"No one can tell me who I am. I have to decide that myself."

Ilai Surana (born 24 Haring 9:11 Dragon) is the Chancellor and Warden-Commander of Ferelden and Arl of Amaranthine, also styled the Hero of Ferelden for his role in ending the Fifth Blight of 9:30–9:31 Dragon. Raised in the Circle from the age of five, Ilai had no known past or family to speak of, and his cynicism, disconnect from his elven heritage, and identity issues led to him becoming extremely ruthless and ambitious, determined to carve out his own place in the Circle no matter how many people he hurt along the way. After betraying a blood mage to the First Enchanter of the Circle and witnessing the blood mage's subsequent escape, Ilai was conscripted into the Wardens by Warden-Commander Duncan and brought out of the Circle to Ostagar. Following the disaster at Ostagar, he led the efforts to build a new army to combat the Blight and oppose Teyrn Loghain mac Tir, who had left the Wardens and King Cailan to die. With the aid of Alistair, Cailan's half-brother, and Arl Eamon, Loghain was eventually defeated in the Landsmeet, and Ilai led the army to the Battle of Denerim, where he became the first Grey Warden in history to survive killing the archdemon. In the aftermath, he was appointed Chancellor and Warden-Commander of Ferelden, and he eventually became Arl of Amaranthine as well.

In the years following, Ilai continued in his duties as Chancellor, Warden-Commander, and Arl, retaining an active influence in the running of Ferelden and working tirelessly to rebuild the order within its borders. Despite being an open blood mage, he remained greatly popular with the people of Ferelden, and he used his influence and position to improve the lot of the city and Dalish elves living in Ferelden. In 9:39 Dragon, however, Ilai departed Ferelden for reasons unknown, and he has rarely been heard from since. He remains absent as of Haring, 9:44 Dragon, and many are beginning to fear he is missing or worse.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Basic Information[edit | edit source]

Full Name: Ilai Surana (born Iallius, nicknamed Ilai by a nanny at the Circle, has since forgotten birth name)

Nickname(s): Amor 'love', mi flamma 'my flame' (Zevran)

Alias(es): Isenril, Irial

Occupation: Chancellor of Ferelden, Warden-Commander of Ferelden, Arl of Amaranthine, Hero of Ferelden

Age: 19 as of Wintermarch, 9:31 Dragon

Date of Birth: Haring 24, 9:11 Dragon

Nationality: Tevinter (unknown, raised Fereldan)

Orientation: Bisexual

Libido: Average

Religion: None (believes in the Maker, but does not worship Him).

Threat Level: 7/10. Ilai is a competent enough mage, though prior to his conscription, he utterly lacks experience and has never been in a true fight. A specialist in a single branch from all four schools of magic, Ilai is nothing if not versatile, and he is extremely inventive when combining these spells, generally to great effect. His understanding of tactics and strategy is decent, though nothing special, and he is quick on his feet and agile, making him good at dodging. He also has a very cunning mind, which he quickly learns to apply to exploiting enemy weaknesses and using the environment to his advantage, and he has sufficient knowledge of herbalism to know which potions would serve him best in battle. As Ilai gains more experience, masters more spells, and learns blood magic and Dalish nature magic, he only becomes more skilled and dangerous, and by the end of the game, he is truly a force to be reckoned with. He is still somewhat physically fragile, like most mages, and he has few means of defending himself once somebody gets past his magic—but that is generally quite the hurdle for most people to overcome.

World State: Playthrough 3 ('Blood Mage')

Physical Information[edit | edit source]

Voice: Mystical

Height: 5'6" / 1.68 m

Eye Colour: Brown

Hair Colour + Style: Black, straight, short, with a few strands hanging over his eyes

Dominant Hand: Left

Body Type: Slender, almost soft build

Distinguishing Features: Taller than most elves, large ears, gentle-looking

Accent + Intensity: Fereldan, slight

Tattoo(s): None

Scar(s): One on his lower left cheek after fighting the high dragon

Piercing(s): None

Glasses? No

Background Information[edit | edit source]

Hometown: Vyrantium (does not remember)

Current Residence: Denerim and Amaranthine

Language(s): Common, eventually some Antivan

Social Class: Lower class by virtue of being an elven mage

Education: Given a standard Circle education in everything pertaining to magic, including the four schools, defending himself from demons, the basics of the Fade, maintaining a staff, herbalism, etc. Also educated in reading, history, mathematics, religion, etc.

