“How am I supposed to believe a story that's been told by different people through word of mouth over the course of hundreds of years is historically accurate?”
Marsaili is the former First of the Lavellan clan and a companion of Ethera Lavellan.
Marsaili is pale and has green eyes. She has red hair that she wears up, and has a simplistic purple Sylaise vallaslin.
Marsaili often felt ostracized growing up, and when she eventually began interacting more with people, she had to fake it. For this reason, she often enjoyed going off by herself, exploring the woods and observing the creatures in it.
Only after leaving her clan did Marsaili feel that she could act like her true self, though since she spent most of that time alone it made little difference. It was after arriving at Skyhold that she began interacting people in a manner she felt more comfortable in.
Marsaili is adventurous, somewhat childish, and has an overly curious nature which sometimes gets her into trouble. She enjoys spending time alone, but is also content with the company of others. She especially enjoys the company of people she finds interesting, such as Cullen, Solas, and Molly, and has a love of learning. She's a very go-with-the-flow kind of person, though also very critical when it comes to views she disagrees with.
At the age of nine it was discovered that Marsaili was a mage, and especially sensitive to the presence of spirits and demons, making her Keeper suspect that Marsaili was a Dreamer. As there was already a First and Second in her clan, the Keeper reached out to other clans to see if they had room for another mage. She was taken in by clan Lavellan and became the Second. At the age of sixteen, the First insisted on marrying into another clan, leaving Marsaili with the position of First.
Since a young age Marsaili questioned many Dalish traditions and stories. Always met with answers like, "This is how the Creators willed it" and "it has been passed down for generations", Marsaili was unsatisfied. Her constant questions gained her a reputation as a troublemaker in the clan despite not actually doing anything of a rebellious nature. Marsaili was open to the idea of the Creators existing, but she took the stories with a grain of salt. Humans interpreted what elves find as misinterpreted history as religion, so she saw no reason to see Dalish religion as anything different. For asking questions like, "How do we know Fen'Harel didn't have a good reason to lock the Creators up?" she was scolded, and eventually she learned to simply stay quiet when discussing elven lore and go along with traditions and religious practices anyway, even getting valasslin when she came of age.
When Marsaili was approximately twenty-two, a young child in the clan was discovered to have magic. There was already a Second, so the Keeper reached out to other clans to see if they could take in the child. No one could, and so the clan packed him enough supplies to last him a week. Before they could abandon the boy, Marsaili took the pack, saying that she would leave instead. The Keeper insisted it was against tradition, but Marsaili refused to stay.
Marsaili faced a rough time in the woods alone, her only companion being a wolf she had befriended who failed to leave her side; she named him Fenlin. After the mage rebellion began, templars began to scour the forests more. She had several confrontations with templars that all ended in violence, but despite this, when the Mage-Templar War began she did her best to stay out of the way.
When the Breach appeared, Marsaili did her best to survive, and eventually heard that an Inquisitor Ethera Lavellan was residing in Skyhold. Knowing how much Ethera cared for her clan, Marsaili understood just how serious the situation must have been to get her to leave. For this reason, she went to Skyhold to offer her assistance. When arriving at Skyhold there was an argument over whether or not they could let Marsaili in, especially with a wolf. This eventually drew out Commander Cullen, and during their heated argument they were interrupted by the Inquisitor, who welcomed Marsaili with open arms.
Marsaili helped the Inquisition defeat Corypheus and stop the Qunari's Dragon Breath plan. She parted ways with the Inquisitor thereafter.
Cullen Rutherford: Cullen and Marsaili butted heads as soon as they met, and after learning that he was a former templar, their relationship only worsened. The two despised each other and could not even be left in a room together. During a lyrium withdrawal episode, Marsaili helped him. After finding out that he was trying to quit, thereby distancing himself from the templars, she became more civil with him, and they slowly grew to get along. Marsaili often found Cullen interesting to observe and acted as a confidant for him, with Cullen even telling her about the torture he suffered in Kinloch Hold.
