Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed
Christina "Chris" Theirin (née Cousland) is the Queen and Warden-Commander of Ferelden, and the daughter of the Cousland family of Highever.
Christina stands about 5'6" tall. She has a rounded hourglass build, with broad shoulders and wide hips. She has wavy, dark mahogany hair that she usually wears with a side part in a messy bun/tail with a fringe that lies across the left side of her forehead. When her hair is down it reaches just past her shoulder blades, so she almost always ties it unless she’s bathing or sleeping. Her eyes are green, like her mother’s, but her jawline (and especially the way she sets it when she means business) is squared like her father’s. Her skin is tanned with slight freckling in places from spending most of her time outdoors. She has a beauty mark on her left cheek.
There are various scars on her body, mostly obtained during her youth running around Highever and training at the castle. A few, from the fall of Highever, she doesn’t like to talk about; one noticeable one is a mark on the inside of her right forearm (from a sword).
During the Blight she also gained a distinctive but faint diagonal scar running left to right across the bridge of her nose (from a poorly-dodged lightning spell). Morrigan was not able to heal it completely (healing spells not being a large part of the witch's repertoire), and even faded over time it is still noticeable.
Christina always had a headstrong personality; from an early age she loved riding horses, training with weapons, and generally running around Highever with her brother and getting into whatever mischief they could find.
She is not necessarily quick to trust, but she always tries to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. She is eternally loyal to her friends and always makes herself available to anyone who needs her, even if it’s just for a friendly ear or a shoulder to cry on. She has a wicked sense of humor, and can give a good dishing out as well as she takes it.
She usually prefers to do things her own way rather than be told how to do something (a holdover from her childhood). She is very much a woman ruled by her passions, for better or worse, and sometimes this can cause her to say or do things she later regrets. Her stubbornness has mellowed over time, but she has never lost her independent streak and thirst for adventure.
Chris is a pragmatist first and foremost, but she will always choose the path of least bloodshed if she can. She kills because she has to; she may be very good at it, but that doesn’t mean she takes inherent pleasure in it. She’s pretty big on helping people who are unable to help themselves, but makes sure to leave them in better condition (more capable) than she found them. This is a direct result of her father’s teachings; as someone in a position of power, Christina sees it as her duty to carry out the tasks that others cannot. And a Cousland always does her duty.
Talents and Skills
Christina learned the finer points of politicking from a young age, and is very good at it (she takes the most after her parents in this regard). She knows many courtly dances and can sing quite well; she isn't great with a lute but can at least carry a basic tune. She's pretty good at sewing (which came in very handy when camping during the Blight). She has a special knack for climbing trees.
She is a voracious reader, always wanting to know everything she can about the world. This curiosity lead to her keeping various journals; her childhood journal was lost in the fall of Highever, but she also kept a journal during her subsequent travels, and years later it is overflowing with notes, sketches, pressed plants, and various other things.
Being the only daughter of a noble family gave Christina privileges that being the second child might have denied her. She had no desire to settle down and marry any “boring” nobleman who she felt would keep her “caged” as a housewife; from the time she was old enough to walk, she enjoyed running around Highever and the countryside with her brother and her hound. When she was old enough to safely hold a blade, she began practicing with daggers, and all but mastered them in a relatively short time. She never quite got the hang of archery beyond the most bare proficiency, however, despite her mother (and later Leliana) patiently trying to instruct her.
Around the time she turned 16, she began a dalliance with a castle stable hand. It lasted about a week, and then the boy's apprenticeship ended and he was sent elsewhere. If anyone was the wiser about the relationship, it was never brought up, which gave Christina a bit of a thrill. After that, she had affairs with a few other men around Highever; they were never mentioned by anyone, and were always short and discreet.
Dragon Age: Origins
The fall of Highever broke her. Duncan all but dragged her kicking and screaming from her parents’ side. At any other time Christina would have relished being given the opportunity to join the Grey Wardens, but until they reached Ostagar she had nothing in her heart but grief for her parents and anger at Duncan; she saw him only as the man who took her away from her parents when she could have saved them (the foolish thoughts of a young girl, she would later think, as she apologized to him for her behavior). She never became as close to Duncan as Alistair was, but she still mourned his death.
Meeting Alistair was the best thing that could have happened to her; he helped bring her out of her depression and suicidal tendencies, and became her rock.
In 9:42, Christina and Zevran travelled West in search of a cure for the Calling. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.
Fortinbras was a present for Christina's 10th birthday. Her father had gone for a social visit to Dragon’s Peak after some business in Denerim, and at that time Bann Sighard’s favorite mabari dam was weaning a litter. Bryce brought a pup home as a present for his Pup, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Fort is Christina’s best friend and first confidant, and it is rare to see one without the other. His name comes from the Orlesian words meaning "strong in arm".
"I thought maybe I would say something. Tell you what a rare and beautiful thing you are to find amid all this... darkness."
Alistair is Christina’s best friend and first real love. She had never met anyone like him before, and he almost immediately charmed her with his cheerfulness and easy sense of humor; what she needed most when they first met was to laugh, and he accomplished that effortlessly. Their closeness naturally evolved over time to love, but she resisted for a while out of fear-- both of the strength of her feelings for him, and the memory of failing to protect all her other loved ones. She likes Alistair because he makes her laugh and is always easy to talk to. The two play off their strengths; he keeps her grounded, and she helps him to take himself more seriously.
