Asher was fourteen when he was given to the Templar Order, and began living full-time at the Ostwick Circle. Considering the loyalty the Trevelyans held for the Chantry, his status as third in line for inheritance, and his natural aptitude with a sword, it was the most logical path in life, if not expected of him. He learned dutifully as a recruit, earning his Sun-Shield on his seventeenth name-day. Prior to the Mage-Templar War, he was still permitted a fair degree of freedom to return home, be it for special occasions or appearances, but otherwise lived within the Circle of Magi. He would also partake in tours the Free Marches, wherein he hunting down abominations and escorting new mages to the circles, covering the routes between Kirkwall, Ostwick, Markham, and Hercinia, affording him small samples of the greater cities of the Marches. Until his time with the Inquisition, he viewed mages with traditional Thedosian mistrust, and would readily cite common beliefs to justify these beliefs. His views on the Qunari are even more radical, actively mistrusting and any all affiliated with it, largely from Ostwick’s history and beliefs.
- 1 Traits
- 2 Background
- 3 Family
- 4 Ostwick Templar Squad
- 5 Other Relationships
- 6 Miscellaneous Facts
- 7 Featured Works
Rather unremarkable, and content to be so-- brown eyes, dark brown hair, fair complexion. While on active duty, he keeps his hair short and trimmed, as well as his face clean-shaven, not in part due to his inability to grow any sort of respectable facial hair. Has often considered growing out his hair long enough to tie back to forgo the necessity of constant trimming, but never manages to let it get past the in-between stages before trimming it down again. On the daily, he prefers practical wear to finery, but growing up in a noble family, still has higher standards for what is “acceptable” than most. Is content to stay in full templar garb for gatherings and appearances, but in truth also relishes the idea of dressing to the nines again, as since his departure from Ostwick he has had little reason to do so. Is fond of deep red silks in everything he wears, especially as accents to his outfits.
When one is born as a third son to a noble family, they share many qualities with their elder siblings: of course, courtesies and diplomacy first and foremost, lest they embarrass the family even when inevitably finding their own path in life. They also typically have a chip on their shoulder, a bitterness at being born too little, too late. In many ways, Asher avoids this by embracing his life and career among the templars, but when that starts to come into question, bitterness becomes more prevalent in his life.
Asher prefers fighting with two-handed blades, particularly greatswords and greataxes, and will complain loudly if forced to use war hammers. Can survive with a weapon and shield in a pinch, especially after his templar training, which helped him learn to use shields against magic. Asher is strongest in controlling the ebb and flow of battle, using his war horn as both a rallying call for his allies and a warning to his enemies. He favours dodging enemy attacks or waiting to counter blows to striking first. He also enjoys reeling in enemies with his grappling chain perhaps a little too much. His templar training also provides him with several powerful abilities, most notably the ability to dispel ambient and hostile magic, as well as channeling lyrium into physical enchantments or attacks to stun and paralyze enemies.
- 9:15 - 9:29 Dragon, Age 0-14
Asher lived in relative comfort befitting his birth, learning how to be a good noble son, proper titles and forms of address, and the like. It’s a time he remembers fondly and vividly, and his teachings were not forgotten upon being given to the Order. Considering the loyalty the Trevelyans held for the Chantry, his status as third in line for inheritance, and his natural aptitude with a sword, it was at some point just assumed. Asher was generally fine with this path in life, viewing the Templars as highly respected and capable warriors. His only hesitations stemmed from his lack of faith in Chantry ideals, viewing Andraste and the Maker as little more than tales of fantasy, used to explain that which was not understood. Faith was not what kept his sword in his hand, and the lyrium in his body was more real than any of the Maker’s supposed “will”. If asked directly, however, he would lie and claim faith in the Maker, and recite passages of the Chant like any good Andrastian devout.
