11 Questions… Everyone knows the rules but just in case…
1. Replace questions I was given with the ones I wrote and answer them
2. Write 11 new questions beneath your answers
3. Tag 11 people
4. Let them know that you tagged them
I’ll try to actually think of new questions this time around and add them at the end of the post, but I don’t know if I’ll tag anyone or not. I always feel like people feel obligated when they’re tagged, even though I almost never do.
Update ~3pm: This has been in my drafts since 8am and I haven’t thought of any questions to add for others, so I’m just going to post my answers for now.
Champion - Things are looking up!
How did your Hawke feel about being named The Champion of Kirkwall?: Ria doesn’t mind the awe, but she had enough people insisting that she owed them favors before she was Champion and I’d think that only got worse as her reputation grew even larger than her ego. She wishes of course that her family was all alive and present to reap any peripheral benefits, but once she hears the whispers naming her a candidate for Viscount she’s horrified at the thought.
Do they wish they could of done anything differently during the Qunari attack?: Ria had an odd appreciation for the Arishok, so while she wasn’t going to turn Isabela over she was disappointed that the Qunari refused to leave peacefully after the relic was returned. And of course, Seamus and his father were both unfortunate casualties of the whole ordeal but in Ria’s mind the blame for their deaths is on Petrice (for Seamus) and Orsino and Meredith for delaying her with their bickering (for Dumar).
Was your Hawke reunited with a sibling during the attack? How did they react? If not how did they react to the Wardens?: Alistair is back home in Ferelden as king, so when Ria encountered the Wardens in Lowtown it was Stroud and Bethany that she ran into instead. Bethany’s attitude toward her almost broke Ria’s heart, but so far as Ria was concerned Beth was alive to hate her, and that was the most important thing. She was quite frustrated by the Wardens’ refusal to help against the Qunari, however.
Qunari - Opinions are like testicles. If you hit them hard enough it doesn’t matter how many you have.
What is your Hawke’s opinion of the Arishok and the Qunari? Ria has no problem with willing converts to the Qun or with the Qunari as a people for the most part, but she does take pretty damn strong exception to the unwilling conversion of some viddathari that she’s heard of. Overall, she thinks they’re more odd than anything—often unsettling, but more or less honest. And honesty is rare in Kirkwall, so she’ll not only take it where she can get it, but she tries to return the favor. Don’t get me wrong—she’ll still sass as often as she can, but she never hides the truth. Because of this, she somehow earned the Arishok’s respect by the time they finally attack the city, and is declared worthy by him prior to their eventual battle.
Did your Hawke encourage Isabela to return the Qunari Relic? Why or why not? Ria gave it to Isabela without a second thought, and when asked by the Arishok she flat out told him as much. No one’s life is less important than a single book, no matter how important that book is, especially the lives of her friends.
When confronting the Arishok, did your Hawke defend or hand over Isabela? Ria was shocked when Isabela showed up at the Keep with the Tome—she’d given it to her for a reason, and while she’d certainly hoped to see her friend again someday, Ria assumed that it would be years before she saw Bela again, well after the Qunari were out of sight. For her to come back in the thick of battle, relic still in hand, was the last thing she expected. When Arishok demanded that Isabela be turned over as well, however, things went… sour. Ria wasn’t about to do so, and she knew she wouldn’t stand a chance against him in single combat. Instead of the duel there ended up being a fairly grand melee in the throne room of the Keep, so that while Ria did personally fight Arishok, her companions were still free to assist her as necessary, whether that assistance was in the form of healing magic, or fighting the other qunari in the room to keep them off Ria’s back (especially the saarebas; gdi those fucking saarebas >.<).
All That Remains - Now… I’m free.
