"Even you have to admit there's comfort to be found in the clarity of arrogance."Paragon Firav Aeducan, known more widely throughout Thedas as the Hero of Ferelden, was the second child and only daughter to late King Endrin Aeducan. After being falsely accused of fratricide, she joined the Grey Wardens in order to escape what should have been her death -- metaphorical or otherwise.
She lead the charge against the Fifth Blight, and through a string of events became a key player in bringing an end to both it and Ferelden's Civil War, famously slaying the archdemon and living to tell the tale.
Later she would become the new Commander of the Grey in Ferelden, and become the first dwarven arlessa of Amaranthine.
Physical Appearance Edit
Standing at 4'7", Firav had always been a beautiful dwarven woman, from childhood into adulthood, with warm blue eyes lidded with dark lashes and hair so vibrant a red it was compared to rubies. She grew into a fine hourglass shape, and decades of fighting and training have left her leaning heavily on the more muscular side of things. Not lean and toned, precisely, but powerful and broad-shouldered.
Upon her exile, she began to lose much of the healthy "princess fat" she once possessed, and her muscular definition became more prevalent as her curves slimmed down. Her pale skin, marked with scars old and new alike, is susceptible to freckling and burning under the sun, and she takes great care to prevent either scenario, with only slightly successful results regarding the former.
As a young teenager, she marked her face with tattoos in an effort to be "only the most recognizable lady ever". However, following actually getting them she rarely gets them touched up, and they've since began to fade.
Following the battle with the archdemon, most of Firav's long hair is cut, unable to be saved from the matting and blood. It stops at just above her ear, and she asks Leliana to make sure it's still "pretty". She also starts wearing spectacles more often for reading.
At one point one of Orzammar's most respected politicians, Firav was a charismatic and at times brutal figurehead in the Aeducan family, with the intelligence and skill to back what seemed like implacable self-confidence (or arrogance, as some would call it). Hers were ideals deeply rooted and fiercely defended, her mindset belonging to that of one who could never be wrong...and, according to those around her, she rarely ever was.
Things changed after her exile. Her personal tragedies and the events of the Blight did more than change her perception of the world: it savagely uprooted nearly every one of those ideals she'd once vigorously defended. It forced her to realize her inflated sense of self, born from privilege, had also made her impossibly blind and idealistic, and birthed in her a new sense of cynicism. She started to question almost every thought she had, every decision she made, and terrified of her new insecurity, she repurposed her old inflated ego into a shield to cower behind. It was easier, she believed, to pretend she still knew everything when she felt anything but certain. She deflected the blame of many of her failings and sudden downward spiral onto her younger brother, Bhelen, and has proven time and again of being incapable of dealing with her emotions in healthy, proactive ways.
Some things, however, never change. Firav even now possesses an intense passion for the things and people she cares about. She has never done anything by half-measures and continues to put heart and soul into almost everything she does, sometimes at the detriment to her own health and well-being. It's made especially prevalent whenever she helps a friend or loved one. After almost thirty years spent making political allies over true comrades, she's exceptionally protective of those she draws close to, and is willing to give body and soul for them.
What's more, there's nothing that can take away the intelligence and lessons of the past. She'll always be a politician at heart, even if the thrill of the game is no longer there.
Talents and SkillsEdit
"Whatever you do, don't eat the Commander's stew."Warrior
- Took up general sword-and-shield training at the age of nine (which she continued to use and perfect through adulthood).
- Started undergoing specialized training as a berserker at the age of eleven.
- Training as a berserker so young was a particular challenge as she wasn't exactly an explosive or violent child. As such, her mentor had to give her a reason to rage, which started a strange, if not damaging (and certainly toxic) cycle of abuse-and-comfort, where her mentor would purposefully enrage her, then teach her to calm down. Or, vice versa, try to enrage her and instruct her on how to keep calm.
- Regardless, Firav graduated from her training at age sixteen, and the lessons would much later prove to save her life and the lives of others.
- Possesses a general understanding of dual-wielding, two-handed, and siege weaponry.
- High stamina.
- As of 9:32 Dragon continues to hold the record for most one-on-one battles won on the Proving Grounds of Orzammar.
