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"Fen'Harel ar ghilana" -Aeras Lavellan shortly before her disappearance.Aeras Lavellan- also known as the One-Eyed Witch, the Herald of Andraste, the Grand Inquisitor, Saviour of Orlais, Paragon of the Dalish and the Wolf- is a Dalish Elf. Born in 9:15, she would go on to be one of the most influential figures in recent Thedas history.
Physical Appearance Edit
Aeras stood at roughly 5'8", which was fairly tall by elven standards. Moderate facial scarring across the right-hand side of her face and a clouded right eye. The other eye remained a piercing light blue.
Extremely pale already due to poor health in her youth, the Inquisitor's skin tone was noted to become even more pale during winter. Several Orlesian scholars have theorised that the late Inquisitor may have suffered from a rare illness, though evidence for this is scarce.
Aeras wore her dark hair loose and long, often letting it hang over the scarred side of her face. In all official portraits of her however, her face is not hidden.
At some point during her first year as Inquisitor, Aeras' traditional Dalish tattoos were reported to have disappeared. When pressed on the matter, the Inquisitor is rumoured to have become agitated. To this day, we have no way of knowing how or why these markings disappeared, though some have theorised that it may be linked to her own disappearance just three years later.
In her public appearances, Aeras was described as cold and cunning, displaying a shrewd understanding of the Grand Game and how to best manipulate it to get what she desired. Some even accuse her of allowing the late Empress Celene to be assassinated, though such conspiracies crumble quickly under closer inspection. Those who interacted with her on a more personable level describe the Inquisitor as being outwardly kind and generous, though often seemed distant. Some even described talking to her as being akin to "talking to a dreamer who has not yet fully awoken".
Talents and SkillsEdit
A gifted combatant, Aeras rose to notoriety amongst mages (both loyalist and rebel) by following the path of the Knight-Enchanter, a route rarely walked in the modern age. Few were lucky enough to ever see her in action, but those who did would go on to write detailed accounts of what they saw, ensuring that the Inquisitor's martial prowess will never be forgotten.
Beyond the battlefield, the Inquisitor was by all accounts a fairly talented artist and poet, and some of her works can even be found in the Royal Gallery in Val Royeaux. One notable art critic described her works as "otherworldly, as if I had been transported to some lost world of arcane beauty".
Born in 9:15 Nubilis to the Dalish clan Lavellan, Aeras' mother died in childbirth, leaving her to be raised by her father, Novesen Lavellan. Always on the move through the Free Marches, she never had a true home growing up, and any chances of a 'normal life' were swiftly dashed in 9:18, when a young Aeras first began to show signs of magical talent.
Quickly taken under the wing of Keeper Istimaethoriel, she was trained from a young age on how to control and use her magic for the betterment of the clan. The clan's resident storyteller, Hahren Arie, taught Aeras everything about the ancient lore of their people, and her ailing father begrudgingly instructed her on combat techniques, specialising in weapon training- perhaps hoping that his daughter would develop a preference for more tactile weaponry.
in 9:26, Clan Lavellan was attacked by a band of human outlaws. The bandits, lead by the self-styled 'Dreadlord', attacked at dawn, setting packs of Ferelden-bred mabari upon the Dalish as they scrambled to defend their aravels. At just 11 years old, Aeras watched as her father was cut down by the Dreadlord, and in her fury she flung herself at the human mage. Even though she took a powerful bolt spell to her face, the young elf kept on attacking her father's hapless murderer, tearing him to ribbons before slipping into unconsciousness herself.
Years passed. She had lost most of the sight from her right eye from the Dreadlord's attack, yet it did not hamper her; within 4 years of the attack she had taken up the role of her Keeper's First, and less than a year after that she had taken joint-leadership of storytelling duties with Arie.
In 9:31 the destruction of the Kirkwall Chantry and the subsequent Mage-Templar war made Clan Lavellan's existence unsure once again, and it was during these dark years that Aeras came into her own, leading her clan's aravels from sheltered clearing to hidden pass, defending her clanmates from Templars and mages alike as the world began to fall apart around them.
Every life that Clan Lavellan lost, Aeras made the shemlen pay back thrice over, and before too long only the most bloodthirsty bandits or fanatical Templar's dared attack the elven settlements that were protected by the One-Eyed Witch.
In 9:40, after nearly a decade of endless battle, word reached Keeper Istimaethoriel that there was to be a Divine Conclave; a chance for peace between the warring factions of the war. Perhaps sensing that what happened there would affect all elves, she sent Aeras Lavellan to spy on the Conclave and report back with any news.
