A Dalish scout and son of the Keeper, Mahanon was living in the Free Marshes when the Mage-Templar war broke out. Chosen to spy on the Conclave, he was sent to the Temple of Sacred Ashes in the guise of a mercenary. The sole survivor of the explosion, the discovery of the mark on his hand led to him being declared the Herald of Andraste. He joined with the Inquisition to close the Breach and was eventually named Inquisitor.
Physical Appearance Edit
Mahanon stands a few inches shorter than most men, with a build that's bulky for an elf but still slender compared to a human. He had shaggy brown hair that seems in perpetual disarray, light blue eyes, and skin deeply tanned from the sun. His face is dominated by black vallaslin dedicated to Sylaise, as well as a couple facial scars across his browline and lip from a fight with Tevinter slavers.
Despite his Dalish ancestry, he was quick to accept the armor Harritt made for him. Seeing as it was practical and well-made, he steadfastly refused to upgrade to anything more ornate after being made Inquisitor.
Quiet, thoughtful, and level-headed, almost no one thinks of Mahanon as a threat when they meet him. Even his enemies dismissed him as just another elven savage. What they miss is that despite his Dalish upbringing, Mahanon is a political creature at heart. He's intelligent, calculating, and can be ruthlessly pragmatic when the need arises.
As the son of a keeper, he developed an interest in stories and history at an early age. Though most of his knowledge centers around the elves, he's just as happy to learn about the pasts of other cultures as well. Unlike many Dalish, while he dearly wants to rediscover elven history, he doesn't want to return things to how they were at the time of the Dales. The fall happened 700 years ago, and this history and culture they've developed during that time should not be thrown away. At the same time, he does want the Dalish to take their place in the world.
Upon taking over the Inquisition, he discovered he enjoys having power and control. Many of his decisions were made based on what left the Inquisition in the strongest position, though he did balk at anything he considered truly heinous. He considered his army an extension of himself, and was rather miffed when he was forced to disband. Having grown used to being in power, he's found it impossible to return to a normal life in his clan and continues to try to manipulate world events from the shadows.
Talents and SkillsEdit
Mahanon is practical and intelligent, with a good mind for tactics and logistics. Inquisitive and a quick learner, he took to leading the Inquisiton like a duck to water, and even managed to impress the Orlesian court with his political skills. Unfortunately, he's also about as charismatic as a fruit bat, and has to rely on other people to be inspiring for him.
Mahanon's background also made him a veritable repository of stories and songs from across Thedas. He's a capable singer, and can even be an engaging storyteller on the rare occasions he feels safe and relaxed. He also considered becoming a healer as a child, and knows more than a little of herbal lore. Sadly, all of these skills were almost never used once he started working for the Inquisiton. He can play cards though, which puts him in good stead with Varric
Despite what the game would have you believe, he's actually not that impressive a bowman. While he's quiet and sure-footed and therefore a capable hunter, throw him in the middle of a battle and he's strictly average. He got more skilled after being trained by Heir, but losing his arm put a bit of a damper on that.
- Born in 9:12 in the northern Free Marches to the Lavellan clan.
- Decided to become a hunter at age 14, after an encounter with Tevinter slavers.
- Earned his vallaslin at age 16, immediately started acting as hunter and scout.
- Was betrothed to his childhood friend Mithra, but she died of sickness when he was 21.
- Mage-Templar war breaks out in 9:40, causes unrest in Free Marches and forces the clan to move after some Templars go after them.
- Upon hearing of the Exalted Council, Mahanon volunteers to observe and report back.
- Goes in guise of a mercenary, joining up with a company along the way. Learns to play cards
- Temple explodes, Mahanon sole survivor, helps stabilize the Breach
- Voluntarily joins the Inquisition in order to seal the Breach for good.
- Doesn't believe he's the Herald, but agrees that it's a useful story and only disputes it among friends
- Recruits the mages, because they were closer and he didn't realize he couldn't snag both them and the Templars
- Made mages full allies, but only because it's functionally the same as conscripting them, but with less odds of them trying to rebel
- Closes the Breach, but Haven gets attacked. Gets beat up, but survives
- Alarmed by the singing and kneeling, but continues to tolerate because it's still super useful
- Meets Hawke (good), meets Marian (bad), fights the Wardens.
- Has the Wardens stay on as allies, because he likes having more minions
- Companion Stuff
- Encourages Cassandra to recreate the Seekers
- Cole becomes more Spirit
- Blackwall sent to the Wardens
- Dorian meets father, but doesn't reconcile
- Saves the Qunari dreadnought (but feels bad about it)
- Offs the Assassins that are after Josie
- Softens Leliana, but only because she mistook "Don't kill people, because live people are way more useful" for "Be merciful and try not to kill anyone." Marian helped too.
- Goes to the Winter Palace.