Training and Active Templar Duty
- 9:29 - 9:37 Dragon, Age 14-22
Asher was fourteen when he was given to the Order, and began living full-time at the Ostwick Circle. As an apprentice, he learned dutifully, and earned his Sun-Shield on his seventeenth name-day. During the time of peace, he was still permitted a fair degree of freedom to return home for needed appearances or special occasions, but otherwise lived within the Circle of Magi. He made the odd tour as a patrolling templar, hunting down abominations and escorting new mages to the circles, covering the routes between Kirkwall, Ostwick, Markham, and Hercinia. This afforded him small samples of the greater cities of the Marches.
- 9:37 - 9:41 Dragon, Age 22-27
When the Circles lashed out in rebellion against the Chantry, Asher feared for the stability of the Circle and the Templars, but found the Ostwick Circle to be thankfully more calm than their counterparts elsewhere in the Free Marches. Senior Enchanter Eireann and the Knight-Commander cautioned temperance, and formed a promise of neutrality to not partake in the active hostilities. However, that did not mean the struggle did not affect them. Lyrium shipments had to come through conflicts to reach them, frequently never arrived, assumed to be ambushed by apostates somewhere in transit. Then, even essential supplies became scarce, food rations being reduced regularly, as even in their neutrality, they began to feel the effects of the global strife.
- 9:41 Dragon, Age 27
Then, finally came word of the Divine Conclave. It was decided almost unanimously to send a group of mages and templars from the Circle to pledge their support for an end to the open conflict, to show the potential for templars and mages to find common ground and live in peace. So Asher visited Ferelden properly for the first time, apart from the occasional voyage to Amaranthine or Highever with his family as a boy. While only the Knight-Commander, Knight-Captain, and Senior Enchanters were permitted to attend the conclave proper, he and the others took brief respite in the nearby town of Haven, enjoying the momentary illusion of peace with full bellies and rested feet.
The explosion that followed shattered that illusion rather quickly.
A temple in ashes, a rift in the sky, and demons pouring from it like it was the end of the world. Like so many others at Haven, Asher and his comrades took to arms, hoping to find survivors amidst the rubble. A few demons did not frighten them— their training had prepared them to face every variety. But their training did not prepare them to face endless demons, as wave after wave poured from rifts littering the countryside. By the time they realized that they were overwhelmed, retreat was no longer an option. Demons surrounded them, taking down his allies one by one. It was only thanks to the arrival of the Inquisition’s forces that Asher himself survived— and, to his surprise, it was with the Senior Enchanter at their helm. With little other option and a life-debt owed, he signed on with the Inquisition.
His time with the Inquisition made him realize that, despite actively avoiding it, he was still victim to believing more in Chantry legends than he would have liked. He spoke to the rebel mages for the first time as comrades and companions rather than enemies to be dispatched, or apostates to be apprehended. For once, he could see the point of view of the Mages rebelling against the oppression of the Chantry, those seeking an end to the Circle, and could not help but wonder if they did not have a point. Seeing the state of his brethren at Therinfal Redoubt only further shook his beliefs, seeing the corruption that plagued their ranks— both in the literal and figurative sense. Was this the Order had held in such high esteem? Each Red Templar he faced could have once been a sworn brother or sister, a friend, or even himself, under different circumstances.
Siege of Haven
Corypheus and his Archdemon’s assault was Asher’s first real taste of large-scale combat, having up until that point trained in dealing with skirmishes and small assaults. He would have frankly preferred it to be the last, as well, for in the moment the sheer chaos and scale of the event left him dumbfounded, frozen in fear until someone had to grab him by the shoulder to get into formation to hold back the advance. It was like the Divine Conclave all over again— hordes of enemies, endlessly approaching, and no hope of escape. The Order to retreat back to the Chantry was both a relief and a death sentence, as Asher very truly expected to die within the hallowed walls. The fact that so much of the Inquisition was able to escape, and in no small part by Inquisitor, made Asher reconsider the existence of the Maker, and her role in any plan of His.