- Instructed on politics the moment she could talk. Notable instructors include her parents, King Endrin and Queen Sida, and Lord Pyral Harrowmont.
- A people person.
- Usually able to tell the true intentions and motives of others, "able to spot a snake from a mile away".
- Gifted public speaker.
- A decent actress. She knows how to hold herself in the public eye even when feeling less than great.
- Natural leader.
- Perceptive of gossip and the goings-on surrounding her.
- Experienced map reader/hobbyist cartographer.
- Strategic thinker.
- Basic understanding of first-aid. Took precautionary lessons as a youth in the event no herbalist or healer was available.
- Although no stonemason, she knows enough about architecture to tell the bad from the good.
- Can and will eat a whole head of lettuce if one is presented to her.
Also notable: She's absolutely abysmal at what would be considered "domestic" skills. Sewing, cleaning, basically anything a servant would do she has little to no knack for. Especially cooking.
Born quite literally on the first dawn of the Dragon Age, Firav Aeducan was four years younger than her brother, Trian, and that combined with the fact she was daughter, not a son, all but ensured she would never inherit the throne. That, however, didn't mean much in Orzammar. Knowing how fickle and bloody the politics could be, Queen Sida strove to groom her only daughter into the perfect politician, regardless of her natural disadvantage. She started Firav's lessons even younger than the crown prince, oftentimes overseeing them personally, and instilled in the young girl the importance of education and hard work.
When Firav was eight, Queen Sida died giving birth to Firav's younger brother, Bhelen. Blaming him for her death, Firav had nothing to do with him the first three years of his life. King Endrin, who'd deeply loved his wife, ensured Firav's extensive lessons would continue, passing much of her education on to close friend and adviser, Pyral Harrowmont, who soon became like family to the young girl.
This early introduction to learning eventually led to a deep love for it. Her favorite subject without question was history. Anything involving the old dwarven empire she soaked up like a sponge, and it wasn't long before she'd spend hours pouring over maps, old and new alike, memorizing everything about the Deep Roads she possibly could. When King Maric Theirin and Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir of Ferelden paid a visit to Orzammar, she impressed the Hero of River Dane with her knowledge and quick wit. Although she played the part of being the typical, snotty dwarf who thought little of humans, his approval made her ecstatic. As a little thank you, she gave him one of the maps from her personal collection (which was absolutely riddled with kids drawings).
By adolescence, Firav was every bit the young politician her mother had hoped her to be and was swiftly becoming one of Orzammar's finest warriors. Still, she was rebellious and impulsive. Just barely a teenager, Trian caught her making out with another girl at one of their father's feasts. Furiously he tore her away, kicking the smaller noble lady out of the feast and lecturing to his little sister the importance of "finding a man and being a good wife". Creating the first and perhaps greatest wedge in their once-strong relationship, Trian tried to expose her to their father. However, King Endrin dismissed her behavior, claiming she was young, and these things were bound to happen.
That didn't stop it from becoming her first real political controversy. Although not as taboo as it once was, the dwarves of Orzammar thought breeding important given their dwindling numbers, and two women together could not breed. Things only escalated from there as other, more serious controversies followed: tattoos, sleeping around with older men and women, rejection of various well-liked suitors. Firav was, for a time, the least liked of Endrin's children.
Breaking records on both the Proving Grounds and in the Deep Roads eventually mitigated harsh opinions, and through her late teens and young adult years she worked hard to repair her reputation. By the time the Assembly finally agreed to grant her the official title of commander, she'd become King Endrin's most accomplished child and was wildly popular. She'd learned to keep her more controversial behavior -- that being her affair with Gorim Saelac -- under wraps, and so by the time she was thirty, people whispered her name. Rumors flew: she was to be their next queen.
Under Construction. Edit
(Note: Relationships prone to change as story develops.)
Royal Family Edit
King Endrin Aeducan: A mentor and confidant, Firav loved her father more than any other man in the world. Learning of his sickness, and later his death, had been devastating to her. She blamed Bhelen for his death, believing that if he hadn't betrayed them so fully, her father might not have been so heartbroken as to give up on life.
