Elise Trevelyan is a human warrior, former Templar, and member of the Trevelyan family who, through a series of events, would become the Herald of Andraste and the leader of the Inquisition.
Appearance and Personality Edit
Elise is a tall, rather imposing woman with short, bright red hair and green eyes. She typically wears heavy armor when out fighting and more formal clothing around Skyhold.
In conversation, Elise is very direct and doesn't mince words: she says what she means. She is quite confident and isn't afraid to speak her mind.
Still, she's idealistic and wants to make the world a better place, which she does by embracing her title of "Herald of Andraste". She believes in the Maker and follows the Chantry's faith.
Under the tough warrior, however, is a kinder, softer, even somewhat humorous side that comes out around her friends and loved ones. She can be a bit unsure of herself and sometimes puts her foot in her mouth in romantic situations, owing to spending most of her life in the Templars.
Despite her membership in the Templars, Elise is surprisingly neutral in the mage-Templar conflict. While she believes that the Circle has its place and that magic is dangerous and needs oversight, she also believes that the Templars have too much power, and that through abusing that power to mistreat the mages, they've brought their situation on themselves. Elise later adopted a more pro-freedom viewpoint after working with the Inquisition's mages, and supported Leliana's decision to disband the Circle of Magi.
Early life Edit
Elise was born in 9:12 Dragon to Bann Jon Trevelyan and his wife Lady Mara. She is the second youngest of her six siblings, although she is only older than her twin brother Rodrik by a few minutes. She has three older brothers: Laurence, the eldest and the heir, as well as Thomas and Edwin. She also has an older sister, Olivia.
With a six-year age gap between the twins and Edwin, the youngest of their older siblings, Elise and Rodrik were always rather close in childhood. But while Rodrik was rather shy and soft-spoken, Elise was brash, outgoing, confident, and a little headstrong. She was also quite the troublemaker and enjoyed playing pranks and enacting practical jokes around the family's estate.
That all changed when Rodrik's magic manifested when they were ten. Their parents were terrified and appalled to have a mage son and sent him to the Circle so they could forget about him. Elise, who still loved her brother and wanted to keep contact with him, had several arguments with them about the subjects. It all came to a breaking point when she was twelve and her parents burned a letter she had been planning to send to Rodrik at the Circle. They had a huge fight about her contact with him, and at the end of it, Elise left home to become a Templar just to get away from her parents.
Templar Order Edit
Elise spent eight years at a monastery training to become a Templar. She was quite popular during that time, and she excelled during the training. While she took the rules seriously, her fun-loving nature didn't exactly go away, and one of her pranks nearly got her expelled from the Order. She calmed down a little after that.
Once Elise had finished her training, she was stationed at the Wyncome Circle of Magi. While there, Elise very quickly realized two things: the "noble purpose" of the Order was essentially to be glorified prison guards, and that the knights that were supposed to protect people and combat dangerous magic weren't always the most noble of folk. Two of her colleagues in the Circle, Ser Robert and Ser Edric, were the worst of the lot. Ser Robert spent more time bullying the mages than he did doing his duty, and he seemed to be drunk more than he was sober.
Ser Edric was even worse. He seemed to hate the mages, and took pleasure in enacting the Rite of Tranquility, a process that Elise never enjoyed and refused to take part in on the occasions that it was used. She often heard the female mages complain about his often lecherous comments and occasional gropes. Elise took their complaints into account and confronted Edric over his behavior, but he just claimed that the mages were making it up and called Elise a bitch for getting in the way of "him doing his job". Elise tried talking to the Knight-Commander about his behavior, and while he was a reasonable man, he was also a pushover and didn't give Edric any more severe punishment than a slap on the wrist.
Elise's membership in the Templar Order very nearly came to an end after she ran into Ser Edric trying to force himself onto a female mage he'd been harassing. Elise stepped in and stopped him before it could get too far, injuring him in the process. Elise told the Knight-Commander about what had happened, and while he believed Elise's word over Edric's with the mage's witness, he also didn't punish Edric - he simply sent him to a different Circle. His victim was told that he was gone and told not to make a fuss over it. Elise was so disgusted by the way it was handled that she threatened to leave the order, but the Knight-Commander stopped her from doing so by promoting her to the rank of Knight-Captain.