Assault on Adamant Fortress
It took time for the Inquisition to rebuild, thankfully meaning most of Asher’s duties returned to normal. Aiding in small skirmishes against Venatori, helping to manage the demons pouring from Fade rifts until the time that the Inquisitor could close them, or wherever else the Inquisitor told their templar forces to go. But the siege of Adamant Fortress was, in many ways, the tipping point of his own sanity and beliefs. Again, the sheer terror of being but one small, frail mortal in the chaos of a larger battle weighed down on him, causing his feet to hesitate, and his swings to miss. If that was not worse enough, though, bearing witness the enthrallment and slaughtering of the Grey Wardens was too much. A dragon setting fire to everything in sight was too much. A gigantic hole directly into the Fade was too much.
Despite all his training and sense of honour, Asher fled from the battle.
Out of everything that happened in his life, Asher feels as though he’ll never be able to live down the shame of him abandoning his comrades, letting so many others to die, as he ran in fear from Adamant Fortress. He truly considered not returning to the Inquisition at all, once the reality of what he did began to sink in, for how could he bear to show his face after deserting them in battle? Would they even trust a deserter to follow orders anymore?
Choosing to return to Skyhold is in no small part due to his guilt, but also just sheer practicality— the Inquisition represents one of the only organizations with a secure supply of lyrium, and the idea of going through withdrawal scares him even more than whatever judgement he may face.
As Asher’s eldest brother, and heir apparent of House Trevelyan, it’s undoubtedly that Gerald shaped Asher’s future and character, whether he wanted to or not. He was Asher’s greatest role model — for much of his early life, he might as well have been Gerald’s shadow, accompanying him wherever he was allowed, joining in on his lessons and excursions, and trying his best to live up to the pride of House Trevelyan. Even though Gerald was five years his elder, Asher still tried his best to compete and improve to match his brother. Fortunately, Gerald never took unkindly to this, offering to help or offer advice to his baby brother when he could, and celebrating his successes… but never going easy on him, either. More than anything, Asher envied his brother’s charisma and charm, for it seemed like Gerald always knew what to say and — perhaps more importantly — when not to say anything at all, as Asher was commonly scolded for speaking too much, or saying something not meant to be heard.
Whenever Asher would visit home from the Order for the occasional important meeting or event, the two would embrace and reconnect as if he had never left. However, in truth Asher grew more and more jealous of his brother with each visit. Never hateful— it was not Gerald’s fault he was born first, after all. But more than a few times, he found himself struggling to be compassionate when Gerald complained about an embarrassing evening with guests, or frustrations in the Teyrn’s new exporting tariffs. Twice the two parted on downright sour terms— the first, over an off-handed remark Gerald made chiding Asher for how much Orlesian he had forgotten during conversations with the visiting Comte and Comtesse, which was later reconciled in an apologetic letter from Gerald. The second came at the news of his brother’s engagement to a young Markham noble, to which Asher found himself behaving most ignobly, resenting the fact that he not only never had the chance to meet the woman, but was told of the news only after it had been decided. The two have not yet made peace, as the beginning of the Templar-Mage civil war turned Asher’s focus away from his home life.
Three years older than Asher, his relationship Cassian over the years in many ways mirrors his overall arc from childhood into adulthood. As very young children, Cassian and Asher were close, both allowed more leniency in their daily lives. As a result, the two often got into trouble together— primarily Asher following Cassian around to whatever.
Cassian began sneaking out a lot to the tavern, much to his father's displeasure. The largest strain on Cassian came when he slept with a noble girl who was engaged, causing a public scandal for the entire Trevelyan family. In an attempt to "fix" the situation, Bann Trevelyan decided that appropriate retribution was to give Cassian to the Templar Order, both removing him from the public eye, and hopefully keeping him out of further trouble. Cassian, however, did not appreciate this, and within only a few months of being with the Order, ran away and has avoided all contact with his family.
To say that he hates Gerald and all that he represents would not be an understatement. However, his feelings towards Asher remain more complicated. It seems like he disapproves of his younger brother's attitudes and general complacency to do what his father says, but there may be some affection still lingering.