How did Hawke react to the death of Leandra?: When Ria came home and saw the lilies, she instantly knew, and her whole body went cold; finding Leandra was actually almost worse than if she hadn’t, since the outcome had been so much more gruesome than she’d originally imagined. After slaughtering Quentin in response she ran back as quickly as she could to where Leandra had fallen and tried to distract her mother from the truth of what had happened, until Anders quietly shook his head that no, he couldn’t do anything for her. Ria’s breakdown starts then, though she tries to hide it until Leandra’s last breath. Once her mother’s gone, though, she sobbed, and screamed, and suddenly killing Quentin hadn’t been enough, but there was no one else responsible she could kill—she’d already slain DuPuis, as he had attacked when she was investigating him, and I think she’d assumed he was the “mysterious friend” in the note they’d found on the way into this lair. Regardless of her LI in the individual save game (since canon!Ria is with Anders by this point and alt!Ria will soon be with Sebastian), Isabela is the one to support her, half walking and half carrying her home. (In canon!Ria’s case, Isabela blames Anders a bit for not doing something for Leandra; in alt!Ria’s, she blames Sebastian for relying too strongly on empty faith. She and Ria may not be together in either case, but the two women are still best friends and in both cases Bela goes into “useless men” mode.)
Did they take comfort in a close friend or romantic interest?: For canon!Ria, Anders is already living in the estate and he’s there with her constantly, once Isabela finally allows him to see her again. For alt!Ria, this is the point where Sebastian temporarily moves in (to a guest room) that I mentioned back on the LI question. alt!Ria has lost so much more than canon!Ria has, so this blow was much more painful for her, and Sebastian is pretty much forcing her to eat and everything. She just… doesn’t care for a while, about anything including taking care of herself. There are some similar behaviors from canon!Ria but not nearly so pronounced, things like she’ll forget to eat but won’t try to refuse food when put in front of her and such.
Everyone tries to check in on and comfort both versions of Ria, with varying degrees of success, but only Isabela, Aveline, Varric, and the LI actually get to speak with her for more than a few moments normally before she excuses herself and just kind of leaves them to show themselves out. In the end, it takes alt!Ria probably twice as long as canon!Ria to begin working and visiting the Hanged Man and all again, basically forcing herself back into life as she knows it. She still mourns privately, but she forces herself to behave as much as possible like her usual self.
Elves/Alienage - It’s elf this or it’s elf that, guess what, I’ll elf your mother!
How do they feel about Elves?: Ria sees no problem with any of the races as a group of people, or so she believes. But there are always stereotypes floating about, aren’t there? And she does subconsciously assume some of those stereotypes are just plain true, and that the others are there because of examples that, even if the exception and not the rule, are the most vocal representations of a group. Dwarves are crafty, literally and figuratively; qunari are taciturn and somewhat fundamentalist; and elves are poor and often criminals.
However, Ria does recognize that A) criminals doesn’t have to mean bad people and B) most of the crimes the authorities seem to actually care about are more petty offenses that are the result of just trying to survive. Hell, she’s seen much of the same with the other Fereldan refugees; the only difference there is that (unless both a refugee AND and elf) the guard seems to forgive those petty offenses far more quickly than they do for even local elves who have lived in Kirkwall their entire lives.
How do they feel about the treatment of Elves in The Alienage?: Lothering never had an official alienage, so even though Ria had heard stories, the truth of it was a little shocking. Between a few random conversations with Merrill, Tomwise, and Arianni, she gathers that the actual segregation itself is as much the elves’ doing as the humans’ but she doesn’t really understand why the elves are willing to live in such squalor. Even in the city, even if they still chose to have their own community beside and not with the humans, why wouldn’t they work or even fight for conditions equal to the humans in the same district of whatever city they live in?
What is their reaction to the Elven/Human slave trade still occuring?: The loading screens tell us that Tevinter’s slavers are seen all across the continent in spite of the trade only being legal in the Imperium, but I imagine a place as rural as Lothering would be one of the last places for them to turn up (even with its position as a crossroads on Ferelden’s southern reaches of the Imperial highways that stretch across the continent). I imagine this led to Ria was probably never exposed to slavers or slavery before Kirkwall, and it’s the ONE topic she and Fenris agrees on without hesitation. Human or elven, and even some suspect viddathari converts to the Qun, the idea just repulses her. (That said, though it’s more relevant to another day, if someone is a WILLING convert, she feels that’s not her business. But the way things would have gone for Isabela? Yeah, NOT okay.) TL;DR: Slavers die. I let Isabela get Castillion’s ship at the end, but not by letting him go free. I haven’t decided how that head canon works out yet, but it just. doesn’t. happen. and Ria is more peeved than she lets on when she realizes Bela was going to make that deal.