Family: See below

Romanced: Zevran Arainai

Pet(s): Cailan, mabari war hound, adopted after Ostagar

Adopted? Technically, yes, by the mages of the Circle following his arrival there.

Rap Sheet: Yes, including blood magic, reckless and illegal use of his magic, thievery, and so on.

Prison Time: None

Personality Information[edit | edit source]

MBTI/Jung Type: ENTP "Debater"

Archetype: The Everyman and the Explorer

Enneagram: Challenger and Achiever

Moral Alignment: Neutral Evil, eventually evolves into Chaotic Neutral

Temperament: Sanguine

Angered By: Racism, bigotry towards mages (not fear, bigotry), Dalish haughtiness towards non-Dalish elves, self-righteous moralising, anything that triggers his identity issues

Intelligence Type: Intrapersonal

Neurodivergence(s): N/A

At Risk: His struggles with his elven identity, belief that he needs to belong to a particular group of elves in order to be a real elf, and sense that he's a lesser elf because he does not lead him to any number of unhealthy coping mechanisms and to acting ruthlessly and selfishly in his pursuit of his ambitions. His ambition, greed, and occasional power hunger often lead him down dark paths where he acts out of his own self-interest, without thinking of the consequences for others, and he cannot always talk his way out of the consequences. He risks becoming something he's not to solve his identity issues and turning into a monster to satisfy his ambitions.

Vices and Habits[edit | edit source]

Smokes? No

Drinks? Yes, occasionally

Drugs? No

Violent? Only when he needs to be, and is generally very slow to resort to it due to his reliance on his charisma and cunning.

Addictions? None

Self-Destructive? Not especially, though he is unintentionally self-destructive in his blind pursuit of his ambitions and fumbling attempts to resolve his identity issues and find his place as an elf.

Habit(s): Playing with Zevran's earring after he receives it, pinching his forehead when deep in thought, running his hand along the walls of buildings, scratching at his pimples, tugging his ear

Hobbies: Reading, practising his magic, studying architecture and examining old buildings

Likes: Old architecture, ancient Tevinter art, solving problems with charisma and cunning, fresh spices and semolina pudding, things that help him come to terms with his identity and reconnect with his heritage (e.g. learning Dalish nature magic)

Dislikes: The Chantry and the Circle, his lack of certainty outside the Circle, most Fereldan food, maleficarum who harm innocents, spiders

Tic(s): None

Obsession(s): Technically none, though his drive to resolve his identity problems by any means necessary borders on this at times.

Compulsion(s): None

Miscellaneous Information[edit | edit source]

House: Slytherin / Horned Serpent

Zodiac: Fenrir

Vice: Greed

Virtue: Diligence

Element: Earth

Mythological Creature: Sphynx

Animal: Fox

Mutation: Tainted

Biography[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Ilai was born in Vyrantium, the result of a one-night stand between a pair of slaves. His mother died of blood loss shortly after giving him his name, Iallius, and he was afterwards raised by his father, Janius, who juggled his parental duties with his responsibilities towards his master. A few years later, Janius got together with another slave, Atrius, who planted a dream in his head of getting to freedom and giving Iallius the life he would never have in Tevinter. At three, Iallius escaped Tevinter with his two fathers, and they journeyed south to Ferelden.

Not long after their arrival in Ferelden, Iallius and his fathers came across a Dalish clan, and Janius and Atrius pleaded to be taken on, even promising to shed their Tevinter names in favour of elven ones. But though they were ex-slaves, they were rejected as flat-ears by the Dalish clan; disillusioned, Janius and Atrius took Iallius north to Denerim to seek out the alienage. What they found there, however, seemed like only another kind of slavery, if subtler, and both men refused to subject themselves and their son to that. With no other options, they took up a life of wandering, working odd jobs here and there while caring for Iallius. This came to an end only a few years later, when Iallius' magic manifested and the templars came, tearing him away and taking him to the Circle.

