"People accuse me so often of attempting to turn them into toads that I'm tempted to try and actually learn how."
Aliena Surana (born 9:12 Dragon) was a Marches-born Fereldan Circle mage, the only known child of the infamous First Enchanter of Kirkwall Orsino Surana. She was the favoured apprentice of Kinloch's First Enchanter, Irving, and would have most likely been his chosen successor had her life not steered in another path.
(in her worldstate) Roped into an escape plot by her former best friend Jowan shortly after her Harrowing, Aliena was on the verge of being sent to the mage prison Aeonar before Warden-Commander Duncan conscripted her into the Grey Warden order. As one of only two survivors of Ostagar, Aliena distinguished herself during the Blight, eventually becoming known as the Hero of Ferelden for her slaying of the Archdemon and bringing the Blight to an end. After the Blight and Fereldan civil war, Aliena was made Warden-Commander of the Ferelden Grey Wardens, as well as Lady Chancellor of the kingdom, and was also, more infamously, the king's unofficial consort and mother of his heir, Moira Wynne Theirin.
(Jaime Cousland / Embla Brosca's worldstates) Aliena was caught aiding and abetting the escape of a blood mage and was sent to the mage prison Aeonar. No further known trace of her exists within the pages of history.
(Robin Amell's worldstate) While Robin was aiding in Jowan's escape, Aliena was undergoing her Harrowing, and as such had no involvement in the boys' plan. Though her Harrowing was successful, during the chaos of the Broken Circle Aliena was killed by a blood mage while attempting to defend a group of apprentices. Robin grieved for the loss of his first love, and her loss fueled him for the rest of his journey.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Biography
- 3 Relationships
- 3.1 From the Circle
- 3.2 Companions
- 3.3 Others
- 4 Miscellaneous
- 5 Links
Standing at just 4'10" (1.49 m), Aliena is incredibly short, even for an elf, and it is usually the first thing people will notice about her. Slender, slight, and physically unimposing, Aliena makes for a poor physical fighter but more than makes up with it through her magic. She generally appears well-fed and healthy but had some health problems stemming from the over a decade she spent behind the Circle walls and lingering effects from her childhood malnutrition.
Depending on the time she's encountered, her hair will usually be the second thing people will notice about her. From the second she stepped into the Circle until a short time following her Joining, she never once cut her hair; by the time she was eighteen, it had become a long, dark, curling mass reaching past her waist. Though never a nuisance within the Circle walls itself, Aliena quickly grew frustrated with how her hair would snag on tree branches and tangle at a whim, though she refused to have it cut out of stubborn refusal to "give in" to the tyrant matron who forced her to shear her hair, even years after she left the orphanage. It was only after the Broken Circle, however, that she would have Alistair cut most of it off, leaving her hair at shoulder-length. After the Blight, she would grow out her hair to reach her elbows, mostly wearing her hair in elaborate braided styles.
The third thing people will notice about her are her eyes - Aliena's eyes are a very light blue, often appearing grey or colourless in certain lights. They were once a deep brown, nearly black, but turned pale as she grew in magical ability. She also has deep shadows under her eyes, owing to a difficulty in and lack of sleep; this, combined with her pale skin, made her appear somewhat "creepy." Owing to stepped outside only rarely for an entire decade, Aliena was incredibly pale, but freckled easily in the sun. At first, she hated the dots on her face and arms, but her opinion of them softened when Alistair told her they were like "little stars" on her skin.
In terms of jewellery and body modifications, Aliena tends to wear little. Jewellery was largely frowned upon in the Circle, but during the Blight, she noticed a set of studs in the Denerim market, and Zevran offered to pierce her ears for her. She later pierced the industrial of both ears herself and generally likes wearing small studs or hoops.
Prickly, grumpy, and prone to sarcastic remarks, Aliena tends to turn many people away by her initial demeanour. Generally keeping to herself, Aliena appears to prefer the company of books and spells to actual people. However, much of this is just facade; after losing most of her friends from the Circle, she was reluctant to open herself up in the aftermath. Underneath it all, Aliena desperately wants to love and be loved. The Circle was not a place for open affection, and though she had friends, once they all left - Karl was transferred to Kirkwall, Anders escaped, Amell died during their Harrowing, Jowan betrayed her trust - she found herself alone again. Though she is deeply loving to her friends and those she genuinely cares about, after Jowan's betrayal, she had steeled herself and resigned to a lack of real connection with anyone. Eventually, over the course of the Blight, she did, much to her shock, manage to find actual kinship with others again, and slowly she started to dismantle the wall she had built up.