Queen Sida Aeducan: Although her mother died when she was still young, Firav contributes much of her early education and love of learning to her the late Queen, and blamed her death on Bhelen's birth. (Something she would later call "a sign of things to come".)
Crown Prince Trian: Killed in Bhelens plot to win the crown of Orzammar, Firav once held a deep love for her older brother, modeling herself after him in her early years. Things changed after he berated her for her attraction to girls, and their relationship devolved in a distasteful rivalry. Regardless, they would never go out of their way to harm -- much less kill -- the other, sharing a strong loyalty to their House, and on Firav's end an unyielding love.
King Bhelen Aeducan: Bhelen adored his older sister, but between her duties and her preference for her father and brother, he never forged a strong bond with Firav. What little love they had for each other was burned to ashes when his schemes resulted in the demise of Trian, and ultimately her exile. She blamed him for many of the things that went wrong in her personal life and outlook, and it's noted that "not even the archdemon inspired anxiety and hatred like the new King of Orzammar".
King Alistair: Alistair admired Firav as one would admire an older sister, and unlike Bhelen Firav took interest in the young bastard prince, giving him advice that he would ultimately listen to and listening to his problems. Their friendship came to an end when she conscripted Loghain. Although he claims he'll never forgive her, he still took her advice to marry Anora Mac Tir and rule beside her as King.
Morrigan: A true example of opposites attracting, they were many times during the Blight that they simply didn't agree with each other. It was only after Firav found the Black Grimoire and gave it to Morrigan that the witch started to respect the Warden, a respect that grew into friendship when Firav agreed to "slay" Flemeth in order to keep her safe. By the time the Blight ended, Morrigan considered Firav a sister, and after much debate, she agreed to let Firav come with her to help raise young Kieran.
Nug: The mabari Firav cured back at Ostagar was quick to find her again after the battle, and imprinted on the dwarf, Firav was glad to make him part of the company. She named him Nug after a pet nug she and Trian once tried (and failed) to raise. She notes "it'll be much harder accidentally eating a mabari".
Leliana: Firav bonded with Leliana over many things (clothes and shoes being a surprising topic of conversation for them). Most of all, however, Firav related to her crisis of faith following the confrontation with her old lover, Marjolaine, as she found herself in the midst of a crisis of her own. She encouraged Leliana to embrace who she was and what she liked, and that trying to force herself into a mold she didn't fit would only bring discomfort.
Sten: It was the qunari Firav first started to call "friend". She found him intriguing and often spent her evenings talking and debating with him, learning about their respective people and beliefs and explaining to each other why they thought and acted the way they did. They drew even closer after Firav promised to find his sword despite the war, and even succeeded in doing so. Sten grew protective of his kadan and refused to leave Ferelden until he was sure she was well.
- They once tried to bake cookies together. It didn't end well.
Wynne: Firav didn't bond with Wynne like she did with many others, but she thought highly of the mage, and the mage ultimately thought highly of her. Despite differences of opinion, Wynne was pivotal in the initial months of Firav's recovering, swearing that Firav would "walk and fight again" and remaining a patient, constant companion until that promise was fulfilled.
Zevran Arainai: After failing to kill the Wardens, Zevran was conscripted by Duncan, but it was Firav the elf ultimately swore himself to. The two became fast friends, their good chemistry together almost immediately made known. Although at one point they considered being "friends with benefits", Firav ultimately declined, feeling she wasn't ready for any relationship of the sexual or romantic nature.
- Following her disappearance, Zevran is one of the ones who search for her endlessly, and when she finds him, he readily takes up his old role as "her man", aiding however he can in the search for a cure.
- The issue of becoming "friends with benefits" during this time arises once more. This time it's Zevran who decides against it, surprisingly, as he "felt too much for her" to keep emotion out of the deal.
Shale: Firav stood with Shale when Duncan made known of his possible intent to use the Anvil of the Void. Although they didn't bond much, per-say, Shale grew to respect "it" quite a bit after that, and appreciated Firav's ultimately unsuccessful attempts to find out more about who the golem was while in the Roads prior to meeting Caridin.