What is their relationship like with the Dalish?: Marethari, Ria likes and likes to think that she almost understands. She doesn’t actually, but she thinks she does; the closest she comes to understanding is Marethari’s (tough) love for Merrill. She even understands the sentiment behind Marethari’s actions, taking Audacity into herself as she did, even if the logic behind it was royally stupid. Oh, and she gets along well (enough) with Master Ilen. Her horrible sense of humor puts her in poor graces with the rest of the clan, however. She wonders later if maybe, just maybe, had she been less flippant with them over the years if they would have let her take Merrill away peacefully after Marethari’s death. She was flippant, though, and had none of their respect and now not even the Keeper forcing them to be polite.
The worst part of it all was Arianni, though. Ria had forgotten that the elf woman had come back to her clan after Feynriel left for Tevinter, so when she stabbed first and looked at the face later of one of the elf women who attacked with the rest of the clan? She’d felt regret for what was happening when the first scouts attacked and she had to defend herself. Reaching the bottom of Sundermount and realizing she’d been forced to kill a friend horrified her.
Bodahn and Sandal - Enchantment!
How did your Hawke like Sandal and Bodahn?: Ria at first didn’t accept Bodahn’s offer to serve her family in repayment for “saving” Sandal in the Deep Roads—she’d hired a washerwoman and someone to clean the estate, her mother cooked their meals and Ria was quite capable of answering her own door. But Bodahn kept showing up and doing odd jobs for Leandra when Ria was out of the house for one reason or another, so when Ria would come home she’d find Sandal either quietly working on a rune in the great room, or else playing with her mabari and laughing and carrying on and… well, the laughter was nice. So Ria eventually agreed that the two could move in and Bodahn could serve as steward or butler to satisfy what he still insisted was his “debt” to her. In spite of this initial awkwardness that began Bodahn’s employment, she really did enjoy having him and Sandal in the house, since with the hours she kept it wasn’t uncommon for her mother to already be in bed when she came home and Bodahn gave her someone to talk to (usually just small talk, but still) when necessary.
Do you have your own ideas about what or who Sandal is, or any of his stories?: I’ve been incredibly curious ever since Not Enchantment and that curiosity just got worse and worse through both his prophecy and finding out about him seeing the “scary lady” at night. And then add that prophecy to the DA:I trailer from this week, and I still look pretty much like this whenever I think about it all:
As for Ria, she thinks very little of Sandal other than that he’s a sweet boy, if odd, who her dog likes and who makes very nifty little trinkets out of those salamanders he keeps asking for. She does eventually connect the “scary lady” to Flemeth randomly though, in the middle of the night about two weeks after he first mentions her. She can’t help but to wonder if he’s imagining it, if she’s somehow projecting to the house and watching Sandal only (because not enchantment), or if she’s watching all of them, especially her, and Sandal is the only one who can see her. She gets up that night and does a semi-paranoid inspection of the house in her smalls and a robe with a lamp in one hand and a dagger in the other, scaring the ever-living hell out of herself and Anders both when he wakes and comes looking for her, but ultimately finds nothing.
Higher Status - You’re going up in the world.
How did your Hawke feel about being wealthy, and making the family name respectable in Kirkwall again?: It was something done mostly for her mother’s sake, as well as to give Bethany the place she deserved to return to, just in case she ever was allowed to visit (assuming Warden!Beth). That’s not to say that Ria didn’t enjoy the wealth, of course—the first thing she made sure to do once they were settled in the estate was to contract a washer woman to come and take care of all the laundry on a regular basis, since as the eldest child, Ria had previously had more chores, for more years, than the twins ever had and she swore that for as long as she could afford it, she’d never do laundry again.
As for making the name respectable again, well… Perhaps it never became as respectable as Leandra would have liked, what with all the whispers about the Hawke daughter’s odd and rather random, mercenary professions, but in a society like Kirkwall money talks loudest, and the Hawkes had money. All but the most Orlesian of houses in the city learned to accept the Hawkes as they were, even if they did sometimes gossip when Leandra wasn’t there to hear it. And even with the gossip, it never stopped any of them from asking Ria for help when they wanted something.