Elise was well-liked by the mages in her position, as she worked to protect them, give them relative freedoms, and avert unfair punishments. During her tenure as Knight-Captain, the number of failed Harrowings dropped and the use of the Rite of Tranquility plummeted, as Elise was very staunch about only using it as a last resort and with hard evidence of wrongdoing. But while she was well-liked among the mages, her liberal attitudes towards their treatment made her decidedly less popular with the Templars, who thought she was too soft on them and that they would take advantage of it.
Elise left the Templar Order shortly after the Kirkwall Rebellion after finding out about the wrongdoings in the Gallows, the unfair Annulment among them. She was disgusted by the path the Order was taking and decided that she didn't want any part of it.
Before the Inquisition Edit
Elise returned to her family after leaving the Templars, who were none too happy that she'd left the Order. She spent the next couple of years without much of a purpose, trying to figure out what to do. She also suffered from lyrium withdrawal, which could leave her bedridden for days at a time.
Still, Elise took up a role as a protector and diplomat for her family, and was quite good at it. She was eventually sent to represent her branch of the Trevelyan family at the Conclave.
The Explosion of the Conclave Edit
During the Conclave, Elise got caught up talking to some of the mages and Templars who used to be part of the Wyncome Circle. One of them told her that despite the Conclave being ready to meet, the Divine was nowhere to be found, but claimed that she had been seen with a few Grey Wardens. Elise, curious, decided to look for her, and she found her...being prepared as a human sacrifice for Corypheus. A short altercation ensued, and the next clear memory Elise had was being chained up in a dungeon and interrogated by Cassandra.
Forming the Inquisition Edit
After being declared innocent by the new Inquisition, Elise decided to go about trying to gain an alliance with the Templars, hoping that some of her old friends in the order would be willing to help her. Lord Seeker Lucius didn't take her up on her offer, and shortly after, she was approached by Grand Enchanter Fiona about an alliance with the rebel mages instead. Elise was reluctant to work with the rebels until she reunited in the Hinterlands with her long-lost twin brother Rodrik Trevelyan, who had been allied with the rebel mages himself and encouraged his sister to give them a chance to prove themselves. Elise took his advice, but quickly found that the mages were no more receptive than the Templars, who had been taken from Fiona's leadership by the Tevinter magister Gerion Alexius. Elise was about ready to give up on getting either faction to help them when she met Dorian Pavus, a Tevinter mage who introduced her to time magic and filled her in on the situation.
Later on, Elise infiltrated Redcliffe Castle with the help of Leliana's spies, but things quickly went downhill when Alexius sucked she and Dorian into a bad future where "the Elder One" had taken over Thedas and pretty much destroyed it. With the help of both Dorian and a horrifically tortured Leliana, Elise managed to defeat Alexius and make it back to the present.
After everything was said and done, Elise was furious at Fiona for getting Tevinter involved and very nearly destroying the mages. Still, she didn't want to treat them like criminals, knowing that such treatment wouldn't endear her to her allies, so she recruited them, deposed Fiona as their leader, and put Rodrik in charge of the rebel mages. The decision was a highly controversial one, with some questioning why she let the mages go free and others accusing her of trying to prop up her family by putting her brother in charge of the Inquisition's most important allies.
The Fall of Haven and the Appointment of the Inquisitor Edit
Soon after the Breach was closed, Corypheus attacked Haven with the help of former Templar Samson, and the Inquisition was just barely able to hold him off long enough for everyone to escape the village. Elise's attempt to buy time brought her face-to-face with Corypheus, who's failed attempt to force the Anchor off of her actually gave her more control of it. While Elise barely survived the encounter and the subsequent trek through the mountains, she made it to the rest of the Inquisition's surviving forces and led them to Skyhold with Solas' help.
Once at Skyhold, Elise was named the Inquisitor, as her survival was seen as divine providence. Elise declared the Inquisition for faith, promising to guide the people of Thedas back to the light.
