"I was prepared to spend a quiet, uneventful life in the Circle. I had accepted it. But this task? It came to me and even though I don’t want it, I will see it through.”
Loryen Trevelyan, Haven, 9:41
Fourth and youngest child of Bann and Lady Trevelyan, Sian Loryen Eilonwy Lucille Trevelyan, referred to as Loryen, was sent to the Circle of Ostwick aged eight and was content in the life she led there.
Not a life of freedom, perhaps, but one of duty, discipline and purpose.Until it all got taken away from her.
The Circle of Ostwick fell violently amidst the tensions of the Mage-Templar war. One of a handful of survivors, Loryen found herself thrown into a world she had never been part of, and in which she did not belong.
While she attended the Divine Conclave in Haven, where she had traveled to in a bid to make sense of her role in the grand scheme of things, a sequence of events changed the course of her life.
Loryen found her place in the most unlikely of ways: by becoming the leader of the Inquisition.
For better or worse.
Loryen's most lauded quality is her kindness. Growing up at the hand of a mother who shouted, mocked and belittled her children at any opportunity made a lasting impression on her, one she swore to never replicate.
Living by the motto of "why be cruel when you can be kind", Loryen tries to apply respect and patience to every aspect of her life. Soft-spoken and considerate, she is a courteous, mannerly person who comes across as an excellent listener due to the undivided attention she gives to people she likes. Very rarely prone to angry or nasty behaviour, she does not raise her voice in temper a lot.
Her naturally gentle nature was nurtured by her nanny, a lovely Orlesian woman named Sabine, who gave the little girl all the love and affection she didn't receive from her parents. From a young age, Loryen therefore learnt that blood relations are not everything, something she carried with her throughout her life. At various stages of her story, whether in the Circle or in the Inquisition, her friends became the family she never had. Extremely loyal, she is fiercely protective of loved ones, often prepared to defend them before she would stand up for herself.
Seeking diplomacy over conflict, she avoids confrontations, her nervous and fidgety disposition making her easily flustered. As a mage, she spent a great deal of time learning to control her emotions in the Fade but this skill doesn't come as easily to her in the real world. More often than not, and to her great annoyance, she gets betrayed by her tears, which she sheds easily in sadness, anger or frustration
Her liveliness, warmth and sense of humour override her natural reserve when she is comfortable in her surroundings, a charming surprise to those she chooses to get close to. However, she tends to seek solitude at times of turmoil or doubt.
What others see:
- A short person (she is 5'3''), slender and not particularly athletic
- Long, wavy red hair, more ginger than auburn. Worn loose or tied up in a high ponytail
- Freckles. Lots of them. Everywhere. Made even more prominent by her very fair skin
- Deep sapphire-blue eyes, sometimes thoughtful, other times sad but most of the time sparkling with life
- Overall, a very attractive woman whose beauty borders on the ethereal.
What Loryen sees:
Loryen's opinion of her looks has not changed much since the days of her childhood, where her short stature and her features were ridiculed by her mother on a regular basis.That critical voice never left her, always nagging at the back of her mind, resulting in an often harsh assessment of herself. But growing up in the Circle, she realised she was considered pretty and she will accept compliments about her looks should she receive any, albeit with a mighty blush on her face.
In an ideal world, she would prefer being known for her kindness or her altruism or any other qualities she worked hard developing, but she accepts that most people who meet her first will base their impression of her on her appearance and she has come to appreciate her attractiveness, a useful if superficial way of creating a good first impression.
TALENTS & SKILLS
Loryen was given a violin for her 6th birthday by her aunt Gabrielle and from that day on, music defined her life. Learning to read music and studying well-known musical pieces brought her great joy and in time, she also enjoyed creating and writing her own music, which she kept in a leather-bound pouch.
Once in the Circle, she bonded with her dormitory mate over music. Myra, an accomplished harpist from Starkhaven, helped Loryen discover new influences and together, they spent many an hour playing. Thanks to Myra's teaching, Loryen has a passable grasp of the harp.
Out of the Circle, Loryen was able to play again once the instrument she had lost during the fall of the Circle was replaced, a gift to her from Cullen. The loss of her arm, and with it her ability to play music, brought on a serious breakdown. She recovered with the help of Cullen's young niece, Lottie, who encouraged her to sing instead.
Loryen's magic manifested in toddler-hood and was promptly hidden from her family by her nanny, who was an apostate. The next few years were spent teaching the child to control her powers. By the time it was discovered she was a mage, Loryen had become a deadly accurate spell caster, with a natural ability for Winter spells.
Once in the Circle, she was able to hone her skills in a formal learning environment, flourishing under the instructions of her Enchanters. Her control over her magic and her ease in the Fade, which she had navigated confidently since childhood, made her the youngest person to have undertaken her Harrowing successfully. At age fourteen, she was entered in the records of her Circle for this accomplishment. A couple of years later, she became the youngest mage in Ostwick to be given the title of Junior Enchanter.