Ostwick Templar Squad
While stationed at Ostwick, Asher was a member of a company of six templars, consisting of three partners. These included:
Knight-Corporal Dylan Malley
The leader of Asher's squad, Ser Malley is a Templar Hunter and excellent tracker and survivalist, leading the patrols and expeditions the squad would take between Ostwick, Kirkwall, and Markham with both skill and seriousness unmatched by the rest of the Squad.
He's probably the illegitimate son of a prominent Ostwick noble, judging by the similarities in their appearance— particularly, his strong jaw, heavy brow, and icy eyes that unwaver in their focus. But he's never answered questions about it.
He was suspiciously well-educated, though, with a taste for the finer things in life. Trained specifically to hunt and kill dangerous apostates, and he liked what he did - rumors that he kept a trinket from every kill likewise remain unconfirmed. He sure had stories though, and would look the other way if the templars under his command passed around a little extra lyrium or snuck out to a house of dubious repute, so long as it didn't affect their execution of their duties.
While his subordinates trust him with their lives, they are also not above teasing his assumed noble birth, quick to call him “milord”, “his lordship”, and similar monikers when they wish to tease or otherwise annoy him. This was often met with wordless, stern glares.
Became partner to the fresh-faced Ser Riley Seabrooke upon promotion to Knight-Corporal. Died in 9:41 at the Siege of Haven at the age of 30.
Knight-Templar Tendaryn "Ryn" Clairedorne
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but sometimes the one trick is all you need, or maybe it's just no one could understand him through his thick Chasind accent. But he would take a blow for anyone, joking who would notice in the tracks upon tracks of scars that peppered him from head to toe. A grizzled old veteran, he was an unshakeable mountain of a man, so it would take a mountain to take him down.
He was made partner to Ser Luscerne Tenervael after his prior partner was allowed into "retirement", serving at a country-side abbey after early-onset lyrium sickness made him unfit for duty. He will often mutter bitterly about the decision, grimly remarking that he prays he meets his end more quickly than being shipped off somewhere else to slowly die. It has not gone unnoticed by the other members of the squad that he has recently begun having serious lapses in memory, but none of them breathed a word about it aloud.
Died in 9:41 at the Siege of Haven at the age of 47.
Knight-Templar Luscerne "Mouse" Tenervael
Thus nicknamed by Seamus for a variety of reasons— not the least of which being his religious beliefs, but also for his uncanny ability to move silently, in crowds as well as in the wilds. As a specially trained Templar Hunter, this serves the squadron incredibly well, as not only is he able to take foes— be they mage, demon, or otherwise— completely unawares.
Mouse should have been a brother, because he believed. More than anyone, he held in his heart the Chant in everything he did, and his nightly recitations the hum to set their tents to. He must have been from money though, he came with his own armor and weapons, trained and dedicated to the cause. But when he fought, you could see why he was sent to the Templars instead of the Chantry. The zealotry, bordering on bloodlust, the cold quiet of his strike and the lack of mercy. For every bit of warmth he had for his brothers, he had ice in spades for his enemies. A believer and a killer both.
He has a strong sense of pride and duty, and often scoffs at the others when they are behaving in ways he deems ‘unworthy’ of the Chantry. However, a critical eye sees that he is hardly the ideal example of a devout Andrastian, either. He doesn’t seem to mind as much when the antics involve an extra helping of lyrium to take the edge off.
Was made partner to Ser Tendaryn Clairedorne upon being sworn into the Order. Died in 9:41 after the Divine Conclave at the age of 28.
Knight-Templar Seamus “Tunnag” Callaway
Seamus was the second son of a long-time mining family, working in the Vimmark mountains north of Ostwick. His father wished for a better life for his children than a life underground, claiming that there was more of the world to see, encouraging them to find their own life away from the Vimmark mineshafts. Seamus showed a keen mind and battle-sense that had him recruited into the Templar Order around the same time as Asher, although he was one year Asher’s junior.