Ethera Lavellan: Ethera, having had her mage brother abandoned in the woods, was resentful of Marsaili the moment she entered the clan. While not outright cruel to Marsaili, Ethera was cold and spoke to her as little as possible. Marsaili asked the Keeper about it, and the Keeper explained Ethera's situation and asked Marsaili to not take it too personally. Despite Ethera's behavior towards her, Marsaili admired Ethera very much. When watching her from afar she saw that Ethera was a good person unafraid to speak up and occasionally go against tradition, and willing to fight for what she believed was right, even when others disagreed. Ethera was much kinder and very welcoming of Marsaili when she arrived at Skyhold, having a much better impression of Marsaili after she kindly helped the mage boy three years prior. The two developed an actual friendship thereafter, and Marsaili was an especially valuable confidant to Ethera when it came to learning the truth about the ancient elves.
Molly: Molly immediately caught the interest of Marsaili, for obvious reasons. With the mask on her face, Marsaili immediately could tell that Molly was shrouded in mystery, and this appealed to her curious nature. She would often observe Molly, even in battle, and would due her best to subtly get information out of her. Once she had learned Molly's story, she realized that Molly was not actually extremely complex person, instead it was her past that was complex. Knowing that she had gotten as much information about Molly as she would ever be able to get, she was content for the most part and stopped observing her as often. The two got along well and came to think of each other as friends.
Sera: Sera was originally annoyed to see another Dalish elf join the team. However, Sera was very happy when she learned that Marsaili was "an elfy elf who isn't elfy", which Marsaili chose to take as a compliment. Marsaili had never really been a troublemaker, as she had always tried to avoid attracting attention to herself, but Sera taught her it was all okay for the sake of fun.
Solas: Solas was interested in meeting Marsaili when he learned that she had willingly left her clan. When Solas began taking an interest in the Inquisitor, he asked Marsaili about her clan. Marsaili explained her history and what she knew of the clan and the Inquisitor. Marsaili was a marvel to Solas. He was amazed to see someone so childlike and naïve have such an open mind, willing to question Dalish traditions and stories. It was a shame to him that she had spent so many years unable to speak up.
Solas' interest in Marsaili was mutual, and she came to think of him as a mentor of sorts. He taught her more about what it meant to be a Dreamer, how to use those powers, the Fade itself, and answered any questions she had.
Marsaili is indifferent about Solas' plan, unsure of what is right and what is wrong in this situation, and sides with neither Ethera nor Solas on the matter, having stated that she will wait and accept whatever the outcome will be.
Solona Amell: The only things Cullen had ever told Marsaili about Solona was that he knew her from his time as a templar in Ferelden and that she somehow managed to get out of the tower before the abominations and blood mages appeared. Marsaili always suspected something more happened, and her suspicions were confirmed when she first saw Solona with Cullen. Due to her curious nature, Marsaili probed Cullen for information, but was denied. She also attempted getting close to Solona in search of answers, and though the two got along fairly well so long as Cullen wasn't mentioned, she was never able to figure out what had happened. She stopped looking for answers when Cullen angrily told her that it was not her place.
- Marsaili has the voice of Saoirse Ronan.
- When meeting and learning about Marsaili, Varric learned of the positions of Keeper, First, and Second in Dalish clans. As Marsaili was now none of these, he nicknamed her "Third".
Reddit Headcanon and Writing Prompt Threads:
- Marsaili's story
- Ethera starts "Burdens of Command" (minor role)
- At the Winter Palace ball
- Cullen and Marsaili prepare for a mission
- Marsaili's adventurous side
- A discussion with Cullen
- Cullen runs into Solona (minor role)
- Overhearing gossip
- Marsaili confronts Ethera
- After Ethera sees Solas again (mentioned)
- Ethera confides in Marsaili