Out of the Circle, she had to quickly learn to use her magic for offensive/defensive situations. Often underestimated by foes due to her petite stature, she is nonetheless a powerful presence in battle, something that came as a surprise to her as she had never been tested during her time in the Circle. She chose to specialize as a Rift Mage in an effort to study the power coming from the rifts and understand them better.
A naturally diplomatic person, Loryen never fared well in arguments and she therefore always favored a peaceful approach to conflict resolution. Whilst not superbly eloquent, Loryen really found her stride at Josephine's contact, learning from the Ambassador and emulating her tactful yet assertive manner.
Loryen became very skilled at finding the right words to get her way or talk her way out of most situations and making few enemies in the process. Her kind and empathetic nature, while detrimental at times, became her biggest asset in negotiation and was instrumental in building her reputation as a courteous, fair and generally respected Inquisitor.
HISTORY - work in progress
Loryen's childhood, if not for her mother's toxic presence, would have been rather unremarkable and very much like every other noble person in the realm. She received the best of everything, whether it be clothes, food, toys or education. However, what she did not get was the unconditional love of her parents. They were largely absent from her upbringing and nannies, tutors and governesses were the people she spent most of her time with. This became even more pronounced when Sabine Mollet, her principal nanny, found out that Loryen was a mage around the time of her third birthday. An apostate, Sabine dreaded for the child to be taken away and made the decision to hide her knowledge of Loryen's magic from her parents, instead teaching the child to hide her secret. This meant that Loryen spent an extensive amount of time with Sabine, further alienating her from her own family. Any event or occasions where she had to be in the presence of her parents or siblings became a great source of anxiety and she developed a rather nervous and fidgety disposition as a result. Trying to stay in the background, and therefore out of trouble, became second nature to her.
This uneasy co-habitation with her family lasted until her eighth birthday, which happened to fall on the same day as the Annual Trevelyan Ball. Tensions were running high and an argument with her mother about the outfit she had picked for the little girl ended with Elke raising her hand to strike the child, only to be stopped in mid-air by an ice spell from Loryen. Chaos and mayhem ensued, with Lady Trevelyan screaming blue murder and sending for the Templars of the Ostwick Circle. By the time Bryan Trevelyan was informed, the latter were already on their way. Sending his child away seemed extreme to Bryan. He did, after all, love the little girl but he was overruled.
Loryen left the house that very evening, via the servants' entrance so as not to disturb the incoming guests to the Ball, without a member of her family to see her off.
Sabine Mollet, her nanny, was sent to a Chantry cell in Ostwick, there to await Templars from Val Royaux, where she originated from. She was made Tranquil on arrival at the White Spire, a fate that Loryen only discovered later in life.
THE CIRCLE YEARS
The Trevelyan family is tightly woven into the social fabric of the city of Ostwick, in the Free Marches .
For generations, they have resided in the Trevelyan's ancestral home, Bridewater Demesne, their wealth mostly made of their income from landholding and the agricultural profits from the goods produced on the farmsteads in their ownership
Bann Bryan Trevelyan was the sole heir to the Trevelyan fortune after his parents and siblings died in a horse carriage accident in 8:87 Blessed. An infant at the time, he was taken into the care of his mother's sister who lived in Markham, where Bryan met his future wife, Lady Elke Richter, at a Ball in 9:07 Dragon. After their marriage, the couple took possession of Bridewater Demesne, where they raised their four children.
Bann Bryan Trevelyan
Bryan Trevelyan, an amiable man with a gift for storytelling, was not very present in his children's lives. An important figure in Ostwick, his time was spent improving his standing in the political sphere of the town, at the detriment of spending time with his family. He was oblivious to the rumours that the reason for his frequent absences was the state of his relationship with his controlling, temperamental wife. He was nice to his children but when it came to discipline, he left Elke in charge, never interfering with her decisions. Any unfair or nasty behaviour she displayed towards them remained unchallenged.
Bryan loved Loryen dearly, sharing with her a love of books, stories and music. His biggest regret was his cowardice in the face of the discovery of her magical abilities. Elke left him no choice, taking the matter into her own hands, and Bryan had to watch his daughter being led away by Templars from afar. To try and atone, he sent generous financial contributions to the Circle in the hope his child would benefit from them. But he consistently refused invitations from the First Enchanter to come and visit his daughter, a privilege his status of benefactor afforded him, for fear of displeasing his wife.
Once he heard of Loryen's whereabouts following the fall of the Circle, he went around telling anyone who had ears about his daughter the Inquisitor but was careful not to indulge in any bragging in front of his wife. He went to spend a week in Skyhold shortly after Loryen became the Inquisitor, unable to resist his curiosity about his grown-up little girl, but found her unwilling to forgive his abandonment and they parted without having rebuilt their relationship.