Wardens and Champions Edit
With Varric's help, Elise came face to face with Astrid Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall. Despite their opposing viewpoints, the two women got along quite well, managing to bond over their shared sense of humor and the burden of their unexpected responsibilities. Hawke then helped Elise get in touch with the Grey Warden Loghain, who had been forced into hiding after being branded a traitor to the order. Travelling to a distant fortress in the Western Approach, the group found out that the Orlesian Warden-Commander Clarel was in league with the Tevinter magister Livius Erimond, a servant of Corypheus who was binding the Warden mages to demons to create an army. After a short altercation, Elise found out that the Wardens had retreated to Adamant Fortress, and gathered the forces to attack it.
During the Siege of Adamant, Elise pushed back the demons and managed to get some of the free Wardens on their side. With Blackwall's help, she almost managed to convince Clarel to stop, but they were unsuccessful. What did manage to convince Clarel to stop was the arrival of Corypheus' tainted dragon, which convinced Clarel to turn on Erimond.
Elise, her companions, Hawke, and Loghain pursued Clarel to the top of the fortress, but in the Warden-Commander's efforts to stop the dragon, she destroyed the bridge they were on, forcing Elise to open a portal to the Fade to save their lives.
In the Fade, Elise regained her memories, and discovered that she had been the one to prevent Corypheus from completing a ritual that would have likely destroyed the world. She also discovered that the mark on her hand was a result of that altercation, and that Divine Justinia had sacrificed her life to help Elise escape the Fade. Elise was quite shocked to learn that she wasn't chosen after all, and that gaining the Anchor was just an accident.
The group finally managed to confront the Nightmare with the help of a spirit taking the form of the Divine. During the escape from the Fade, Loghain threw himself at the huge demon, sacrificing his own life to buy everyone else time to escape.
Elise returned from the Fade to find that without the Nightmare, the Warden mages had their own minds back again. She was willing to give the order another chance to prove themselves and let them stay in Orlais and help the Inquisition. Astrid Hawke left to inform the senior Wardens at Weisshaupt what happened and would not be seen again until years later when she and her sister Bethany abruptly appeared in Kirkwall.
After the events at Adamant, Leliana requested that Elise contact Jocelyn Amell, the Hero of Ferelden and Leliana's lover, to see if she was involved in any of this. As it turned out, she hadn't been, as she had fled to the West when she started hearing the false Calling in search of the cure.
Livius Erimond, who had caused all of this, showed no remorse at his judgement at Skyhold, and Elise executed him personally.
Pieces in the "Great Game" Edit
With the Grey Wardens freed from the influence of the Elder One and working for the Inquisition, Elise turned her attention to the Orlesian Civil War. With Josephine's help, she managed to secure invitations to a ball at the Winter Palace, where they had heard that an attempt on Empress Celene's life was planned.
Helped by her diplomatic experience in the Free Marches, Elise was surprisingly good at playing the Great Game, and managed to gain the trust of the court. She then used that trust to publicly expose Florianne as a servant of Corypheus and have her arrested. Celene kept her throne and Gapard was executed for treason.
After the ball, the apostate mage and veteran of the Fifth Blight Morrigan joined the Inquisition as an arcane advisor, moving to Skyhold along with her son Kieran.
The assassin Florianne, at her judgment in Skyhold, was sentenced by Elise to serve as the Inquisition's court jester, which Elise saw as a far worse fate than imprisonment or execution for the once-haughty Orlesian noble.
Showdown in the Arbor Wilds Edit
With a secure foothold across Thedas, and Celene's support, the Inquisition was finally powerful enough to face the armies of Corypheus in the Arbor Wilds.
During the battle, Elise and her companions, this time accompanied by Morrigan, retreated into an old elven temple to claim the Well of Sorrows before Corypheus could. They allied with the ancient elves, but when the group faced Calpernia, she jumped down a crevasse to her death rather than be defeated.
Elise let Morrigan drink from the Well of Sorrows, mostly because she didn't trust it enough to drink from it herself. After the Well's knowledge had been absorbed, Corypheus caught up with them, and Elise's group barely managed to escape through an Eluvian.