Ilai has no clear memory of any of this, however. His first real memory is the harsh treatment and coldness the templars gave him on the way to Kinloch Hold, and when he arrived, the nanny he was assigned to nicknamed him Ilai. In the years following, Ilai forgot his name, forgot his fathers, forgot where he had come from—forgot everything except the Circle. Though he fit in well at the Circle and was a talented student, a jack-of-all-trades who tried to master branches from all four schools of magic instead of just one, Ilai was never happy there. He wanted the freedom to use his magic as he saw fit, and he resented the Chantry for its views on mages and what it had done to his race. More than that, from a young age, Ilai felt a deep sense of disconnection and confusion regarding his elven identity. He felt obliged to be a true elf, given his race's poverty and oppression, but he was an elf in a human Circle, separated from his heritage and everything that could have made him an elf. This turmoil regarding his identity only deepened as Ilai got older, and in time, it would come to fuel most of his personality.

As time went by, Ilai ultimately came to see that fighting the Circle was pointless, and that he'd be better off working with what he had and carving out his own place, forging his own path, than struggling against it in vain. Believing that this would help resolve his identity issues, and already having a naturally cynical view of the world anyway, Ilai turned into something of a chameleon and showed the signs of being everything the templars feared. He grew selfish, power-hungry, manipulative, somewhat ruthless, curious about blood magic even—willing to do anything and step on any number of people in order to climb to the top and fulfil his plans within the Circle. Seeing no point in being good and kind when good and kindness were crushed in the dog-eat-dog world of even the Circle, Ilai came to see other people as tools to be used, and the many friends he made through his natural charisma he only kept so he could use. Never openly vicious, and always carefully polite and friendly so as to keep on the templars' good side, by the time of his Harrowing, Ilai was ready to start fulfilling his many plans and resolve the turmoil that still raged inside him. But a haughty spirit goes before destruction, and it only took a single wrench to destroy everything for which he had worked.

In-game[edit | edit source]

Dragon Age: Origins[edit | edit source]

Quest Decisions
Origin Won Valour's staff without fighting; won Sloth's riddle challenge; realised Mouse was a demon. Betrayed Jowan to Irving; agreed to go along with Irving's plan; confessed to Jowan when caught by the templars.
Broken Circle Saved the Circle. Released Trickster Whim; dealt with Shah Wyrd.
The Arl of Redcliffe Saved Redcliffe, no casualties; brought in the Circle; Connor remained possessed; Jowan returned to the Circle. Bella remained in Redcliffe; paid for the Green Blade; Valena escaped the caste.
Nature of the Beast Brokered peace between the elves and werewolves; traded with the hermit; gave the Grand Oak his acorn. Helped Cammen and Gheyna; killed Elora's halla; told Athras of Danyla's fate; found ironbark for Varathorn; saved Deygan.
The Urn of Sacred Ashes Did not defile the Urn of Sacred Ashes; allowed Genitivi to spread word of the Ashes. Killed the high dragon.
A Paragon of Her Kind Sided with Branka; Branka destroyed the Anvil; Bhelen crowned King of Orzammar. Killed Ruck and told Filda he died a hero; did not help Brother Burkel; told Zerlinda to go to the surface; helped Orta join the Assembly; helped Dagna join the Circle; uncovered origins of the Legion of the Dead; returned the stolen tome to the Shaperate; completed Rogek's lyrium deal.
The Landsmeet Freed Soris; kept Vaughan imprisoned; killed Ser Cauthrien; killed Caladrius; won the debate; duelled Loghain; executed Loghain; Alistair and Anora rule jointly. Told Bann Sighard about Oswyn; gave Irminric's ring to Alfstanna; gave amulet to alienage beggar.
The Battle of Denerim Performed dark ritual with Morrgian; majority of Denerim's defenders survived; killed the archdemon; chose to serve as Chancellor.
Companions Alistair found Goldanna; hardened. Allowed Flemeth to leave. Leliana killed Marjolaine; hardened. Helped Oghren with Felsi. Helped Shale uncover her past. Persuaded the revered mother to give the key to Sten's cage. Helped Sten find Asala. Helped Wynne reconcile with Aneirin. Zevran remained loyal.
Side Quests Persuaded guard to give Ostagar prisoner his lunch. Cured the mabari hound. Completed Ignacio's assassinations. Disarmed the dead drops, sided with the rogue 'D'. Evidence of blood magic given to Knight-Commander Harrith. Sided with Raelnor Hawkwind.