And then the Conclave exploded, tearing the Veil asunder with a crack that resonated from the Anderfels to the Amaranthine Sea. And as the old orders of Thedas began to tear themselves apart, a one-eyed elf stepped forth from a rift, and the world changed.
Herald of Andraste
Finding herself laboured with the mantle of the Herald of Andraste, Aeras made every attempt to flee from Haven, but each time she made it out of the wooden palisades of the village she was swiftly intercepted by agents and guards. Resigned to her fate, Aeras resolved to help the human Inquisition, knowing that the Mark on her hand was the only way to reserve whatever powerful magic had torn the world apart.
Ignoring all distractions, including invites to prestigious parties, the Herald conscripted the Rebel mages to help close the Breach, remembering all too well all the carnage she had seen the undisciplined mages inflict on her clan; they didn't deserve freedom, not yet at least. With the help of these mages, and a strange elf named Solas, she was successful in almost completely sealing the Breach.
Aeras had little time to celebrate however, as soon enough Haven itself was attacked by a horde of mutated Templars, led by what appeared to be a darkspawn Magister. Witnessing the deaths of people by the hands of twisted magic and Templar blades drove the Herald into a rage, and dozens of attackers fell to her magic before even she abandoned the ruins of Haven, being driven off by the combined forces of a dragon, a magister and an avalanche.
From their new base in the depths of the Frostbacks, the Inquistion quickly became unrivalled in it's influence and power, though this wasn't without it's sacrifices. Clan Lavellan was completely wiped out in her absence, and in response Aeras led the Inquisition into a short battle with the city-state of Wycome, which was ultimately a victory for the Inquisition.
Empress Celene, a woman who Aeras had grown to respect from their brief conversations, was sacrificed to allow Orlais to once again be a stable force, with Emperor Gaspard acting as a puppet for the elven shadows who danced in the corners of Halamshiral. The Inquisitor revelled in this victory, and swore to restore the power of the elves in Thedas.
Somewhere, a wolf began to stir, it's ethereal gaze locked upon Aeras.
Leading her forces at the Battle of Adamant, the Inquisitor exiled the Wardens from Southern Thedas, the fires of their hubris fuelling her rage as the death of Hawke was still fresh in her mind.
The wolf howled, prowling Aeras' dreams as it's eyes were lit with wonder and admiration.
Pledging herself to Mythal whole-heartedly, she swore to her vhenan to use the knowledge of the Well to restore their people, no matter the cost.
The wolf, seeing no other alternative, freed it's love and whispered it's name in Aeras' ear.
"I am Fen'Harel."
The Grand Inquisitor
Corypheus was cast down from his false godhood, and in his place rose Aeras Lavellan. Petition after petition flooded the Grand Cathedral in Val Royeaux, demanding that the Herald of Andraste be granted a degree of divinity, second only to Andraste herself. Though the Inquisitor outwardly derided any who brought the idea to her, rumours spread that the newly-anointed Grand Inquisitor actually approved of the gesture.
Appointing the Left and Right Hands of Divine Justinia as her Inquisitors, effectively postponing the search of the next Divine indefinitely, Aeras held unparalleled control of Southern Thedas. Ultimately, the Grand Inquisitor chose not to act on the dreams of world domination that her critics often forced upon her, instead opting to let the Seeker and the Nightingale focus on rebuilding the world as she focussed on her own research.
This lasted for a whole year, after which Aeras released the two Inquisitors from their official roles in the New Inquisition, and scaled back the organisation considerably; though she still held influence equal to that of Orlais or the Tevinter imperium. Within a few short weeks, Seeker Cassandra was elected as Divine Victoria, and, at the Grand Inquisitor's request, she reappointed Leliana as her Left Hand and the newly returned Warden Mahariel as her Right Hand, a decision that reportedly made the Nightingale very pleased.
By 9:44, Thedas was beginning to approach a state approaching normality, and in response there was a growing cry for the Inquisition to be disbanded, with many stating that the organisation's purpose had been outlived. In response to this, Aeras and the Divine arranged an Exalted Council to reach a conclusion regarding the fate of the Inquistion.
During the proceedings, a Qun'ari plot to sabotage the Council was unearthed, and along with unknown allies the Grand Inquisitor was able to foil the plot, though reports from her honour guard quickly put an end to any celebrations.