Beyond that, Aliena is insatiably curious about all things magical, and is fascinated by what most others would find distasteful. As a child, she spent much of her time poring over almost every single book in the Circle's expansive library, and that hasn't changed much into her adult years. She is somewhat prideful of her skills, but since her Harrowing has taken care to see that it does not overwhelm her. Once she sets out on a particular task, she will devote all her energy into seeing it through, and will stubbornly refuse to give up on it with all her might; Aliena's infamous mule-like obstinacy has been as much of a boon as a bane throughout her journeys.
Talents and Skills
- Magic: Aliena received a comprehensive magical education during her years at the Circle. She discovered early on she had an affinity for ice and lightning magic, learning the branches of Primal magic quickly; however, she never managed to grasp fire spells in the same way. Nevertheless, she was powerful at summoning electricity and ice to her will, and her "Storm of the Century" would become famous when she used it to greatly weaken the archdemon during the final battle of the Fifth Blight. She was also well-trained in the Creation school of magic, and was taught some Entropy and Spirit spells.
- Necromancy: Considered morbid by most young mages, Aliena was deeply fascinated with the magic of Nevarran Mortalitasi early on, partially because it was difficult to learn, partially because it earned her judgemental glares and sidelong glances from the other apprentices. First Enchanter Irving approved and encouraged her interest, deeming her responsible enough to handle such an esoteric school of magic. One of her favourite spells was Virulent Walking Bomb, which she used frequently during the Blight. Once the Blight was over, however, she largely gave up on necromancy; many people cannot tell the difference between necromancy and blood magic and as such, she stopped practising as to avoid throwing suspicion on herself as "the king's witch."
- Spirit Healing: Though she never had any great affection for this particular school of magic, Aliena was discovered to have a great and prodigious talent in healing magic from a young age, and was trained by Wynne as one of the few spirit healers in Kinloch Hold. Her talents were greatly relied on during the Blight, when she (much to her frustration) used her healing powers far more than her beloved necromancy spells. She derived her powers from communion with a Spirit of Learning, who was drawn to her fascination with new types of magic.
- Herbalism: Like all mages in the Circle, Aliena received training in mixing potions and essences during her apprenticeship, though she was not particularly skilled, beyond making small poultices and lyrium drafts. After recruiting Morrigan and Wynne, she left potion-making chiefly to the two other mages in the group, though she did rely on these skills to heavily sedate Connor before she and the group set out for the Circle for assistance in freeing him of the demon.
- Languages: Besides Common, Aliena has a decent grasp of the Old Fereldan tongue, the language used in Ferelden before it was largely replaced by Trade tongue - enough to hold a conversation in parts of the country where it is still used, but not enough to be considered fluent. Circle mages were encouraged to learn at least Orlesian and Tevene in order to communicate between Circles and to be able to read scholarly articles in both of those languages; Aliena considers her Tevene to be quite decent but her Orlesian to be shoddy until she learned more of the language out of spite to show up the noblemen who didn't expect it out of her. She was also taught a few choice words of Antivan by Zevran (read: cussing), and picked up a few words from the Dalish. Fenedhis is her favourite elvhen word.
Aliena Surana was born in the Free Marches city of Kirkwall in early 9:12 Dragon to two elven Circle mages from the Gallows. Her father, Orsino , would eventually become First Enchanter of the Gallows; her mother, Helaine , was transferred to the Montsimmard Circle shortly after her birth. Like most children of Circle mages, Aliena was taken by the Templars to a Chantry orphanage in the Denerim alienage; as she has lived in the kingdom for almost all of her life, she considers herself wholly a Fereldan, not a Marcher. The orphanage was under-funded and badly managed, and as such Aliena spent most of her early life hungry and neglected, and she was illiterate until, as expected, her magic surfaced at age five, after which she was taken to the Circle at Kinloch Hold.
In contrast to the abusive environment of the orphanage, Aliena thrived at the Circle. Her first year was spent teaching her the integral skills of reading, arithmetics, and many of the things she had been neglected to be taught at the orphanage. Aliena, in particular, took strongly to books, often spending her free days curled into a stack of them, working her way through as many as she could and using them to imagine worlds she never thought she would be able to experience for herself.
