The Alienage Horror – Julie replays Dragon Age Pt. 1
I thought long about what character I wanted to play for this “world-building” playthrough. That I’d play an Elf was a no-brainer (Elves are for me THE most important people in Thedas and thus deserve all the important roles, so both my Warden and my Inquisitor will be elves and Hawke will have a romance with one.) but what class – that was the question. Mage is by far my favourite class but I didn’t want to play a circle mage (also, as Anna already said, that origin story is not the best) and the class mod for Dalish mage isn’t my favourite class. So I kind of reluctantly decided to play a City Elf Rogue – reluctantly because the female City Elf origin is a really hard and traumatic story.
Trigger warning: gang rape, extreme violence, slavery.
Fian Tabris was one of the lucky ones in the alienage. Daughter to loving parents, to a mother who had no hesitation to foster her “fiery” temper and teach her what she herself knew, making her an able rogue just as herself. Her father, responsible and kind, was good with money, making her family somewhat “wealthy”, and thus being able to not only take her cousins Soris and Shianna in after their mother’s death but to arrange a good marriage for her with a handsome and kind elf named Nelaros.
Despite her fortunate situation within the alienage, Fian learned to fear and hate humans from childhood on. Seeing her father work as a “knife-eared” servant, always bowing, never respected outside the elven community and seeing her mother victimised by humans when she was taken prisoner made her bitter – a bitterness that turned to simmering rage and hatred when her mother was finally killed. She knows there are honourable humans like the woman that saved her mother from prison or the priest that comes down to the alienage to do the weddings but she also knows that even most of these honourable humans look the other way if an elf is in trouble. She is very distrustful of humans, especially when they come into the alienage.
Knowing that the only people she can count on are her own makes her fiercly loyal to elven customs and extremely interested in everything “elven history”. Seeing elven children play “human heroes” because they do not know any elven heroes makes her sad. She hasn’t given up hope for a better future though – her father’s stories of the mysterious “wood elves” made her curious and even if she suspects they’re not (entirely) true, she feels like more is possible for elfkind than living as barely more than beggars in alienages. She and her cousin Shianni are very much alike in that matter and very close, always sharing ideas and fighting, each in her own way, for her people.
Fian’s story starts with her wedding day. Not knowing who and how her husband-to-be is made her nervous but she looked forward to the day when she would finally be called “adult”, starting her own family, gathering knowledge and passing it on. Finally seeing Nelaros who was not only handsome but also seemed to be kind and caring even made her a bit giddy and made her forget the incident with Vaughan, the Arl’s son, who came by to cause trouble – but that’s something one learns to live with.
It didn’t last long. Seeing an armed human walk into the alienage, even if the Grey Warden was a friend of Valandrian’s, was a sign of bad luck. Despite him being a “friend” of the alienage’s hahren he did what every human does: look the other way. He did not even lift a finger to help Fian and her friends when Vaughan came back and disturbed the wedding – one of the very very few celebrations the elves have – to find “whores” for his party. Fian tried to stop him taking Shianni but only managed to get beat unconcious. She woke up in the Arl’s estate where the guards killed Nola and split the rest of the women up. Soris came in the last minute – he and Nelaros got weapons from the Grey Warden and came to free the women – and together they fought their way to rescue the others. Nelaros was cut down in front of Fian and Shianni was raped before they could reach her, but Fian took her time with revenge, killing Vaughan and all of his friends and guards she could find. They managed to get out of the estate but Fian already had a feeling that this was the end of her life as she knew it. Nelaros and her future with him was dead but more than that she was smart enough to know that killing a human noble would not go unpunished. Still, she couldn’t bring herself to regret it.
At first she wouldn’t comply with the guards’ questions but her pride was quickly overcome by her fear and concern for Soris. They needed a scapegoat, so she would give them one. But before they could take her, Duncan, the Grey Warden, conscripted her for the Wardens. As thankful as she was that she was spared the horrors of the prison, she felt he kind of liked the way everything went. Duncan was for her a man of very cold calculations who felt like the ends always justify the means – even if that included death, rape and unhappiness. He chose not to help when the women were abducted. Now she is on her way to Ostagar with him but very cautious. She does not know what the life as Warden will bring but she sleeps with her daggers underneath the pillow. If she sleeps.
Coming back to Thedas felt kind of like coming home but I had forgotten how extremely hard the female City Elf origin was. But it’s the first time I so intimately connected with my OC – I’m really looking forward to this playthrough!