With a tall but lean build, he is proficient in both sword-and-shield combat and archery, but his sharp mind and quick thinking had him designated as the field-medic of the squad. He also has the best memory of the entire squad, and remembers important details that the others sometimes let slip their mind. He is also eager to remind others of stories and embarrassing moments they might have otherwise forgotten. At times, he acts as the de-facto second-in-command, keeping a cool and focused head in crises, keeping the focus on safety and success of the squad above all else. He showed strong promise for promotion in the Templar ranks, and Asher knew that he would be made Knight-Corporal long before Asher was considered.
He had a penchant for nicknames, and was quick to bestow the other templars with the monikers they would often call each other for the rest of their time together. He also had nicknames for other notable members of the Circle, including the First-Enchanter and the Knight-Commander and other higher-ups, although these were often met with less amusement.
During training as fresh recruits, he and Asher grew close naturally. Despite coming from far different backgrounds, both were easy to talk and laugh, and were often the ones to be reprimanded for talking when silence was requested. His first and closest friend… and also, more than friend. Seeing their fondness for each other, the higher-ups decided to foster that bond by making them partners upon swearing into the Order. Seamus’ nickname for Asher was Sweet-Cheeks… of course because of his sweet tooth, and nothing else.
Died in 9:41 after the battle following the Divine Conclave at the age of 25. Asher has kept some of his personal effects, including a journal Seamus wrote in during his time with the Order.
Knight-Templar Riley "Squid / Scale / Fish-Face / New Meat" Seabrooke
A fresh-faced fisherman's son, he took his vows in 9:37 Dragon, mere months after the Kirkwall Chantry went up in smoke. Instead of scaring him away, that event made him more determined than ever to protect the faithful against such tragedy. Things pretty much immediately went downhill from there, between increasing mage unrest and templar restraint, and the war really shook his optimism and sense of purpose.
Still early on in his training, Riley never had a chance to specialize beyond the standard Templar training of weapon-and-shield tactics. While originally known only as “New Meat”, he was quickly given a variety of aquatic nicknames came not only from his family’s trade, but also from an unfortunate incident that resulted in him falling off a dock-side and struggling to swim in full plate armour— which, after the initial scare and rescue, was decidedly hilarious based on how he flailed about. They are numerous and varied, to the point that Riley’s name is rarely actually used. On one occasion, this resulted in the Knight-Corporal (a usual stickler for calling his men by their proper titles and name) loudly referring to him as “Ser Fish-Face” in a slip of the tongue, an act that left the entire squad— including Riley himself— laughing to the point of tears.
Was partnered with Knight-Corporal Dylan Malley shortly after being sworn into the Order. Died in 9:40 in an attack by Minhris Lavellan at the age of 21.
As both Asher’s commanding officer and a former templar of significant renown, Cullen represents a rather unique figure to him compared to other the members of the Inquisition. Asher undoubtedly holds a great deal of respect and admiration for the Commander, especially for the additional advice he gave to the templars among their ranks, providing insight into tactics and techniques Asher had not learned with the Order in Ostwick. However, the knowledge that their Commander had willingly put aside his Sun-Shield, and did not count himself among the templars, despite still agreeing to work and train them, confuses Asher. This confusion turns to a fearful understanding the more Asher learns about the world, causing him to wonder if it was the result of the very same disillusionment that he is now beginning to face.
After abandoning his duty at Adamant Fortress, it is the judgement of the Commander that Asher fears above all else. For while the Inquisitor is the leader of the Inquisition, it is Commander Cullen who gave the orders to the troops. To face the man he had respected, learned from, and served for so many years, and apologize for failing him, is something he must do, for himself if for nobody else. If that means punishment, then it’s the retribution he deserves.
The Trevelyan and Montilyet families moved in many of the same circles as merchants. Asher and Josephine were often together as children. She regarded him as Gerald’s annoying younger brother who would tag along and tug on her hair. At the time of the Divine Conclave, they had not seen each other in fourteen years. When they crossed paths at Haven, she did not even recognize him. It was not until she saw his name on a list of military personnel that she took pains to track him down and check on his welfare. The two instantly connected, and where there had once been a childhood annoyance, a deep and abiding trust started to blossom between them.