Aliena was assigned to Senior Enchanter Wynne to be taught first the basics of magic, later leading to education in the healing arts. She flourished under Wynne's tutelage, quickly establishing herself as one of Kinloch's most talented apprentices, eventually leading her to catch the attention of First Enchanter Irving. Aliena reluctantly agreed to transfer to Irving's tutelage when she was 12, beginning a far more vigorous stage of her instruction.
Irving was far more of a disciplinarian teacher, much more rigorous in his methods, as well as greatly ramping up the difficulty of her societies. However, it was under her time with Irving she would meet one of the most important people in her life, Robin Amell. Though the two began as academic rivals, they quickly realized that being two of the most brilliant apprentices in the Circle. They started at first a partnership, then a friendship. The third member of their "trouble trio" was rounded out by Jowan, a timid, lower-achieving student in the apprentice ranks, and they would often sneak out of their dormitories at night to crawl all over the tower sifting through books and digging for hidden lore that would never be otherwise taught to them.
As Aliena and Robin grew into teenagehood side by side, the two slowly came to realize their growing feelings for each other that extended beyond what they thought of as simple platonic friendship. It started with looping lone fingers in each others' when nobody else was looking, looks that lingered for a little too long, and wisps of hair brushed away from each others' faces. On Aliena's 14th birthday, Robin decided to surprise her with two gifts - a batch of honey cakes stolen from the kitchens, and a quick peck on the lips that barely lasted a second until she grabbed him into a second one. That was the point of no return for the both of them - while they both tried to hide it as well as they could, and constantly feared discovery and separation, they hesitantly let the youthful feelings grow and develop into a relationship they thought could potentially last. Though they never made plans to act on it, the two of them whispered plans to potentially run away - live as apostates, explore the world together; plans Robin took far more seriously than Aliena, who thought of them as nothing more than an inside joke between friends.
Aliena and Robin's Harrowings were scheduled on the same day; 21 Kingsway, 9:30. This was a source of some controversy, as at 17 Aliena was considered a little too young for the test, but Irving vouched for his apprentice, insisting she was a seasoned enough apprentice to be considered for the status of full magehood. However, when the day came, it would end in tragedy; Aliena, while waiting to take her test, was horrorstruck as she watched the templars carry out Robin's body. After lashing out at the templars, Irving called off her own Harrowing to allow for time for her to grieve. Aliena's actual Harrowing was rescheduled months later, in early Guardian, 9:31, coinciding with the Blight beginning in the Korcari Wilds. Though it had been several months since Robin's Harrowing, the incident was still fresh on her mind, and she went into her test with great trepidation. However, she aced the test through nothing but her own will to survive, and managed to leave the Fade a full mage of the Circle.
Barely a day afterwards, however, she was caught up in an escape plan hatched by Jowan after her friend was suspected of being a blood mage. Though Aliena's sense would have otherwise dictated she tell her mentor exactly what was transpiring, her desperation not to lose someone else she cared about as she had Robin drove her to assist Jowan, even as she thought the plan was foolhardy. When Jowan turned out to have been lying to her and revealed his blood magic, his betrayal convinced her to harden herself, to turn away from the world as to not let anyone else hurt her again. To avoid death (or a fate worse than death in Aeonar, the mage's prison), she was conscripted by Duncan, Ferelden's Commander of the Grey.
Though reluctant to leave the only place she had ever really known as a home, even if her feelings of the Circle grew more mixed over the years, she could barely contain her excitement - even without Robin, the world was opened up to her now. Finally, free from the walls she had been trapped behind so long.