The Final Confrontation Edit
With the knowledge that Morrigan had gathered, the Inquisition was finally ready to face Corypheus. He made himself known at the destroyed Temple of Sacred Ashes, where he planned to make one final, desperate attempt to enact his plan. Without time to gather an army, Elise went out with only a few companions to face him alone.
With Morrigan's help, the corrupted dragon was killed, removing Corypheus' mode of escape, and at the top of the temple, Elise defeated the Elder One by opening a Fade rift inside of his body, killing him for good and closing the breach. The mysterious orb he had been using was destroyed.
After the battle, celebrations were had, but Solas, one of the key members of the Inquisition, was not present for them: he had disappeared without a trace after the final battle. Leliana was named as Divine Victoria afterwards.
Two Years Later - The Exalted Council Edit
After two years, it was becoming clear that the Inquisition's power was beginning to frighten the nations of Ferelden and Orlais, who both wanted it gone. And while Elise still thought it was necessary to an extent, the stress of leading such a large organization, combined with the Anchor becoming increasingly unstable, was taking a toll on her. To many around her, she always seemed tired and didn't smile or joke as often as she used to.
Shortly before the council began, Elise and Cullen, who had been in a romantic relationship for the past two years, quietly married in a private ceremony.
During the council proceedings, Leliana brought a Qunari plot to Elise's attention. Investigating the plot, Elise discovered that a Qunari leader, the Viddasala, was planning a mass assassination of Ferelden and Orlesian nobles to set up Thedas for a Qunari invasion. Elise pursued the Viddasala and found out that she had targeted the Inquisition for supposedly working for an agent of Fen'Harel, Solas. Determined to track down and find Solas, Elise pursued the Viddasala through a network of Eluvians despite the Anchor's increasing instability causing her extreme pain.
When Elise caught up with the Viddasala, she had been turned to stone by Solas, who wasn't working for Fen'Harel: he was Fen'Harel. He explained his plan to tear down the Veil, destroying the world in the process, before removing the Anchor from Elise (along with most of her left arm) as a last favor to her. Elise promised that she would stop him, as she hadn't saved the world once only to see it destroyed. Solas seemed to understand this, and disappeared once again.
Returning to the Council, Elise revealed Solas' plans to its leaders, using the threat as a reason to keep the Inquisition around, albeit in a much smaller capacity and as a peacekeeping organization rather than a military one. The Council seemed to agree with this.
After the Council Edit
Without her left arm, Elise comes to terms with the fact that her role as the Herald - along with her adventuring days - are pretty much over, although she does get a crossbow-type prosthetic as a replacement with the help of Sera and Dagna. She pays a visit with Cullen to see her new in-laws, who welcome her into the family with open arms. With the Inquisition's army drastically decreased and Elise at a desk job rather than an active one, the couple are able to spend more time together.
Elise is content with her lot in life, although she occasionally joins her friend Sera in the mysterious activities of "Red Jenny" in an effort to have fun every once in a while. She keeps in touch with almost all of her old companions, with Varric, Cassandra, Sera, and Dorian being her most frequent correspondents. Still, despite her happiness, she often wonders how long the peace will last, especially with the disappearance of elves across the south, who are presumably going to work with Solas. Elise knows that she will eventually have to save the world again - she just doesn't know when.
The pair are close friends, and share each other's views on faith, the Chantry, and the Circle. Elise trusts Cassandra's input more than anyone else's.
Elise likes Varric; she finds his stories amusing and thinks he's easy to get along with. Varric, in turn, respects Elise and usually approves of what she does with the Inquisition. He also appreciates it when Elise's dry, sarcastic sense of humor comes out.
Elise and Blackwall got off on the wrong foot: he disagreed with her decision to conscript the Templars into the Inquisition, and didn't really think much of her at first. Once he realized that she really was a noble person who wanted to help people, the two got along a lot better. Her admiration for the Grey Wardens helped too.
Elise was a little unnerved by Cole, but she was grateful of his help against Envy, and she saw his compassion and kindness come through. She decided to help him become more of a human, and the two became friends.
As a former Templar and a Tevinter mage, most people wouldn't expect Elise and Dorian to be the best of friends, but they are. Dorian admires her kindness and willingness to change things, and Elise enjoys his sense of humor and eagerness to make the world better.