- Blackmails all three into a truce, because he can't trust any of them further than he can throw them and an unstable Orlais is reliant on the Inquisition.
- Goes to the Arbor Wilds.
- Allies with the Sentinels, because elven history is awesome
- Has Morrigan use the Well, because it's too big of a risk to use himself
- Beats up Corypheus
- Ends with Cassandra Divine. Spends next couple years restoring order
- Disbanded Inquisition in order to keep efforts against Solas secure.
- Declared he'd stop Solas at all costs
Mahanon and Cassandra got started on the wrong foot. She threatened to kill him, he was hostile back, it was bad news all around. After he stabilized the Breach, he expected her to cart him off to Val Royeaux for some mock trail or possibly just continue to threaten him and keep him a prisoner. She surprised him by defending him and telling him he could leave if he wished. Her actions in forming the Inquisition afforded her his grudging respect, and they settled into tolerating one another.
Mahanon, in turn, earned Cassandra's grudging respect as they fought together to stabilize the Hinterlands. They worked well together, though neither could say they particularly liked the other. By the time they'd met with the Chantry clerics and more people started joining the Inquisition, Mahanon had begun to trust Cassandra and considered her an integral part of his squad (or rather, considered himself an integral part of her squad or possibly their squad. He wasn't quite clear on who was in charge, only that they both obeyed the Inquisition). This also inspired him to keep her as a member of his team even after he was made Inquisitor.
As time passed, mutual respect and trust slowly developed into an actual friendship. Mahanon genuinely enjoys Cassandra's company, which isn't something he can say about a lot of people.
Mahanon's relationship with Solas started out less complicated. Volunteering to help with the Breach despite the obvious danger earned him Mahanon's instant respect, and he found the older elf's manner curious. He wasn't from the Circle or the Dalish, but was more educated and self-assured than any city or country elf he'd met. Solas's explanations for his background never really added up, but Mahanon more or less shrugged it off because Solas was fascinating. Mahanon is a sucker for stories and knowledge, and Solas was and endless source of both.
Solas, meanwhile, found Mahanon to be thoughtful and inquisitive. They two of them are actually fairly similar, being massive nerds (the Fade for Solas and history for Mahanon) who assumed a mantle of power out of necessity and thrived. It wasn't long before the two of them struck up a friendship, and he found himself respecting Mahanon a great deal. Like Cassandra, Solas was a constant presence in Mahanon's party throughout the events of the main game and Mahanon considers him his closest companion.
After the events in the Temple of Mythal, Mahanon pieced together the theory that Solas had been lying and was either an ancient elf or descended from one. However, he still considered Solas a trusted friend and advisor and didn't really feel the need to confront him about it. Even in Trespasser, the idea that Solas was Fen'Harel didn't really phase him. Even if the Qunari were right about him giving Corypheus the orb, it was obviously a miscalculation. It took Solas outright telling Mahanon that he intended to destroy the world for him to realize that Solas was a genuine threat.
Despite the revelations of Solas's plans, Mahanon's opinions of him didn't really change. He still considers Solas a friend and greatly respects him. However, he's a threat to everything Mahanon holds dear, and that means he need to be stopped at all costs. While he'd prefer Solas redeemed, he's too pragmatic to consider it a viable goal. He's going for the kill.
Varric and Mahanon's friendship is almost completely Varric's fault. The dwarf is good at putting people at ease, and took an interest in Mahanon early on. Mahanon responded well, finding the dwarf non-threatening and easy to talk to. They were able to bond over Cassandra threatening to kill them and struck up a friendship as they stabilized the Hinterlands.
Though Varric wasn't a constant fixture in Mahanon's party, he kept an eye out for Mahanon when he had the chance. He's the one responsible for dragging Mahanon to be social, and a big reason why Mahanon doesn't have fewer friendships. He also occasionally teases him about being a terrible main character for his next book. Where's the drama, the passion? He's making Varric's job a lot harder.
Dorian is an affable fellow, and being flung into the future with him was a great bonding experience. While the two of them don't have much in common, Mahanon found that he liked Dorian well enough and his reasons for joining the Inquisition were certainly admirable. They became casual friends and trust each other greatly.
Cole showed up to warn the Inquisition of the Red Templar attack, then Mahanon promptly forgot about him. However, Cole lingered until Corypheus sent his Envy demon to cause trouble. Envy was able to attack Mahanon in the field, at which point Cole intervened again to help Mahanon force Envy out of his head. This caught Mahanon's attention, and he allowed Cole to stay on in the Inquisition. He trusts Cole and is fond of him, though he doesn't fully understand him.
Like Dorian, Iron Bull is an affable fellow and easy to get along with. Unlike Dorian, Iron Bull is openly a spy and Mahanon never really forgot that. Despite that, he grew fond of Iron Bull as they spent time fighting side by side / playing cards with Varric. They weren't close friends, but Mahanon genuinely liked him and his Chargers.