|Origin and Prologue||Did not tell Irving about Jowan's plan. Conscripted by Duncan into Wardens. Fed Ostagar prisoner the guard's lunch. Cured the mabari hound.|
|Nature of the Beast||Brokered peace between Dalish and werewolves. Killed the hermit; Grand Oak survived. Saved Elora's halla. Told Athras about Danyla's fate. Brought Cammen and Gheyna together by giving Cammen wolf pelt. Brought Varathorn ironbark. Returned Deygan to the Dalish camp.|
|The Arl of Redcliffe||Helped Redcliffe prepare & fight. Helped Bella leave Redcliffe. Helped Valena escape. Freed Bevin; paid for sword. Isolde is alive. Connor alive, not possessed; got help from Circle.|
|Broken Circle||Did not agree to Cullen's request. Irving survived the battle. Mages supported.|
|The Urn of Sacred Ashes||Did not kill high dragon. Refused to defile ashes. Allowed Genitivi to spread word of ashes.|
|A Paragon of Her Kind||Didn't help Burkel create Chantry. Zerlinda left for the surface with her baby. Did not complete Rogek's lyrium deal. Helped Orta join the Assembly. Proved Legion of the Dead's connection to noble house. Returned the tome to Shaperate. Dagna left to study at the Circle. Sided with Caridin against Branka and destroyed the Anvil. Crowned Bhelen as King of Orzammar.|
|The Landsmeet||Returned amulet to beggar. Gave Alfstanna Irminric's ring. Told Bann Sighard about Oswyn. Escaped Fort Drakon with Alistair in disguise. Brokered marriage deal between Alistair and Anora. Ser Cauthrien convinced to stand down. Won the debate with help from Anora. Alistair dueled and killed Loghain. Marriage deal with Anora called off. Alistair became king; remained his mistress.|
|The Battle of Denerim||Alistair performed the Dark Ritual with Morrigan. Killed Archdemon; survived the battle. Following battle, was made Alistair's Chancellor.|
|Companions||Recruited Dog; renamed him Rabbit. Romanced Alistair. Helped Alistair find Goldanna; was hardened. Persuaded Revered Mother to free Sten. Sten recruited; found Asala. Leliana killed Marjolaine; was hardened. Acquired Flemeth's grimoire for Morrigan peacefully. Recruited Zevran; Zevran remained loyal. Recruited Oghren; reunited Oghren with Felsi. Helped Wynne reconcile with Aneirin.|
|Stone Prisoner||Shale recruited. Matthias and Amalia both alive; neither possessed. Shale uncovered her past.|
|Warden's Keep||Kept blood concoction, but did not drink it. Killed Sophia. Forced Avernus into ethical research.|
Awakening, Witch Hunt, Golems
|Awakening Main Plot||Upgraded Keep fully. Keep and Amaranthine both protected. Allowed the Architect to live.|
|Companions||Nathaniel forcibly conscripted into Wardens. Helped Nathaniel find Delilah. Reconciled Oghren and Felsi. Killed Rylock. Found Aura for Justice. Sigrun gave Mischa ring.|
|Witch Hunt||Did not play DLC; left Morrigan alone.|
|Golems of Amgarrak||Investigated Amgarrak thaig with Dace brothers.|
Aliena named Nathaniel Howe her Warden-Constable and second-in-command in 9:33 Dragon. From 9:32 to 9:39, she would largely split her time between Vigil's Keep and Denerim,
- Named Nathaniel her Warden-Constable in 9:33
- From 9:32 - 9:39, largely split her time between Vigil's Keep and Denerim
- As Chancellor, helped the rebuilding of Ferelden
- Became pregnant with Alistair's child in 9:40 Dragon
- The following year, gave birth to Moira Wynne Surana (later Theirin) in Denerim
- When Moira was 4 months old, started hearing the Calling
- Left for the west to search for a cure with a handful of her Wardens - chiefly Carver Hawke, Nathaniel Howe, Nesta Cousland
- Returned in 9:45 cured of the Calling; Duncan Surana-Theirin born 10 months later in Denerim
- Alistair declares his intentions to make Moira Wynne his heir in 9:56 and to abdicate in 9:70 Dragon
- Wasting disease sweeps through Ferelden in 9:66 Dragon, Aliena catches it
- Though she appears to get better temporarily, Aliena dies in the middle of the night; Alistair follows days later
- Moira Wynne becomes Queen of Ferelden in 9:67 Dragon after a period of struggle; post-humously names her mother Queen Consort of Ferelden
From the Circle
First love. They died during the Harrowing.
Anders and Karl
Her "dumb older brothers".
Anders in particular: Taught her a lot about healing. Overjoyed when he became a Warden. Upset that he left, unspeakably angry when she learns what he'd done. Furious that he abandoned his principles to do something so terrible.
After all their other friends left by some fashion or another, they were all each other had left. Never the closest in their friend circle until forced by circumstance.