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening + DLC[edit | edit source]

Quest Decisions
Main Plot Soldiers protected farms. Ended conspiracy by fighting conspirators at Old Stark's Farm. Ended peasants' riot peacefully. Sided with Justice against the Baroness.
Companions Conscripted Nathaniel; helped him find Delilah. Helped Anders against Rylock. Defended Velanna to her clan. Gave Mischa coin. Helped Oghren reconcile with Felsi. Found Aura for Justice.
DLC Amalia died. Killed Sophia Dryden; ordered Avernus to practice ethical research; gained the Power of Blood. Gave Cailan a funeral pyre. Allowed Morrigan to leave.

Afterwards[edit | edit source]

Ilai had never had any desire to join the Grey Wardens, and the ruination of all his carefully-laid plans and uprooting of his life left him reeling for some time. But Ilai had also never been one to fight that which could not be fought, and so he adapted to his new life with relative ease, taking some comfort in finally being out in the world and getting to use his magic for something other than what the Chantry permitted. Still, selfishness and ruthlessness continued to drive him, and while he did much good early in the Blight, there was no kindness in his choices, only practicality at best and self-interest often. Out in the world, this self-centredness was becoming dangerous, but Ilai had yet to realise it.

It was only after Redcliffe that things started to change. At Honnleath, Ilai's overreaction to Kitty's presence—caused by his raw wounds from seeing his old home overrun by demons and half the people he'd ever known killed or turned into abominations—led to Amalia's possession and Ilai being forced to kill her. Ilai knew at once that he had made a grave error, as even he could not stomach the thought of killing a child, but even still, he persisted. At Redcliffe, however, Ilai began to realise that the warm, fuzzy feeling he got whenever he did something good was caused by his doing good, and had nothing to do with self-interest. Also at Redcliffe, however, Ilai's selfishness overtook him once again when he went into the Fade, leading to him selling the soul of another child to a demon in exchange for blood magic.

In the aftermath, Ilai was shaken and sickened with himself, and although he vowed to make his new blood magic worth something, he knew things could not continue the way they were going, for there was too much on the line. Thus, Ilai gradually began to open up, to try to do good for its own sake, to have faith in others, to not assume everyone was hiding something; he met with great success, and correspondingly made fewer mistakes. Meeting the Dalish and city elves also allowed him to finally come to terms with his identity as an elf, and he not only found new friends in his companions, particularly Morrigan, but he also ended up finding the one thing he'd thought he'd never want—love, with the elven assassin who helped him see that he did not need to belong to any group to be an elf. Thus, by the end, Ilai was in a far better position than he had been when he'd started out, and because he'd found a home with the Grey Wardens and in Ferelden, he was all too happy to assume the mantle of Chancellor and Warden-Commander at the very end.

Since then, Ilai's life has continued to go well, and he has settled comfortably into his many roles in Ferelden. Although his relationship with Zevran has often been strained because of Ilai's refusal to adopt the children Zevran rescued from the Crows and the fact that they're apart more often than they are together, they remain happy, and Ilai hopes there will come a day when they'll be together permanently. But Ilai is still not done, and certainly not with life; wanting to live his life to the fullest, offer some freedom to the Wardens, and get more time with Zevran, in 9:39 Dragon, Ilai left Ferelden to look for a cure for the Calling. He took Zevran with him, in the first time that they'd been together for a significant length of time in some years. Although he knows this quest may be fruitless, he is determined to fulfil it, and with Ilai being who he is, there is little doubt that he will succeed.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

