Cecilia Geneva Grace Odelia Hermana Lamberta Petronilla Styrbiorn Cousland-Howe (née Cousland), also known as the Hero of Ferelden, is the second and youngest child of Teryn Bryce Cousland, and his wife, Teryna Eleanor Cousland. Known for being a headstrong and idealistic young woman, her life was completely changed the night Arl Rendon Howe betrayed her family. She became a Ferelden Grey Warden, and through a series of events, helped end the Fifth Blight in Ferelden. Eventually, she became both the Warden-Commander of Ferelden and Arlessa of Amaranthine, and married fellow Grey Warden Nathaniel Howe.
Physical Appearance Edit
Cecilia Cousland has long, straight black hair that hangs past her waist, save for the two little spring curls that hang in front of her lavender eyes (a genetic mutation within the Cousland bloodline). Her skin is pale, to the point where it has been described as "porcelain-like". She is short for a human (5'3"/162.56 cm), with broad shoulders and a curvy frame. Looks-wise, she takes after her Bryce Cousland more than Eleanor Cousland.
Cecilia might be young, but that does not mean she is unwise. For her age, she is incredibly opinionated and holds unwavering ideals. She does everything with passion: love, fight, argue, and anything else in between. She has been described as a "spitfire" by some because of how she will not hold back her opinion during a discussion. While she might have her father's looks, she has her mother's personality.
What surprises people is how pious she is. Cecilia was raised Andrastian, and that faith has not faded since her childhood. She might not always seem like the most upstanding Andrastian, but she believes fiercely and prays nightly, hoping the Maker hears her prayers.
Cecilia has a dry sense of humor, and when all of the day's work is done, she can kick back and relax around her friends. Making friends comes easy to her, and she has been described to have a "natural charm" to her. One smile and a wink has people hanging onto her every word. Beyond that, she is kind and caring, and will protect her friends and family at a moment's notice.
Talents and SkillsEdit
Cecilia is a renown swordsman. Trained by the Hero of River Dane himself, Teryn Loghain Mac Tir, since she could hold a sword and shield, Cecilia's talents with a sword and shield are second to none. She inspires those who fight alongside her, and strikes fear into the hearts of those who oppose her on the battlefield. In training duels, she has won almost every match except against four opponents: Bryce Cousland, Fergus Cousland (her older brother), Loghain Mac Tir, and Nathaniel Howe.
Her quick wit and charming ways also give her an edge politically. Though she did not have much experience before the Blight in court sessions and political dealings, what she did manage to sit on showed to the older nobles that she had the political expertise to one day be a good leader in Ferelden.
Cecilia was born in early Wintermarch of 9:10 Dragon, nearly a decade after the birth of her older brother, Fergus. Being the younger child, and a daughter at that, meant that Cecilia was at a disadvantage from her birth: she would not take over the Terynir of Highever, but her parents were hesitant to leave her to inherit the Highever military. Arl Rendon Howe managed to convince Bryce and Eleanor to betroth Cecilia to either his eldest son, Nathaniel (who was turning nine at the time of Cecilia's birth), or his younger child if his wife, Elaine, bore a son. Bryce and Eleanor did not formally agree, but it was all but set in stone informally. When Nathaniel was sent away to live in the Free Marches when Cecilia was twelve, it was decided that she and Thomas Howe, Rendon's youngest son, would be betrothed and married once they both reached a suitable age.
Despite the discouragement from Eleanor, Bryce started training Cecilia at a young age to fight. Eleanor wanted Cecilia to grow up a proper noblewoman, like Anora Mac Tir and Delilah Howe had been raised, but Bryce saw the value in a military education alongside her formal studies. However, Cecilia proved to be too tenacious of a student for Bryce's gentler ways, so her tutorage was passed onto Loghain Mac Tir. Loghain proved to be a tough teacher for young Cecilia, not holding back due to her age or her being a woman. He trained her the same way he trained every soldier: repetition, repetition, repetition, until it was perfect. But Loghain was also a perfectionist, and in time, Cecilia became the same way. He told her he would "go easy on her" once she was able to beat him in a duel... which never happened. Beyond fighting, Loghain also trained Cecilia in military strategy, survival skills, and other skills he deemed necessary.
