under a cut for spoilers for asunder, dawn of the seeker and speculation about da3. untagged cause i don’t...
Okay writer friends, I am finally ready to tackle an issue I’ve had with writing for my whole life.
“how many blacklisted tags will it take to get this pairing off my dash forever”, the blog
I know it’s fun to comment in...
Note: Elissa, Ria #1, and Vrania all exist in the same continuity. I technically do have some more history for Vrania than is listed, but it’s a secret at the moment. >.>
Second child of Bryce and Eleanor Cousland, Elissa was conscripted to the Grey Wardens following an attack on her home by Arl Rendon Howe shortly before the Battle of Ostagar.
Following the rout at Ostagar and the subsequent rescue of herself and Alistair—the only other surviving Grey Warden in Ferelden—by the hands of the Witch of the Wilds, Elissa set off to gather allies against the Blight. Along the way she not only begins to fall in love with him, but she discovers that Alistair is the bastard of Maric the Savior, and brother to the now deceased King Cailan Theirin. In spite of his parentage she refuses to pressure him into seeking the throne; in her eyes, they are both Wardens now before all else, and their duty is to defeat the Blight. Only after can they consider any other responsibilities.
For the most part, Elissa has a fairly easy attitude, though outside of Alistair few of her companions are permitted to see her as she was before the Blight. She wears the mask of Lady Cousland well, hiding her emotions behind duty, though as their journey progresses both her sarcasm and a bit of a temper begin to show. Only when she finally discovers that her brother Fergus is alive and well does she begin to relax the facade. Other than her bastard prince, she is closesr with Leliana than any of her other friends. Enchanter Wynne is a constant thorn in her side.
While in the Deep Roads of Orzammar, Elissa discovers that the Wardens are granted an increased awareness of the underground horde. Her own ability goes far greater, however. Not only can she sense their movements with far greater accuracy than should otherwise be possible, she can also hear the Archdemon’s calling clearly separate from the cacophony of the rest of the horde—even though it’s been barely six months at that point since her Joining.
Elissa fights in an Orlesian style, using a long sword paired with a misericorde as her parry dagger. She learned this style from her father’s sword master, an Orlesian man who fought against the Empire during Maric’s rebellion after the death of his Fereldan wife. In part because of her Orlesian sword master, and in part because of the level-headed lessons from both her father and Brother Aldous, Elissa was raised knowing a much greater tolerance for other cultures than many noble children in the nation.
Elissa is fluent in common Thedosian, Orlesian, and Antivan. In addition, she briefly attempted to study the Qunari language for a short while, and while learning Antivan from her sister-in-law she also picked up the basics of that nation’s sign language.
Head Canon and Alternate Ria Hawkes - Two Sides of a Coin (Chibi Ria by DalishTook)
This is my favorite Ria face for both my main and my alt saves; the only difference is that alt Ria keeps her hair pulled into a ponytail instead of down around her face. I know this isn’t drastically different from the base face itself; I deliberately chose the first preset to modify because Bethany’s prettiest that way. Ria gets fairer skin from their mother, but is freckled from being in the sun, where I think Beth is more olive, taking after my headcanon for how Malcolm looked.
Both incarnations of Ria loved her sister Bethany dearly, and that affection translated as the two sisters grew into fierce protectiveness of her sister. While the first Ria extended that passion to mage freedom as a whole and actively supported Anders and his revolution, the other became withdrawn when her sister died of the darkspawn taint at the end of their second year in Kirkwall.
Ria #1 had a brief dalliance with Isabela before finally settling down with Anders. With her sister gone with the Wardens, she put all of her energy into helping Anders free as many mages as possible, and she honestly believed him when he said he had found a way to separate himself from Justice. As such she was horrified when he destroyed the Kirkwall Chantry, but refused to allow Sebastian, Meredith, or anyone else to touch him in retaliation. After the final battle at the Gallows she and Anders vanished, and neither have been seen since.
Ria #2’s life took a different path when Bethany died in the Deep Roads rather than become a Warden. After withdrawing for a year, busying herself with reclaiming her family’s estate, she set out to cause trouble in Kirkwall once again. During that year she became close with Sebastian Vael, a brother of the Chantry who often came to comfort Ria and Leandra after their loss. Eventually Ria began to dig deeper into Sebastian’s past, and when she learned he was the Starkhaven heir she poured herself into restoring him to his throne—whether he wanted it or not. Eventually they fell in love, but due to his vows their relationship was frustrating at best. After Anders destroyed the Chantry Sebastian finally vowed to retake to Starkhaven with Ria as his princess; between the two of them they would see to it that the same would not happen in the northern city-state due to a lack of leadership as it had in Kirkwall.
Garrett “Manrod” Hawke (I can’t remember who it was I saw this nickname from originally, probably Reg or KinlochHold, but I’m borrowing it if that’s okay. The convo that revolved around this nick just fit my Garrett to a tee!)
Not posting a picture for Garrett, since I was lazy and just used the preset face minus the blood smear. That said, Garrett was especially… flamboyant for an apostate in hiding. He loved everyone he ever met, and frequently. When deciding on his personality I deliberately chose Jack Harkness from Doctor Who as my character model for Garrett.
Vrania moments before her Harrowing, nine or ten years before her capture in Kirkwall. Those who knew her before her escape had come to expect the outlandish colors she used on her hair. Initially she used mixtures of berry juices, but rumors spread later that she’d found a way to maintain any color she wished through magic. “Natural” Vrania art by Keyshakitty.
Much of Vrania’s history is a mystery at this point. She was captured by a templar patrol as she exited the dilapidated Hawke estate roughly two years after the destruction of Kirkwall’s Chantry, and though she was recognized as an apostate not even the templars are aware of her true purpose there. All that is known about her is that while she was obviously trained one of the Circles, no phylactery can be found for her.
Rumors swirl shortly after her capture at the Hawke estate that she escaped the Fereldan Circle at Kinloch Hold during the Blight, but no mage of her description has ever been recorded at that Tower. Without her phylactery, the templars are unable to identify her, and are likewise unable to track her should she manage to escape again.
Braelyn Tabris (non-canon Warden coming soon!)
Sohnris Mahariel (non-canon Warden coming soon!)
Outside Flemeth’s hut following the rout at Ostagar.
Neria is a timid girl, and a devout Andrastian. She has only the vaguest memories of her life in the alienage (in Nevarra, though she doesn’t remember this much) before being sent to the Circle at age six, but what she does remember speaks of a hard, often unhappy life. In spite of, or because of, their difficulties, her mother was very religious and her mother’s faith is one thing Neria clings to even as an adult.
As both an elf and a mage, Neria has lived through quite a bit of discrimination and self-hate. She is extremely talented in the schools of Creation and Spirit magics, though, and if she would just begin to see this as a gift rather than a curse she could better help those around her and build quite a name for herself. Instead, she feels that the most good she will ever be able to do for Thedas is to sacrifice herself to the Archdemon Urthemiel, ending the Fifth Blight in the process.
Imperial warrior, married to Lydia. My “original” Vrania, as it were, as I originally only borrowed the name to use in my DA story as a place holder, before that character grew into the name just as much as this one did.
(Coming soon - Sith Marauder from SWTOR)