Oghren: Oghren was another immediate connection for Firav. They bonded over their disgrace in Orzammar, and came to be close companions while traversing and fighting through the Deep Roads. He never blamed her for Branka's death, and followed her after she left the brunt of her group. By the time they served as Wardens together, they could only be considered best friends, brother-and-sister in arms.
Loghain Mac Tir: Although they met once before Ostagar, Firav didn't count Loghain a friend until after his conscription. They sympathized with their respective falls-from-grace, both of them ostracized by the very people they once tried to protect, which allowed them to connect to each other in a way no one else could. That combined with many shared interests and mindsets, along with all the nights shared talking by the campfire, forged a deep friendship and respect for one another that would, eventually, bloom into affection.
- The affection lead to a brief affair during the time of the Darkspawn Civil War, but it was kept a purely physical relationship as neither at the time believed they could truly be anything. The affair ended after Loghain was sent to join the Wardens in Orlais, although they still thought of each other often in the years spent apart.
- Upon reuniting a decade later, their feelings haven't diminished at all, and they agree to retire together with many fur babies under their wings.
Lord Pyral Harrowmont: Rather like an uncle to her, Firav had a strong affection for the old lord, annoyed though he sometimes made her with his constant griping to find a husband. The last time she spoke with him was when she entered the Deep Roads for her exile and death. When he was executed and made it watch, it could be considered the hay that broke the camel's back, forever taining the image of Orzammar and her little brother worse than it already was.
Gorim Saelac: Firav and Gorim were a deeply passionate and very in-love couple, a secret affair that lasted for six years, right up until her exile. She thought him her one true love, her soulmate, and kept faithful during the Blight in hopes of finding him once again and finally marrying him. Learning he was already married with a kid on the way when she meets him on the surface, Firav's heartbroken, and though she wishes him well, his lack of faith in her and apparent lack of "true love" caused her to question her views on love herself. She kept from forming any sexual or romantic relationship for many months after.
Adal Helmi: The two women admired each other from a distance, and although there had always been a certain "spark" between them, they never pursued anything by virtue of the fact Firav was already with Gorim. It's noted that the two times Firav returned to Orzammar following her exile, Adal was there to help support her, later even offering her a place in her home should Firav ever wish to stay in Orzammar. It was an offer the Warden seriously considered, but ultimately denied.
Fun Facts: Edit
- Astraphobic (having the fear of thunder and lightning).
- Loghain theorizes it stems more-or-less from PTSD.
- Firav states that the thunder makes her think that "the ceiling is about to cave in over their heads". She'll often cower or have to force herself not to "get out of the way".
- Additionally, she cannot sleep during a storm, even when safe inside a building. "Keep Firav Calm" protocols during these times usually include plenty of blankets.
- Exceptionally sensitive to her Warden-induced nightmares, moreso than her fellows. Although they do calm following the Blight, there are still moments where she'll have to be forced awake to keep from thrashing about and hurting herself, or she will wake up and instantly become nauseated, rushing for a bush or pot.
- Following King Bhelen's coronation, Firav never refers to herself as an Aeducan again, despite still bearing the Aeducan Shield, feeling the name and House itself "tainted" but still holding great respect for her Paragon ancestor.
- Occasionally, when a family name is required, she goes by "Arianai", Zevran's last name, or much later in life, "Mac Tir".
- Bisexual, with a preference for others she considers to be warriors. (Rarely, if ever, does she pursue someone who isn't one.)
- (Post-Blight) Has to wear spectacles to read. Age eventually worsens her eyesight further.
- In addition to her titles, Firav has three nicknames. Oghren calls her "Ruby", Loghain "pretty lady", and most of the Awakening cast teasingly calls her "Mom".
- Ruby is a nickname stemming from her childhood, inspired by the color of her hair.
- Loghain calls Firav "pretty lady" on the sole basis he forgot her name when they first met, back when she was a little girl, and didn't fully remember her real name until well after Ostagar. Oops.
- Claims she kept her hair long for so long to spite anyone (particularly Loghain) who told her long hair was impractical for a warrior. "I don't care if you're right, it's pretty."
- She loves lettuce. So much. Veggies.
- She is, in fact, the unofficial Queen of Lettuce.