As Cecilia grew older, Eleanor began pressuring her to become more acquainted with Thomas Howe. Cecilia found Thomas to be just as reprehensible and slimy as his father, and dreaded the fact that she would eventually have to be married to him one day. She retreated more into her training sessions with Loghain, finding solace behind a shield with a blade in her hand. Silently, she swore to herself that she would only marry a man who could beat her in a duel, because only a man who was stronger than her would be worthy to be married to.
By the time she turned eighteen, Loghain was pushing Bryce to allow Cecilia to join the Ferelden military under his command as one of his lieutenants. Bryce refused, not wanting any harm to come to his daughter. Yearly, Cecilia pressured her father to allow her to simply march with the troops, just as Fergus did, and yearly, he denied her request. Bryce and Eleanor just wanted Cecilia to be safe; they felt a soldier's life was no life for her to live, especially with all of her formal education. She was scholarly, bright, and quick-witted: they felt like that would go to waste if she became a soldier.
During the summer of her eighteenth year, Fergus came home from a trip to the Free Marches with a surprise guest: Nathaniel Howe. Having been squired for so long under Ser Rodolphe in Starkhaven, this was the first time Nathaniel had stepped foot in Ferelden since he was sent away by his parents. During his week-long visit to Highever, Cecilia and Nathaniel quickly fell for each other. Their torrid love affair only came to an end because of Nathaniel's departure back to the Free Marches: Ser Rodolphe was a strict taskmaster, having barely given Nathaniel any time to visit his home country. Before he left, Nathaniel promised Cecilia that he would return for her before her wedding to his younger brother with a ring and a title. However, Nathaniel never answered Cecilia's letters, and soon Cecilia came to realize that the world was not a fairy tale like in the books her parents read to her when she was a child.
After Nathaniel left her, Cecilia all but dedicated herself to her training. She spent hours upon hours in Castle Cousland's training fields, either alone or with Loghain. Her and Loghain had grown close as she grew up, forming a deep mentor-mentee relationship built on trust and respect. Despite his cold and forbearing exterior, Cecilia often confided in him, talking and fighting through her stresses and worries with him. A week or so after her nineteenth birthday, after a rare explosive fight between Cecilia and her parents, Cecilia stormed out of Castle Cousland during the middle of a training session into Highever. Loghain found her drunk at the bar of one of the worst taverns in the city. Knowing that Bryce would hang and quarter him if he let any harm come to Cecilia (or if he brought her home in the condition she was in), Loghain paid for a room for her for the night and a bottle of whiskey for himself. Him staying watch outside of her room turned into him sitting in the room with her, which turned into an accidental drunken night together, which turned into a months-long affair that lasted until the Battle of Ostagar.
In-game (Dragon Age: Origins) Edit
Origin and Prologue/Battle of Ostagar Edit
- Cecilia was not willing to go with Duncan, and was therefore conscripted into the Grey Wardens of Ferelden.
- Fed the Ostagar Prisoner the Guard's lunch.
- Cured the Mabari hound.
Broken Circle Edit
- The Mages were supported over the Templars.
- First Enchanter Irvin survived the battle.
- Cecilia did not agree to Cullen's request.
- Wynne was recruited.
The Stone Prisoner DLC Edit
- Shale was recruited.
- Matthias and Amalia both survived and neither were possessed.
Warden's Keep DLC Edit
- Sophia Dryden was killed.
- Avernus was killed.
- Cecilia gained the power of blood.
The Arl of Redcliffe Edit
- Cecilia helped Redcliffe both prepare and fight off the hordes of undead attackers.
- Cecilia freed Bevin and paid Kaitlyn handsomely for their family sword.
- Helped Owen's daughter escape the castle.
- Connor is alive and not possessed.
- Isolde is alive and not possessed.
Urn of Sacred Ashes Edit
- Cecilia did not defile the Urn of Sacred Ashes.
Nature of the Beast Edit
- Cecilia brought Cammen & Ghenya together.
- Cecilia brought Deygan back to the Dalish camp.
- Saved the Halla.
- Brought Varathorn ironbark.