Unfortunately, things went wrong when the Qunari offered an alliance. Mahanon was suspicious, but ultimately agreed that it was worth an attempt. And once he'd agreed to help protect the Dreadnought, he wasn't willing to betray the Qunari by letting it explode. This led to him having to sacrifice the Chargers, which led Iron Bull to give himself fully embrace the Qun, which eventually led to his betrayal in Trespasser.
Iron Bull's betrayal bothered Mahanon greatly. Since he doesn't know that Iron Bull could have been loyal, he thinks there's nothing he could have done to avoid the confrontation. Allying with the Qunari should have reduced the odds of ever having to fight the Iron Bull. When the Qunari did turn out the be a problem, he chose to leave Iron Bull behind but even that didn't help. While some people might be comforted by the thought that they'd done everything they could, Mahanon hates it when things are out of his control. The idea that killing Bull was inevitable rankles, and he keeps looking for something he could have changed and comes up empty.
Vivienne isn't the most outgoing person and neither is Mahanon. She also doesn't come to Varric's card games, so Varric's attempts to socialize Mahanon didn't help there. Add this to Mahanon's tolerance for apostates and disregard for fashion, and the two of them were never going to be friends. However, while he neither likes nor trusts Vivienne, he recognizes her as an accomplished player of the Game and respects her for those skills. He's not hostile to her and is willing to listen to advice, though never without figuring out her angle first.
While less affable than Dorian and the Iron Bull, Blackwall is friendly enough and in Varric's card group. Thus he and Mahanon slowly built up a friendship. However, late in the game as they were just getting friendly, Blackwall ran off and revealed he'd been lying to them the entire time. Mahanon felt he had no choice but to save him from the noose, given that Blackwall had fought by his side and protected him more times than he could count. However, their friendship took a blow and didn't really have time to recover before Corypheus was dealt with and Blackwall was called to join the Wardens.
Mahanon starts out as a solemn Dalish elf who takes pride in his culture and develops into a clever politician with a thing for being in power. Thus it should come as no great surprise that he and Sera dislike each other. She thinks he's a cold-blooded elfy-elf who doesn't give a shit about the little people. He thinks she's an immature moron who would cut off her nose to spite her face. He came very close to throwing her out of the Inquisition during her personal quest, and pretty much only tolerates her because her information is occasionally useful. She puts up with him because he never really crosses a line and the Inquisition is helping people, though not always in the way she'd like.
Mahanon also finds it galling that she's a better shot than him, but would never admit it.
Much like Blackwall, Cullen isn't the friendliest person around but is in Varric's card group. In fact, he's in the group for the same reason as Mahanon, which made it easy for Mahanon to relate to him. They became casual friends based on that, though they're not particularly close. Professionally, Mahanon appreciates Cullen's no-nonsense attitude and finds him welcome backup when Josephine and Leliana are being absurd.
Jospehine is more friendly than Cullen, but Mahanon finds her less easy to relate to. Thus, while Mahanon respects her and trusts her implicitly, he's not exactly friends with her. They get along and that's about it. He does admire the sensible way she handles diplomacy, and is the one he turns to on the rare occasions he needs fashion advice.
Leliana isn't extremely outgoing, meaning Mahanon and her never really became friends. Despite this, he respects her work as his spymaster, and is impressed with her intel-gathering abilites. However, he also finds her too quick to resort to murdering people when blackmailing them or using them to sow misinformation might be potentially more valuable. While he trusts her completely when it comes to the Inquisition, Mahanon recognizes that she is a sklled liar and remains wary of her.
Mahanon met Hawke when Varric brought him into the Inquisition. While Hawke is talkative and was immediately invited to all of Varric's card games, he didn't have much in common with Mahanon and didn't go out of his way to get to know him. They work well together and are on friendly terms, but without Varric and Cassandra they wouldn't really hang out.
Mahanon met Marian after freeing her from Corypheus's control at Adamant. While he considered her useful, he was wary of her reputation as a loose cannon and the loyalty she commanded from his advisors and troops. Marian, meanwhile, was grateful for the rescue and admitted that Mahanon seemed to be doing good work, but struggled to accept his more pragmatic decisions.
Marian being Marian, she did eventually reach out to try to get to know Mahanon. Mahanon was slow to drop his guard, but the more she got out of him the more she found herself respecting him. Like many others, she eventually came to the conclusion that he was just what they needed. Mahanon, meanwhile, found Marian far more tractable than expected. Her idealism could be useful when properly channeled, and she wasn't a threat to the stability of the Inquisition.
While they never came to be close companions, they did eventually realize that the other person knew the pressure of carrying the fate of the world on their shoulders and what it was to be treated more like a symbol than a person. Despite their differences, they suddenly found they could understand one another a little too well. They both find the feeling somewhat unsettling.