  • Alistair: Important moments that affected their relationship include: first, Alistair thanking Ilai for his role in saving the arl's family at Redcliffe, not knowing that Ilai's blunder in the Fade resulted in Connor's soul being sold to the demon. Ilai feels profoundly guilty about his mistake, and Alistair's gratitude makes him feel even worse; it also causes him to start suspecting that Alistair is a genuinely good man who thinks well of him, and it disturbs him to realise that he isn't living up to that perception. Ilai becomes a little friendlier to Alistair as a result, but the main impact is on his own behaviour, as he finds himself struggling with how to change and become a better person. Second, the hardening conversation, where Alistair promises to start looking out for himself more and Ilai both encourages him and offers suggestions. This moment solidifies the nature of their relationship, a nature Alistair is unaware of: Alistair admitting his problems to Ilai and Ilai subtly pushing him down the paths he favours, making him think for himself, moulding him into the sort of person and potential future monarch Ilai thinks he should be. While his intentions are good, there's no denying that he's manipulating Alistair without Alistair knowing about it, and once Ilai starts, he doesn't really know how to stop. As such, their relationship always has this tone, though Ilai does eventually ease up on manipulating the man as much as he can.
  • Cailan (Dog): Ilai is generally uncomfortable with having a pet, not being used to having to look after anything other than himself, and it's fairly obvious right from the start that he's ill-suited to being a pet owner. He does his best, but he tends to fumble through it and often has to rely on the others for help; as such, he counts himself lucky that Cailan is smart enough to not require much care. As for mabaris as a whole, Ilai doesn't mind them, and he appreciates their intelligence and loyalty, but they're not his favourite animals. He much prefers dragons and foxes. He never develops much of an attachment towards the mabari, either. For the most part, Cailan is a tool to be used, useful in battle and when he needs someone to sniff out danger, but that's about it. After getting him, Ilai does bring him along for everything, from the Brecilian Forest to the Deep Roads to the final battle itself, but he's not a pet person by any means, and so he never develops more than a healthy respect for the dog. He certainly doesn't want to be saddled with him for longer than is necessary.
  • Morrigan: Important moments that affected their relationship include: first, Ilai asking Morrigan about her experiences in the Wilds and Morrigan recounting the incident where she stole a mirror and Flemeth smashed it to teach her a lesson. This, combined with her immediate statement that only survival and power have meaning, leads Ilai to realise in full that Morrigan is more a victim of Flemeth's abuse than anything else, that the values she espouses have been inculcated in her by Flemeth. Because of this, Ilai starts to see her in a new light and grows much more genuinely respectful of her, enough that he becomes more willing to share his own issues with her, which greatly improves their friendship. Second, Morrigan working through her confusion about feeling affection for Ilai, Ilai telling her that he helped her with Flemeth because she's his friend (which isn't entirely true, but he'd be happy to call her one now), and Morrigan admitting that she'll always value his friendship even if she's not always worthy of it. Getting their feelings out in the open like this helps both of them immeasurably, and it also leads them to be more comfortable with spending more time together, talking about everything and nothing; it also does them both a world of good to finally have a genuine friend. Ilai, in particular, at last starts to see the value of having real friends and not just people he can use and discard. Third, Ilai giving Morrigan the mirror; Morrigan is stunned by and grateful for the gesture, and while she has already accepted his friendship, his action here just reinforces it. More to the point, she begins to feel genuinely guilty about having to use Ilai, and she starts trying to be a better friend for him afterwards to preemptively make up for what she's going to have to do.
  • Leliana: Important moments that affected their relationship include: first, Ilai hardening Leliana. This marks the moment when he begins to have more respect for Leliana, as she's now shed what he perceived to be her mask and is letting her more ruthless, vicious personality shine through, which is far more to his tastes. Leliana, in turn, comes to see Ilai as a guide and a true friend, somebody who she can always look to for help, not realising that Ilai is uncomfortably close to Marjolaine in how he acts toward her. Second, their conversation about elves, where Leliana puts her foot in her mouth and exposes her innocent bigotry. While Leliana is suitably grateful to Ilai for calling her out, as it gives her grounds to change, Ilai is left deeply uncomfortable and frustrated, as he always is when his elven identity comes up in conversation. He does not like being reminded that Leliana shares the prejudices of her people, and he likes being reminded of the life among his people that he never got to have even less. The moment does not shake their relationship too much, but there it is.
  • Sten: Important moments that affected their relationship include: first, their discussion of mages and the Qun's treatment of them. Ilai has never much cared for the Circles, and he dislikes the Qun's treatment of mages even more, so this discussion marks one of his very few serious disagreements with Sten, and part of him wonders if this is how Sten views him, as a beast to be collared and chained. Second, their discussion of how people's roles are determined at birth and they should not deviate from it; again, Ilai is intensely individualistic and has always wanted to find his own purpose, so the idea of being born into a role is repellant to him, and he again seriously disagrees with Sten about it. They are able to argue about it respectfully, but but the personality differences exposed in the debate cause some friction between them. Third, when Ilai recovers Sten's sword and returns it to him; Sten is naturally grateful, and Ilai is pleased to have helped him restore his honour and find some measure of atonement. This marks the moment when they become friends, of a sort, and their previous disagreements no longer seem to matter.