Since Christina has always been fascinated by magic, Morrigan immediately aroused her curiosity. The girl had always heard stories of the Daughters of Flemeth and the Witches of the Wilds, but Morrigan was not quite what she expected. While Christina doesn’t often agree with the mage's blunt (and usually negative) appraisal of the situations the group finds themselves in, she always appreciates Morrigan’s honesty, and the two became friends, eventually considering themselves to be as close as sisters.
"There's so much out there-- adventures to be had, stories to be told. I want to be a part of it all!"
Christina held Leliana at arm's length at first. She thought the woman seemed nice enough, but also sort of agreed with Alistair’s assessment of Leliana as a bit "out there"; as the group travelled more, however she began to realize the strength of the Orlesian woman’s beliefs in both her faith and her vision. The two became close friends, and now the bard is usually the first one Christina turns to with anything she can’t talk about with Alistair. They keep regular correspondence up until Christina disappears in search of a cure for the Calling.
"Would you be offended if I said I fancied you?"
Christina will freely admit that the elf attracted and charmed her right from the beginning-- it's not every man who flirts with someone holding a knife to his throat. She loves Alistair, but she also loves Zevran; Alistair eventually confesses his feelings, as well, and the three of them end up in a comfortable relationship. Zevran becomes Christina's personal bodyguard after she and Alistair are crowned, and Zevran is the one who goes with her on her quest to cure the Calling.
Christina balked at Sten’s assertion that if she was a warrior, she could not possibly be a woman, but she was clearly a woman, therefore she could not possibly be a warrior. It felt too similar to the arguments she had heard growing up. After having many discussions with him on a myriad of topics (including much discussion on the Qunari, a people with whom Christina was not familiar), she convinced him that while she may be a woman, she was no less a warrior, and that was her role in life. She respects Sten for his convictions; even if she disagrees with his single-mindedness at times, she always listens to his opinions, as they are carefully weighed. She takes her role as his kadan seriously, understanding that it is a title not lightly given.
At first Christina found Wynne’s attitude to be patronizing, and bristled at the older woman’s attempts to mete out advice. After a while, however, she realized that the mage truly did mean well, and stopped taking her “hen-pecking” personally. Over time, she came to see Wynne almost as a mother figure in her own right. Wynne's death saddened her greatly, and she hopes the old mage has found peace.
"Let's show them our hearts-- and then show them theirs!"
Christina really likes Oghren, even if he can be an idiot and an arse most of the time. He is a good friend, and she trusts him with her life as much as any other member of her party.
As a child, Christina admired Loghain. She had heard all the stories of the Rebellion from her parents and knew his role, and thought he was a brilliant tactician. After the betrayal at Ostagar, she was angered and saddened at how far into paranoia he fell. She sent him to Fort Drakon along with his daughter.
Christina liked Anders from the start-- probably because he reminded her so much of Alistair, with his cheerful attitude during times of stress. She knew she could rely on him in even the most trying situations, and appreciated how he always tries to lighten everyone’s spirits even as he offered sound advice. She was furious with the other Wardens who chased him away in her absence, and personally banished them from Ferelden.
Christina searched for Anders for a long time, but was unable to find her friend. His trail went cold after Kirkwall; she then decided that hunting for a cure to the Calling was more pressing, and regretfully abandoned the chase.
The two nobles first met when they were young; since the Howes were close friends of the Couslands, the two families were often found at one another’s domains on various visits, both for business and pleasure. Christina, Nathaniel, and Fergus went everywhere together. The girl admired the older boy, and was not a little attracted to him (feelings which the young Howe seemed to return, in his own reserved way). There were even murmurings of a marriage arrangement, at one time. Then Nathaniel was sent to the Free Marches, and they did not meet again until after the Blight.
Meeting him again at Vigil’s Keep was quite a shock-- especially since it became clear that Nathaniel had no idea what a monster his father had truly been, and blamed Christina for ruining his family. They were bitter toward each other for a long time, but knowing his abilities, and not wanting them to be wasted, she conscripted him into the Wardens, telling him it was his chance to remove the stain his father had placed on the Howe name. Over time, the two rekindled their friendship, and Christina named him her Second at Vigil’s Keep.
When Christina returned to Denerim to rule beside Alistair, Nathaniel became Head Warden of Vigil's Keep, and has maintained the post since.
- Likes: poetry, horseback riding, dancing,
- Dislikes/Fears: spiders, the dark, failure
- Strengths: art
- Weaknesses: archery
- Face Claim: Genevieve Padalecki
- Voice Claim: Robin Wright as Buttercup (The Princess Bride)
Reddit Headcanon Threads:
- What would the Nightmare say to your Warden?
- What are the biggest disagreements your OC has with their LI?
- Gear for RP purposes
- What is your Warden/Hawke/Inquisitor's greatest fear?
- What does your character smell like?
- What is your OC's worst trait?
- What companion did your characters hate?