What did your Hawke like/dislike about the Estate?: She hated it being so empty, which is why she eventually allowed Bodahn and Sandal to move in “to care for the house” as it were. More likely she gave in to Bodahn’s insistence that he be allowed to serve her in repayment for rescuing Sandal because that meant Sandal would be there to play with Murderface (don’t ask, she named the dog when she was very young), which meant laughter the house wouldn’t have otherwise had much of the time.
However, she LOVED having her own room the way she did—and the master bedroom at that, since her mother refused to take it when they were moving in and having new furniture and such all delivered. She loves her plush new mattress, and the drapes that hang from the heavy bed frame, and the pillows, and the huge chair in front of the fire, and the plush curtains that hang over the windows. She loves that the room is nearly as large as Gamlen’s entire house, and it’s all hers in addition to almost all the other rooms in the house—the great room and the library and dining hall and kitchen and larder and the study and everything else—pretty much every room that isn’t someone else’s bedroom, and every room in the house has the same plush armchairs in front of the fireplaces.
How did your Hawke feel about the other Fereldan refugees?: Ria always tried to help the other Fereldans in Kirkwall, even before coming back from the expedition, though afterward it was much easier to do so. She knows how lucky she was that Gamlen was able to get them into the city proper, even if he had promised her and Bethany to people he owed money to, and most of the others weren’t even half that lucky, being left to rot in Darktown. Evelina in particular she knew quite well, having met the woman in Anders’ clinic when one of the boys had fallen ill, so years later when she escaped from the Gallows and became an abomination Ria took it a bit personally that the Circle had driven her friend that far.
Kirkwall Arrival - There’s no more room.
Upon arrival, which group did they sign up with?: Ria chose to sign on with Athenril with almost no deliberation. Mercenaries tend to end up in armies when one’s been raised, and Ria had no intention of becoming a soldier again and being taken away from Bethany. And Ria presumed, considering her business, that Athenril would be more prone to subtlety and discretion than anyone in the Red Iron would, for Bethany’s sake.
How did your Hawke get along with Gamlen?: She didn’t, but at the same time she wasn’t hostile toward him, either. Disgustingly snarky, and that probably riled him up even more, but not hostile. That said, she doesn’t appreciate the way he talks about her friends, but after Leandra’s death Ria and Gamlen at least come to the understanding that whether they like it or not they’re all the other has in Kirkwall, so far as blood’s concerned. They’re not going to go to lunch once a week like Leandra used to try and do, but they don’t try to get under the other’s skin anymore. Because of this eventual understanding, when Ria ends up meeting Charade she encourages her cousin to go meet Gamlen, which turns out better than expected—no sudden family dinners or anything, but everyone gets along.
What was your Hawke’s reaction to Gamlen’s loss of the family fortune and estate?: Since this was still far back in Act 1, Ria’s immediate reaction was to roll her eyes and sort of scold-mock him in front of the whole family. She didn’t care about the fortune for herself (though having her own room would have been nice!), but Bethany and Mother both were deeply hurt by the betrayal and Ria got more than a little defensive. When she found out that Bethany had a key to the basements, Ria collected her gear, her sister, and Aveline and Varric (she hadn’t met any of the others yet) and left immediately for Dark Town.
Flemeth - A fly in the Ointment.
What were Hawke’s initial thoughts of Flemeth?: Ria was awestruck when the dragon attacked the darkspawn and then transformed into a woman—and a little jealous. I mean, how could she continue to claim to be so fabulous if she couldn’t turn into a dragon like Flemeth did? She likes to think she kept her cool in the situation, though, and was intrigued by the Witch’s interest in her family. She even went so far as to joke with Flemeth as much as she dared, which the Witch seemed to respond well to.
Who was responsible for the mercy-killing of Wesley?: Ria knew she had no right to dictate the fate of another’s family. She would have put Wesley out of his pain if asked, but she gave the choice to Aveline, who did it herself. Years later when Aveline told the story of her father’s death Ria understood why Aveline seemed to appreciate being given that bit of control, in spite of the pain the act caused the woman.
How did they feel about Flemeth’s prophecy?: Ria would be reminded of bits and pieces of it in the future as one line or another seemed to become relevant, but she didn’t think on it otherwise. Instead, she just stored it away, forgetting she’d ever heard it until it was important in the moment, and instead made jokes about how that sort of talk was cheap for a dragon.