Elise and Sera got along really well, and Sera often helped Elise loosen up and "stop being the Inquisitor" whenever she thought things were getting too serious. As something of a prankster herself, Elise enjoyed playing pranks around Skyhold with her, something that they bonded over. Elise became a Red Jenny after the Exalted Council, and can occasionally be seen with Sera, sneaking around city streets looking for trouble.
Elise and Vivienne never really got along; Elise saw Vivienne as more concerned with keeping her power than actually helping anyone, and Vivienne saw Elise as beneath her because of her status as a minor noble. She also saw Elise as being too soft in her treatment of the mages.
Elise and Solas had an amicable, if not friendly, relationship, and while they didn't spend a huge amount of time with each other, they at least respected each other. Elise was horrified when she found out who he really was and vowed to stop him at all costs.
Iron Bull Edit
Elise and Iron Bull ended up becoming really good friends over the course of the Inquisition. They respected each other's strength and conviction, and Elise loved hanging out with the Chargers. When push came to shove, Elise threw away her chance to ally with the Qunari by having Bull save the Chargers, which led to him being declared Tal-Vashoth. Still, he found purpose in his friends and the Inquisition, and he and Elise stayed friends.
Elise is a little intimidated by the spymaster, but she appreciates the good work she does for the Inquisition. While she finds Leliana's actions to be rather ruthless at times, she understands that she is doing what is necessary, and treats her with respect. She also appreciates the softer side Leliana shows to the oppressed, such as mages and elves, and thinks that she's doing an excellent job as the Divine.
Elise shared a very friendly relationship with Josephine, and often agreed with her on trying to do things diplomatically. Still, she recruited the House of Repose to regain her family's fortune over Josephine's protests, as she thought it was the best way to end the threats to her advisor's life and help her regain her standing. After Elise lost her arm, she depended on Josephine to help her deal with the bureaucracy that came with her new desk job.
Elise is fully supportive of Josephine's relationship with Rodrik, and she thinks the pair make an adorable couple.
Elise first met Cullen for a brief moment when charging towards the temple, and didn't take much notice of him initially, but after she realized that he was their military commander, she thought that she should probably talk to him.
It was then that Elise found out that like her, he had also been a Templar once. They bonded over their old experiences in the order and their disappointment at what it had become. When Cullen was suffering from lyrium withdrawal, Elise, who had suffered the same thing when she left the order, helped him through it and convinced him to stay clean.
While Elise had certainly noticed Cullen's good looks and kind personality, she was a little terrified at the idea that she could be developing actual feelings for him. Romantic relationships hadn't been an option in the Templar Order, and while Elise had a few casual dalliances with men in her past, she had never really gotten into a serious romantic relationship. Still, she started to find excuses to spend more time with him, and their meetings stopped being formal and started to be casual, with them playing chess and taking walks together. Shortly after Skyhold's first repairs, Elise finally worked up the courage to confess her feelings. Cullen reciprocated, and the pair entered a romantic relationship. They were very loving and supportive to each other, and pretty much everyone thought they were adorable together.
Well, everyone except Astrid Hawke. The idea of Cullen being in a romantic relationship absolutely baffled and disgusted her. Elise pointed out that she wasn't really in a position to talk, given that her lover had blown up the Kirkwall Chantry and started a war.
Elise and Cullen stayed together after the defeat of Corypheus, helping the Inquisition. Two years later, Cullen surprised Elise at the Exalted Council by asking her to marry him. Elise happily accepted, and the two married in a private ceremony shortly before the Council began. Following the council, they visited Elise's new in-laws, who happily accepted her into the family. The downsizing of the Inquisition allowed them to spend more time together, which they spent helping other former Templars get off lyrium and playing with their dog.
Elise later found out that Cullen had previously had a crush on Jocelyn Amell, but given Jocelyn's preferences, she found it more hilarious than anything.
The name "Elise" is a derivative of "Elizabeth", meaning "my God is an oath".
Elise's greatest fear is Disappointing Others
Elise's nickname is "Flames" owing to both her red hair and her fiery personality.