  • Wynne: Important moments that affected their relationship include: first, Wynne giving Ilai advice on his role as a Grey Warden, reminding him that he serves as a guardian of men and that he must use his power responsibly because his actions will affect everyone. Ilai is at this point reeling from his failures at Honnleath and Redcliffe and has just realised that his self-interest is dangerous, so he is genuinely grateful to Wynne for her advice, realises that she would always be happy to give more, and comes to see her in a somewhat better light than he had up until now. As a result, they start to grow closer, though Wynne is very wary of Ilai for his newfound blood magic. Second, Wynne telling Ilai about her experiences with Aneirin, as this shows Ilai that Wynne was a very different person once yet has managed to grow, change, and become better, exactly as he is trying to do. This earns her more of his respect, and Wynne in turn appreciates his willingness to listen to her and help her gain closure with Aneirin. Third, their talk before the Landsmeet, where Ilai admits he has found more purpose in his duty as a Warden, is more willing to help others than he has ever been, and will do what he has to because it is his duty. By this point, Ilai feels comfortable enough with Wynne to be fully honest with her, and this admittance helps him accept that he has genuinely grown as a person, something that he attributes partly to her guidance. On Wynne's end, her respect for him is solidified, as she can also tell that he has grown and become a better person, and she is proud that he is willing to admit this to her. The moment confirms their warm and respectful relationship, though it cannot entirely repair Wynne's trust in him.
  • Zevran: Important moments that affected their relationship include: first, Zevran cuttingly asking Ilai when Ilai asks to hear about his time as a Crow if he wants to hear about the slavery, the oubliettes, and the starvation or if he's looking for something more glamorous. The sarcasm and bitterness in that statement makes Ilai realise that he'd underestimated how bad the Crows are and that if Zevran is hiding anything, it's not malice, but trauma. Shamed, he subsequently begins to treat Zevran with more respect and is more genuine in their conversations, a gesture that Zevran appreciates. Second, their discussion about the Dalish. Not only does Ilai get additional insight into just how hard Zevran's life has been and how that's shaped his character, but he also shares his own issues with his elven identity, and Zevran's response—that he doesn't need to belong to any group to call himself an elf, that he deserves to make his own life on his own terms—is something that Ilai's always needed to hear. It does him a world of good to finally hear it now, and hearing it from Zevran is what causes him to first start developing real feelings for the man. Third, their conversation about their growing feelings for each other, where they finally lay out everything that's been holding them back—Zevran his lifestyle, Ilai his personality flaws and resignation to the fact that he would never a real relationship. This talk lets them get past their fight about the earring, and Ilai is left not only understanding Zevran better than ever, but also feeling relieved and like a great weight has been lifted off him because he's at last confessed to his own issues. Most of all, it finally solidifies their romance, marking the point where they truly become a couple, and so in hindsight, it's one of Ilai's favourite memories with Zevran.
  • Oghren: Important moments that affected their relationship include: first, Ilai asking Oghren how he truly feels about Branka's fate; it takes some prodding, but Oghren does eventually admit that he regrets what happened with Branka and how everything turned out. While he doesn't blame Ilai, Ilai still tells him to let him know if he needs any help, as he can sense from Oghren's words and behaviour that he blames himself more than anything. Oghren appreciates this, and they start becoming friendly; this also marks the moment when Ilai decides to help get Oghren off alcohol. Second, their talk after Felsi's visit to the Keep during Awakening, where Oghren admits that he's a warrior at heart and not meant to have a family. Ilai encourages him, saying that there's no reason he can't change and still be part of his child's life, adding that he speaks from very personal experience (with character growth, at least). Oghren takes heart from this and throws himself into changing because of Ilai's example, and seeing him do this and make so much progress only increases Ilai's affection for him. As a result, they end up rock-solid friends and comrades-in-arms, and later down the track, Oghren's example makes Ilai wonder if he should take up Zevran's offer and adopt some of the children he's rescued from the Crows after all.
  • Shale: Ilai's relationship with Shale starts out with Ilai distrusting Shale as much as he distrusts everyone else, and this is not helped by Shale's murderous tendencies and habit of calling him 'it'. Over time, their relationship becomes increasingly respectful and friendly, with their overall personalities working quite well together, and while Ilai's decision to side with Branka does anger Shale, his efforts to help Shale regain her memories help her move past this. By the end of the Blight, they're good friends, though they don't really have the chance to maintain the relationship once Shale leaves to find a way to become mortal again.