- Told Athras about his wife's fate.
- Cecilia brokered peace between the werewolves and the Dalish. The werewolves were cured of their curse, and the Dalish joined Cecilia's forces against the Blight.
Paragon of Her Kind Edit
- Cecilia sided with Caridin and defeated Branka, then destroyed the Anvil of the Void.
- Cecilia crowned Harrowmont as the King of Orzammar.
- Oghren was recruited.
- Cecilia told Filda that Ruck died in the Deep Roads, despite surviving his encounter with Cecilia.
- Helped Burkel build the Chantry in Orzammar.
- Helped Zerlinda and her son reunite with her family.
- Helped Orta join the Assembly as a member of House Ortan.
- Dagna left to study at the Circle Tower.
- Cecilia returned the stolen tome to the Shaperate.
- Cecilia didn't complete Rogek's lyrium deal.
- Ser Landry is alive.
- Cecilia told Bann Sighard about Oswyn.
- Cecilia did not complete Slim Couldry's crimewave.
- Gave Alfstanna Irminric's ring.
- Returned the amulet to the beggar in the Denerim Alienage.
- Cecilia helped Alistair find Goldanna, but did not "harden" him afterwards.
- Brought the scroll to Sister Justine.
- Helped clear customers out of the Pearl and took care of the Crimson Oars.
- Completed Master Ignacio assassinations.
- Cecilia helped Leliana kill Majorlaine.
The Landsmeet Edit
(Note: This is where "game canon" [ie what is possible to do in-game] begins to become diverged)
Cecilia Cousland won at the Landsmeet, and accepted Loghain Mac Tir's challenge of a duel. For the first time in her life, the student was able to beat the master, and after an evenly-matched fight, Cecilia managed to disarm Loghain and call on him to stand down. Defeated, Loghain yielded to Cecilia and declared her the victor of the Landsmeet.
In a surprising turn of events, Cecilia said that Loghain would not be executed by her hand, but be made a Grey Warden, just as she had been made. She also declared that Anora would be dethroned, and that her and Alistair would be wed and become the new King and Queen of Ferelden.
Alistair was, shockingly, not in favor of Cecilia's decision, but she got him to stand down until they were in private. Enraged that Loghain survived his Joining, Alistair claimed that he would stay in Denerim and Cecilia could travel with Loghain. This development, combined with the fact that Alistair learned about Cecilia and Loghain's past relationship during their argument after the Landsmeet, drove a wedge into Alistair and Cecilia's romance. Cecilia went back out into the field as quickly as possible, with her new Warden in tow.
The Battle of Denerim Edit
After finding out from Senior Grey Warden Riordan just what a Grey Warden must do to end a Blight, Cecilia was confronted by Morrigan. She wanted Cecilia to convince Alistair (or, less favorably, Loghain) to father a child with her in a Dark Ritual that would ensure that no Warden would have to die to end the Blight. Cecilia went to Alistair, begging him to perform the Dark Ritual with Morrigan; Alistair refused, stating that she would have to send Loghain to die instead if she wanted to retain her claim to the throne. Too embarrassed to ask Loghain to perform the Dark Ritual, Cecilia silently resigned that she would be the one to deliver the killing blow to the Archdemon in order to end the Blight. With her family dead (Fergus being presumed dead) and her relationship in tatters, Cecilia figured that the best thing to do would be to die to save the country that she loved so passionately.
At the Battle of Denerim, Cecilia surprised her companions by putting Loghain in command of the ground forces while she went to face the Archdemon. Alistair insisted on going with her (along with Zevran and Wynne) if she was going to kill herself for everyone to survive, and Cecilia granted him that request.
The fight against the Archdemon was long and arduous, with Cecilia suffering a bad injury to the side of her face near the end of the fight. The injury set her back, and as the call to slay the Archdemon was made, Alistair pushed Cecilia to the side and took the charge. Alistair gave his life to save Cecilia, dying in her arms on top of Fort Drakkon.
After The Blight Edit
After Alistair's death, Cecilia forfeits her claim to the throne, allowing Anora Mac Tir to become the sole ruler of Ferelden once more. Cecilia instead becomes the Chancellor of Ferelden, one of Anora's advisors. Along with that, she also claims the titles of Hero of Ferelden, Warden-Commander of Ferelden, and Arlessa of Amaranthine.