- The Ocean. Growing up by the Waking Sea, much of Asher’s vacation time as a child was spent on one of the Bann’s pleasure barges. He was a half-competent sailor prior to joining the Order, and often wonders how much he would remember if put behind the helm again. Seeing the coast and the smell of the salty air still brings back memories of home and simpler times.
- High Society Parties, and similar. Even if he would be embarrassed to admit it, life among the templars made him miss the pleasures of home and court life, where one needed only to fear slipping on their tongue or tripping during a dance, and the embarrassment that would result, rather than a misstep in battle, which could mean losing limb or life. He was occasionally permitted to return home to a particular gathering of importance with the rest of his family, but by and large has had little opportunity to flex his Nobility Muscles since joining. Of course, the Free Marcher nobility parties were also far less convoluted, and considerably less deadly, in comparison to the Orlesian Grand Game. Still, one day he hopes he may return to an evening of titles and other such trivialities, if only as reprieve from his typical duties.
- Many other forms of luxury he rarely gets to indulge in, including food and music, sparring one-one one, outdoors expeditions and adventures.
- Blood mages, abominations, et al., as was drilled into him during his training as a templar. While now holding a newfound respect for mages, including those using spirit magic, those who would make deals with demons or perform blood magic he still struggles to not look at with disgust and contempt.
- Deserts and hot weather, thunderstorms, dark dank caverns with too many spiders why do the apostates always hide in these places, that weird smell old people have, Ferelden cheese, Ferelden food in general, really.
- Explosions and loud noises in general. More of a ‘startle reflex turned trigger’ than a fear, it’s nonetheless worth mentioning as the explosion at the Divine Conclave left him barely alive, alone and without any of his templar allies from Ostwick. He will clock anyone in the face who find startling people amusing.
- Large-scale sieges and battles, see Destruction of Haven, Siege of Adamant. A lifetime of training for one-on-one combat left him impossibly unprepared for the horror and helplessness in both situations, as well as the chaos around him (see Explosions, above).
- Qunari. Not necessarily a “I can’t stand your kind” fear, as much as a “I really don’t want to get on your bad side” fear. Largely socially ingrained, as Ostwick’s bloody history with the Qunari painted a rather grotesque and fearsome picture of the race. The Qun as a religion he fears simply out of principle of the terrifying devotion it inspires in people.
- Lyrium withdrawal and the inevitable sickness from long term lyrium use. He was aware of the cost when he joined, but in truth he didn’t understand just what it meant. Most days he’d rather just not talk about it.
- Sailing, although rather out of practice. See above re: love of ocean.
- Dancing, from his time at court. Being nimble on his feet was part of what made him a talented swordsman — especially important when he lacked shield with which to deflect blows. It was also a large reason for how he became quite apt at learning and mastering different dances. It was also one of the few talents he excelled at over his eldest brother, who by all accounts had two left feet. Also one of the things he misses from High Society Parties (see above).
- Some knowledge or enjoyment of most noble hobbies— he learned a bit of lute, wasn’t particularly good, taught some basic fencing and archery, etc.
- Some degree of common activities among the templars at Ostwick— Diamondback was the most popular, but knows enough Wicked Grace to get by. Also became more fond of reading after joining the Order, as the Circle certainly didn’t lack for books.
- Forgetting to resupply caches of potions / other consumables
- Talking too much, he can be a bit of a socialité and will talk your ear off if you don’t tell him to shut up.
- A habitual liar, but in respect to avoiding a bad topic of conversation or unpleasant remark. Not the one to ask if an outfit looks good unless you assure him you want to know his honest opinion.
- Often adjusts whatever he’s wearing habitually, even if it’s just the sash of his armour or a belt buckle
A short depiction of Asher's experiences at the Siege of Haven.