Family[edit | edit source]

  • Janius (blood father, slave in Teraevyn)
  • Caria (mother, slave in Vyrantium, died giving birth to him)
  • Atrius (adoptive father, slave in Teraevyn, Janius' partner)
  • Kieran (son, born in Harvestmere, 9:31 Dragon)

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • (to First Enchanter Irving) "I never approved of Jowan's actions. Or of Jowan himself, for that matter."
  • (to Flemeth) "Believed or not, some things must be accepted."
  • (to Morrigan) "It is overwhelming, is it not? To come from a life of confinement to this—it is almost as excruciating as it is exciting. I feel I shall be crushed under the weight of all I need to do, some days."
  • (to Uldred) "I am nobody's pawn, and you can certainly try to get rid of me."
  • (to Morrigan) "The Circle has its place, and I had my plans there, but it was not a place of freedom. It is… complicated."
  • (to Jowan) "You were all set to do it no matter what I did, Jowan, and Irving knew what you were up to—the templars would have caught you no matter what! Don't blame me for your stupidity, blame yourself for never seeing what I was. Do you honestly think I would have stuck my neck out to help you when there was nothing in it for me? Do you think I liked you enough to help? Because I never would have, and I never did. The foolishness belongs to you, but it is your actions that got me cast out of the Circle. If anything, you owe me."
  • (to Connor's desire demon) "I will not get something for nothing. I… renege. I ask for arcane secrets. I want to know specialised blood magic. In return…"
  • (to Leliana, when giving her Andraste's Grace) "You're lucky you can remember."
  • (to Avernus) "You're to blame for all this. Some things you just don't do. I would know. I trifled with things I barely understood, and innocents suffered for it."
  • (to Mithra) "A 'different reception'? What shape would that have taken, I wonder? I did not expect kindness, only politeness, but you dismiss me as an outsider and turn your nose up at me because I am from human lands and was raised in a human Circle. Never mind that that was not my choice. You think I am someone lesser, someone who must be educated and shown the way. But I am neither, and the lesser one here is you, for the haughtiness you show another elf merely because of his birth. Much like the humans."
  • (to Zathrian) "I have many vices, but unthinking vengeance is not one of them."
  • (to Branka) "How many more lives will be lost for your power, Branka? How much of Orzammar's populace will you sacrifice for past glories?"
  • (to Anora) "Slavers are not heroes, and the elves are 'the people' as much as humans are!"
  • (to Sigrun) "You're not the person you used to be. And believe me, I would know all about changing."
  • (to Velanna) "They live under the thumb of humans who can kill them on a whim, and all you can do is look down on them for being beaten down? Is it any wonder the city elves don't like the Dalish?"

