it, somehow, which is how he ended up as a monster snack.
- 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! FIND YOUR OWN!
- Really 700 Years Old: He's about 300 years old. It shows.