In between the ending of the Fifth Blight and Cecilia going to Amaranthine to investigate what is going on there, her and Loghain rekindled their relationship. It was not something out of love, but instead two very lonely and lost people finding each other again and seeking comfort in each other. During this time period, Cecilia recruited her first Warden: seventeen-year-old Irvin Barbaggia of Gwaren, who was also at the Battle of Ostagar and survived.
In-game (Dragon Age: Awakening) Edit
Cecilia arrived in Amaranthine at Vigil's Keep to find it overrun with Darkspawn. With Mhairi, Anders, and Oghren's help, they managed to defeat The Withered and push back the Darkspawn threat. Anders and Oghren survived their Joinings and become Grey Wardens, while Mhairi perished.
After speaking with Seneschal Varel, Mistress Woolsey, and Captain Garavel, Cecilia was informed that they caught a man who was trying to rob Vigil's Keep, and that she must go see the prisoner to decide what to do with him. Her surprise when she came face to face with Nathaniel Howe, of all people, was more than evident. In all actuality, he was lucky he was behind those cell doors, because Cecilia wanted to strangle him. When Nathaniel asked to simply leave with some items from his familial home, Cecilia let her anger and betrayal and her feelings take over. She conscripted him on the spot, telling him he would make up for what he and his father did to her and her family as a Warden. Once he awakened after his Joining, the two of them had a long discussion about what he did before the Blight (breaking his promises to her), if he knew it was her who was the Warden-Commander and if he truly wanted to kill her, and also general (but terse) catching up. They agreed to work together, at least until whatever was going on in Amaranthine was solved.
(This section needs to be expanded on)
- Sigrun recruited
- Velanna recruited
- Justice recruited
All personal quests completed
- Oghren and Felsi were reunited, and after Awakening Oghren sobered up and became the father and husband his family deserves.
- Sigrun paid Mischa. Sigrun remained with the Wardens, and eventually became the Warden Archivist for Ferelden.
- Velanna was supported. Velanna remained with the Wardens, becoming a Senior Warden within the Order. She worked primarily with the Dalish clans of Ferelden, though that's not to say she did not eventually wander into some "shems" along the way.
- Nathaniel and Delilah were reconnected. Nathaniel stayed with the Wardens, being granted the inactive Warden title of "Field-Commander" by Cecilia. With his marriage to Cecilia, he became the Arl of Amaranthine, and the Howe's once again controlled the Arling.
- Anders was supported and not turned in to the Templars. A few months after the attack on Amaranthine, Anders' bedroom in the Keep was found emptied out, save for Ser Pounce-A-Lot asleep on the middle of his bed. It was not until Nathaniel traveled to Kirkwall in 9:37 Dragon that Cecilia knew that Anders still lived.
- Justice helped Aura make peace with the passing and possession of Kristoff.
When The Mother attacked Amarathine, Cecilia took Nathaniel, Sigrun, and Anders to Amaranthine with her, leaving Oghren, Velanna and Justice to defend the upgraded Vigil's Keep. Both Amaranthine and Vigil's Keep were protected, and stood after the end of The Mother's attack.
Cecilia sided with the Architect, allowing him to live while The Mother died.
(This section needs to be expanded on)
- Cecilia remains in Amaranthine, turning Vigil's Keep into the Ferelden Warden base of operations, along with it being her new home. She spends time in Denerim as well, where her and her Warden team are just as welcomed by Queen Anora.
- Nathaniel and Cecilia marry in 9:36 Dragon.
- In 9:40 Dragon, Cecilia disappears alone to find a cure for the Calling, leaving Nathaniel in charge of the Ferelden Grey Wardens. She returns in early 9:42 Dragon with the cure. Her, Loghain, and Nathaniel all elect to be cured and are successfully cured of the Taint.
- In 9:42 Dragon, she becomes pregnant with Nathaniel's child. They welcome Willow Howe in Haring 9:42 Dragon.