Lady Elke Trevelyan (née Richter)
Elke Trevelyan was born in Markham in 8:87 Blessed, the daughter of a rich silk merchant. Growing up in a comfortable home, surrounded by luxury, she grew up spoiled and capricious, often quarreling with her younger sister Gabrielle, with whom she did not get along. In order to make a good match, Elke started attending balls as soon as she came of age and her beauty captured the attention of many, but none more so than Bryan Trevelyan. Elke fell for the man's good looks just as much as she did with his status and fortune and within months of meeting, they were engaged.
Moving to Ostwick was a big change for Elke, who threw herself into raising her status in the town in between each of her pregnancy. Not naturally maternal, she spent little time with her children, leaving their care to nannies and governesses, until they were older. Short-tempered, wrathful and cruel, she would often belittle or shout at the children if they did not behave as she expected them to.
Her relationship with Loryen started off on a sour note from the day of her birth, which happened to fall on the day of the Annual Trevelyan Ball, the biggest event in Elke's calendar. Her youngest daughter, unlike her other siblings, inherited the red hair of Elke's sister as well as Bryan Trevelyan's freckled complexion, two "flaws" Elke never failed to comment upon in a derogatory manner. The child's nervous nature and her clumsiness in her mother's presence irritated Elke even more and she often subjected her to cruel jibes and harsh punishment for minor infractions. As a result, Loryen quickly learnt to speak only when spoken to, trying to bring as little attention to herself as possible. Terrified her mother would find out she had powers, Loryen spent less and less time in her company, resulting in the complete severance of any relationship they may have had.
In 9:27, on Loryen's 8th birthday which again coincided with the Trevelyan Summer Ball, Lady Trevelyan's mood was explosive due to the stress of the preparations. When Loryen was sent to her mother's room to try on a dress for the ball, which she refused to wear, her mother struck her. Before she could control it, Loryen used a spell on her to prevent another blow. The screams that ensued alerted the servants, who were ordered to lock Loryen in her room. This led to the discovery that Sabine Mollet, Loryen's nurse, was an apostate who had kept her to herself the knowledge of Loryen's magical abilities for years, teaching her to control and practice her magic in secret.
A messenger was immediately dispatched to the Circle and Loryen was taken to the Circle that very evening, while Sabine Mollet was sent to the White Spire in Orlais. Lady Trevelyan never saw her child again after that and any mention of Loryen by anyone is quickly shut down.
Lady Gabrielle D'Aubert (née Richter)
Gabrielle Aubert is Elke's younger sister and Loryen's only aunt. The only redhead in a family of blonds, she had a soft spot for Loryen due to their shared physical attribute.
Born in 8:95 Blessed, eight years after Elke, Gabrielle was not close to her sister due to their age difference. Elke, who had been an only child up to that point, deeply resented having to share their parents' attention and was often subjecting her sister to harsh treatment. Gabrielle was a patient, kind child who got along with everyone and so, as much as she deplored her sister's coldness towards her, she otherwise grew up surrounded by the love of the rest of her family.
Once Elke moved to Ostwick, Gabrielle looked after their mother, who was in poor health after she had contracted scarlet fever. As a result to the commitment she had made to her mother's care, Gabrielle turned down a number of marriage proposals. Over the next few years, Gabrielle visited the Trevelyan Estate regularly. As warm and kind as her sister was cold and cruel, she delighted in spoiling the children, becoming a firm favorite with her nieces and nephews, and especially Loryen whose temperament was similar to hers.
After Lady Richter died in 9:24, Gabrielle, by then aged 29, agreed to marry Lord Clément D'Aubert whom she had long been in love with and in 9:25 Dragon, their wedding took place in the D'Aubert Estate in Val Chevin. During the wedding, Loryen, aged 5, became fascinated by the orchestra who provided the entertainment at the reception, and when the little girl turned 6 that same week, Gabrielle gifted her a violin, sparking a lifelong love of music for the child.
After her wedding, Gabrielle's visits to the Free Marches became less frequent but she maintained a close correspondence with Loryen. She was devastated to hear the child had been sent to the Circle in 9:27 and fearing for her well-being, she immediately went to see her. Reassured by First Enchanter Gray that Loryen would be treated with the utmost care and respect, Gabrielle often returned to see Loryen over the years, especially after she lost her own daughter, a little girl called Cerise who died of pneumonia in childhood.
After she discovered Loryen had become the Inquisitor, she was a regular visitor to Skyhold, delighting in her niece's accomplishments.
Loryen's story "Like a violin's bow" can be found on AO3 and the accompanying playlist is available on Spotify or YouTube