As well as the revelation that, for some months prior to the Council, the Grand Inquisitor's Mark had begun spreading again and that it was slowly killing her, her honour guard reported that Aeras Lavellan had gone missing, and was likely dead after entering an Eluvian alone whilst chasing the leaders of the Qun'ari forces.
The Exalted Council was called off mid-session, and all of Southern Thedas mourned the loss of their saviour to the savage Qun'ari to the North. Leadership of the Inquisition was passed to the now Grand Inquisitor Mahariel, and along with the Left Hand the two women searched far and wide for any sign of their beloved friend and leader, to no avail.
Months later, a simple wooden box was delivered to Skyhold, addressed to the leadership of the Inquisition. Inside was the Marked Hand of Aeras, a wolf's jawbone and a simple note:
The wolves have begun to circle their prey... the world shall be put right...
Since then, there have been scattered rumours that Aeras Lavellan yet lives, stalking through elven ruins with a great wolf at her side, her single eye aflame as her left arm shimmers and glitters like crystal. Those who report these sightings to the Inquisition are rarely heard from again...
As of 9:47, sightings of the Great Wolf and Aeras have become rare, though the New Inquisition- now an organisation of only a few hundred people- still actively hunts for their old leader surreptiously. However, they've become so intent on solving one mystery that they, and every other organisation and government across Thedas. have failed to notice their elven servants, citizens and nomads steadily disappearing in their droves.
Cassandra: Though their relationship started off very rough, the two grew to respect one another as friends, though their differing opinions on religion and magic occasionally sparked intense arguments between the two.
Varric: One of the few dwarves Aeras ever spoke to, Varric's imagination and drive are the only two things that stop her from forcing him out of the Inquisition permanently.
Solas: Seeing her own hopes, dreams and fears in him, the two became fast friends, and quickly started a committed relationship. So absolute was their trust that Solas confided in Aeras his true identity, goals and past actions, and (to his surprise) she pledged her full support to his cause. After Corypheus fell, Aeras stayed in Skyhold to oversee the Inquisition and research the Veil whilst Solas began building up his network of spies and inluencers. By the time of the Exalted Council, the two had already decided on faking the Grand Inquisitor's death, and in doing so they were free to begin the final preparations for their new world.
Vivienne: Aeras, sensing a waste of time, never even attended Madame de Fer's party. Vivienne later fell into obscurity, with rumours suggesting she turned to alcohol to escape the shame of having a 'knife-ear' turn down an invitation to her party.
Sera: Initially bringing the young elf into the Inquisition out of racial pride, Sera's endless disrespect grated on the Herald's nerves to no end. Eventually, the Inquisitor simply kicked the mischievous elf out of the Inquisition after the insipid comments regarding her vhenan.
Blackwall: Considering a Warden to be a useful ally, Aeras recruited Blackwall fairly early on, but rarely spoke to the gruff warrior, finding his grim nature disinteresting. Eventually however, the Inquisitor did speak to the Warden, and found him extremely dull. Upon finding out that Blackwall was in fact Thom Rainier, Aeras chose not to bother saving the man, instead deciding to attend his execution personally.
The Iron Bull: Finding the savage Qun'ari too crude for her liking, she only hired the Chargers out of a sense of duty to the Inquisition. She did warm up to the mercenary company eventually however, though her disdain for the Qun'ari was not so easily overcome.
Dorian: The Tevinter altus' haughty behaviour and narcissistic streak made Aeras avoid him like the plague.
Cole: Practically adopting the spirit as her own, Aeras made every attempt to make the boy more spirit-like.
Fighting Style Edit
Employing a mix of ancient elven martial arts and more modern fighting techniques, Aeras becomes a lightning fast whirlwind of spinning blades and blazing light. Using her staff as both a medium for spellcasting and a weapon in it's own right, she will combine the long, tactile pole of her staff with the spirit blade of her spellsword to disarm, incapacitate and terminate an enemy.
To initiate a fight, Aeras will throw her staff in a similar fashion to a hunting spear or javelin, grievously injuring enemies with light armour. Then, using a frost spell, she'll dash to the bladed polearm in a matter of seconds, using her speed to wrench the weapon free of her first victim within seconds of their death. Following on from this, she'll use the residual momentum of her spell to swing the bladed end of her staff in a wide, circular motion at shin height, knocking over and/or badly wounding any unfortunate enough to be caught in the arc.
From here, Aeras will either begin a typical spellcasting pattern on a distant group of enemies, or will use her spellsword to finish any survivors who may be lying at her feet. From start to finish, this entire manoeuvre lasts just over 10 seconds.
The smell of wood smoke