Neither Alistair nor Aliena liked each other much when they first met. They got off on a bad footing when she found out he was an ex-Templar in their first conversation, leading to an initial distrust and deep impatience with him on her part, while he disliked her irritable attitude and jumping to conclusions about his opinions on magic. However, after all the Wardens were wiped out apart from their small group, the two were forced to put their differences aside and find a way to work together. On one of their first nights in camp, Aliena volunteered to stay up as guard, and drawing lots, Alistair was chosen to keep watch with her. Though for the first half of that night none of them said a word to each other, much to Alistair's shock Aliena started conversation by asking him if he wanted to talk about Duncan. Caught off guard, Alistair confessed his deep grief about what happened to the other Wardens, and Aliena admitted she was taking it much harder than she appeared to be.
Aliena and Alistair realized they were developing feelings for each other around the same time, though he was much more forthcoming about the matter than she was.
They don't get along for... quite a few reasons, but the big one is that they're rather similar personality-wise but can't agree on mages or the Circle at all, and they pretty much have to be kept apart lest magic start getting thrown around everywhere. Aliena was also taught from a very young age that apostates were incredibly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, and that definitely tainted her interactions with Morrigan. With that being said though, while they're never friends ("I need more friends other than Leliana and Zevran?"), they do develop a respect for each other, to the point where Aliena trusted her with the Dark Ritual and chose not to pursue her after she disappeared.
Leliana she thought was completely nuts at first, but they ended up becoming quite close since she found it strangely easy to talk to her. Leliana was the first female friend she ever had, since a lot of the girls in the Circle ended up shunning her (and she ended up just hanging out with Jowan and Robin instead.)
Aliena first met Wynne when she was just five years old, upon first entering the Circle as a newly manifested mage. Wynne was the first mage to greet her, comforting her by showing her a first example of healing magic and promising she would be able to harness her true potential too, in time. Aliena was her chance to make up for Aneirin, she thought; a young elven mage she would treat right this time. She succeeded - Aliena blossomed as a young mage under her tutelage; a healing mage of the finest caliber.
Wynne was most upset when Irving "stole" her favourite student from right under her nose to become his own pupil, but the two of them still saw each other within the tower, if far more infrequently than they used to. Still, Aliena still treated Wynne as something of a mother, even if she'd never admit it. She used to jokingly gift "herself" to Wynne every Satinalia.
Aliena Surana's best friend is Zevran, though all things considered they think of each other more like siblings than just friends. Zevran was the first elf Aliena ever spent any long-term contact with outside of the Circle, and she loved hearing his perspective on life. They bonded over similar childhood experiences, in the Crows and the Circle, and by the end of the Blight Zevran was calling her "sorellina", Antivan for "little sister."
Was a cat person until she met him. Now she's all about the puppers.
See: above. Dumbass big bro. After Chantry Boom > Broken pedestal. Really not happy about it.
Slowly became bros. Will never stop teasing him about Nessa.
Her biggest whoops.
- Aliena was named after the female main character of Ken Follett's novel The Pillars of the Earth.
- Alina is demi-panromantic and grey asexual.
- Aliena's birthday is 13 Guardian, the day before Wintersend.
- She turned 18 on the way to Ostagar and wasn't aware of it until she reached Ostagar.
- Aliena's favourite food, even years after she left the Circle, are the honey cakes the tower's cooks made on rainy days. Many of her favourite memories are tied up in biting into the yeasty dough as the rain outside lashed against the windows and savouring the sweetness. She has tried to get both the Denerim Royal Palace cooks and the Vigil's Keep cooks to recreate them, many, many times, to no avail; there's something the cooks are missing, but she can't put her finger on what. Maybe it's just nostalgia.
- Aliena has a fascination with maps and star charts and collects them with fervor.
- Aliena prides herself on her excellent hearing, as elves tend to have better ears. She used this ability often in her childhood spent sneaking around the Circle tower, and has shaped much of her fighting style around her ability to easily pick up auditory cues.
- Thanks to the Blight, however, Aliena has slowly been losing bits of her hearing. She started noticing when she had difficulties hearing what Alistair was saying even when he was right next to her, and it slowly compounded over the years until she's almost completely deaf in her right ear. It especially frustrates her since she relies a lot on hearing cues to fight, and her excellent hearing's one of the few things she prides herself on beside her magic. Then when she starts hearing the Calling it becomes extra frustrating because she can hear that perfectly fine, and it drowns out what little else she can hear.
- While her main motivation for curing the Calling is so she won't die in the Deep Roads (one of her worst fears), another is to halt the damage already done to her hearing. She just doesn't want to live a life where she can't hear Alistair's laughter or the voices of their children.