Dialogue[edit | edit source]

(during the Harrowing)

  • Ilai: So you challenge helpless mortals to duels?
  • Valour: You are insolent… but your will is unquestionably strong. Very well, mortal. You prove to me that you possess the strength to resist this demon. Go, prove your worth as you must. I am confident you will succeed.

───────

(at Ostagar)

  • Priestess: I merely pass on the Maker's blessings. He looks kindly on all who will receive Him.
  • Ilai: Does He destroy the homeland of those who will not?
  • Priestess: I'll not discuss politics here. Take your hatred and begone!
  • Ilai: Please. That you accuse me of hatred for a mere question, however critical it may have been, says far more about you and your Chantry than it does about me.

───────

(during Broken Circle)

  • Greagoir: You must face and slaughter the abominations to get to the bottom of this. Are you sure you can handle them?
  • Ilai: It will not be easy, I know, but I must try. It is… the right thing to do.
  • Greagoir: Thank you. You have proven yourself a friend of both the Circle, and the templars. And I apologise for my harshness towards you before. I see now it was undeserved.
  • Ilai: No harm, no foul, ser. It's all worked out quite well.

───────

(after The Attack at Nightfall)

  • Lloyd: The men respect me now. I would never have gone out there if you hadn't shoved me. It… feels good to help out.
  • Ilai: I'm glad you feel that way. It's a… nice feeling, isn't it? Knowing you did something good for… for its own sake. And not just because there was something in it for you.

───────

(at camp)

  • Morrigan: If the Wilds have taught me anything, 'tis this: first you must survive. Do you disagree?
  • Ilai: I don't. You're probably right.
  • Morrigan: An interesting answer, for a mage.
  • Ilai: Even the Circle can be cutthroat, if you look hard enough. I learnt how to make my way at a very young age.

───

  • Wynne: If you live apart from others, and your actions affect only you, then you may do as you wish. But if you have power, influence and strength, your every action will be as a drop of water in a clear still pond. The drop causes ripples, and ripples spread. Think of how far they will go, how wide they will become. How will they affect the pond? But I've lectured enough for today. I should stop before I wear out my welcome.
  • Ilai: No, thank you. I… needed that. More than you know.

───────

(at the Dalish camp)

  • Sarel: You are an outsider, and that we must rely on your largesse is a bitter pill for us to swallow.
  • Ilai: But I am no human. I was raised by humans, yes, but I am not one. In fact, I do not even remember where I came from, and I have been apart from our people all my life. Would you treat me as a human and turn down my aid because of an accident of birth?
  • Elven Woman: You are being most unkind, Sarel. Would you refuse our hunters help simply because of the hand that offered it?
  • Sarel: You shame me, lethal'lan. I have allowed my bitterness to cloud my better judgement. Forgive me, Grey Warden. It is most difficult to forget the lessons these shemlen have taught us.
  • Ilai: I find it most hard to believe the humans taught you to hate non-Dalish. I am an elf, raised among humans or not, and you will speak to me with more respect.

───────

(at the Landsmeet)

  • Loghain: Whatever my regrets may be for the elves, I have done what was needed for the good of Ferelden.
  • Ilai: By selling people into slavery in an empire as bad if not worse than Orlais. Strange, that.

───────

(in Amaranthine)

  • Anders: What's to stop the Chantry from deciding mages in the Grey Wardens are apostates, too?
  • Ilai: That's against Chantry law. Besides, given that the current Warden-Commanders of Ferelden, Orlais, Rivain, and Tevinter are all mages, and I'm the Hero of Ferelden and a blood mage, they'd lose face if they tried to have us arrested.

───────

(at Vigil's Keep)

  • Ilai: There's no harm in wanting something beautiful.
  • Justice: I… think I understand. You coexist with both great darkness and great beauty.
  • Ilai: I do, and it is not just without, but within. There is darkness and beauty inside me as well as in the world around me. But with effort, this darkness can be overcome.

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