Dragon Age: Origins Edit
The Cousland Family
- Bryce Cousland: Cecilia was Bryce's "Pup", and the two were very close. Her father was her hero all throughout her childhood; she would beg him for stories of the Rebellion, stories about fighting off Orlesians and sailing the seas with Eleanor. Cecilia was something of a "Daddy's Girl", and would run to him for help, advice, or a shoulder to cry on when she was frustrated. She loved him, and his death shattered her.
- Eleanor Cousland: Cecilia and Eleanor had nearly the same personality: headstrong women who knew what they wanted from the start. Cecilia looked up to her mother, and aspired to be like her all throughout her life. Leaving Eleanor to die in Castle Cousland alongside Bryce was the hardest decision Cecilia ever made in her life.
- Fergus Cousland: Though they were nearly a decade apart in age, Cecilia and Fergus were two peas in a pod. There was the expected sibling bullying (Fergus often addressed her as "the accident", while Cecilia would retort with "I'm simply the redo."), but deep down they truly loved each other. After the Blight was ended, Cecilia and Fergus were tearfully reunited. Fergus went on to become the Teryn of Highever, and he and Cecilia stayed close (despite the displeasure of her entering a relationship with Nathaniel Howe. However, he got past it once he realized that Nathaniel was nothing like his father.).
- Fergus remarries Paula Lazarietta, a minor Antivan noblewoman, in 9:33 Dragon, and they have three children: a set of twin boys (Bryce and Callisto) in 9:35 Dragon, and a daughter (Polara) in 9:38 Dragon.
Alistair TheirinFrom the moment Alistair and Cecilia met at Ostagar, there was a spark between them. Though he was dorky and a bit awkward, Cecilia found Alistair funny and charming, a warm light in the darkness that had quickly surrounded her life. Upon waking up in Flemeth's hut after the disaster that was Ostagar, Cecilia's only concern was if Alistair was alright.
By the time they arrived at Soldier's Peak, Alistair and Cecilia already felt deep, romantic feelings towards one another. It wasn't much longer until Alistair presented Cecilia with the rose he picked in Lothering, and Cecilia realized her feelings towards the other Warden. Even after his reveal that he was of Theirin blood, Cecilia knew that Alistair was someone she wanted to spend her life with.
Their relationship blossomed, and for the first time since the Fifth Blight began, Cecilia felt like everything was right in the world. It took until the Landsmeet to drive the first real stake in their relationship: Cecilia spared Loghain, recruiting him into the Wardens while also declaring that herself and Alistair would take the throne as Queen and King of Ferelden. The two things Alistair wanted the most (to remain a Warden and to have Loghain die for his crimes) were cast aside in Cecilia's declaration. This caused a huge wedge to form between them, and Alistair stated that he would not travel with the party and her any longer as long as Loghain lived. Despite them being in a strange state relationship-wise, Cecilia still cared passionately for Alistair. And even after Alistair refused to perform the Dark Ritual, Cecilia still loved him.
At the Battle of Denerim, on top of Fort Drakon, Alistair pushed Cecilia to the side and took the killing blow against the Archdemon.
Anora Mac Tir
Loghain Mac Tir
Dragon Age: Awakening Edit
Ferelden Warden Original Characters Edit
Tazialdan "Taz" Hedic
- Cecilia is a classically-trained violinist. During the events of Origins, Alistair and her repair a violin they find in Wonders of Thedas and she plays it during the long nights in camp.
- During Awakening, the Warden group chips in and they surprise Cecilia with a new violin so she can continue playing.
- Cecilia is terrified of horses, thanks to an ill-advised attempt to try and make her a jouster by Bryce Cousland, Loghain Mac Tir, and King Maric Theirin when she was ten. She refuses to be near them or ride one; the closest she will get to one is a carriage drawn by horses.
- Her fight against the Archdemon leaves her with a scar that runs alongside the left side of her jawline. She also has a long and mangled scar that runs up her outer right thigh from a Shriek ambush. Her Warden symbol tattoo was done over the scar on her thigh, along with two rose tattoos for Alistair.
- Cecilia wears Alistair's Joining pendant on the same chain as her own. She's never taken it off, and does not plan on doing so.
- Cecilia's faceclaim is model Demi Rose Mawby.