NOTE: This character exists primarily in a 21st-century AU. The details below are tailored to this universe, and may not match up with game canon. Edit
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Minaya Lavellan is a mage and First to the Keeper. As the sole survivor of the Conclave in 9:41 Dragon, she was named the Herald of Andraste, and later Inquisitor.
Physical Appearance Edit
Minaya is tall for an elf, about 5'7" (170 cm). She has a slender build and untidy red hair, which she keeps cut short. Her vallaslin is a simple version of Mythal, done in green ink.
She has numerous scars on her body, including one running prominently through her eyebrow, and another on her chin.
As a First, Minaya's role since childhood has been that of a protector. She is fiercely devoted to the people she loves, and seeks them out whenever she can.
Despite this, she is socially clueless in most situations. The more nuance and hidden messages in a statement, the more lost Minaya tends to find herself. Even after several years, she's complete rubbish at the Game, and her advisors are forever trying to smooth things over with people she's accidentally offended.
Talents and SkillsEdit
Minaya has a particular fondness for storm magic, though she dabbles in a little bit of everything. She knows a decent amount of field medicine and some useful healing spells, including one aimed to restart a person's breathing.
She is fluent in Reconstructed Elvhen and Common, and mostly literate in both languages.
Minaya is very good at Wicked Grace. (Josephine taught her to play, reasoning that it would be a good way to help her learn to maintain a poker face.)
Minaya was born in 9:15 Dragon to a young Dalish hunter named Halesa, who was just fourteen at the time. Because of her age, it was determined prior to the birth that Halesa would not be involved in child-rearing. Minaya was therefore communal-raised, passed between the parents of clan Lavellan, until she was twelve years old.
When Minaya manifested as a mage (by means of walking into a spider nest and accidentally setting it on fire in her terror), Keeper Istimaethoriel took her in as First. The Keeper became her primary mother figure, and raised her into a strong and capable young woman.
The clan gained a Second in 9:35 Dragon, upon discovering eleven-year-old Cyvin Lavellan was also a mage. He developed a severe form of epilepsy soon afterwards and began experiencing grand mal seizures. Minaya took over the primary role as his teacher and met the majority of his medical needs, though she was known to make some irresponsible decisions in the name of making him happy.
She received her vallaslin at the age of twenty-one.
After the Conclave, she was dragged into the role of Herald, a title she loudly rejected whenever given a chance. Spurred on by the cause of bringing Thedas together, Minaya quickly made the Inquisition her home. She recruited the templars at Theirinfal (a decision prompted by weighing the risks of each side). Minaya did not expect to survive the attack on Haven; living through it only furthered her dedication to the cause.
She had an extremely difficult time at Halamshiral, and was nearly thrown out of the Winter Palace at several points. Adamant Fortress was difficult for different reasons - she panicked and froze when confronted with Nightmare, leading to Hawke taking the decision out of her hands.
In Skyhold, Minaya and Josephine begin a romantic relationship, which is soon torn apart. Upon hearing their eldest daughter is dating an apostate Dalish elf, Josephine's parents arrange for her to be married to a nobleman named Otranto. Devastated, Minaya takes matters into her own hands and ends the engagement through hand-to-hand combat, as is Antivan custom. Though her fighting skills are poor, Otranto comes to recognize the feelings Josephine has for the Inquisitor, and agrees to break off their engagement.
Her clan's troubles with the city of Wycome are another sizable obstacle for Minaya. She worries constantly for their safety and prays for them throughout the day. Ultimately, the Inquisition's efforts are successful: Keeper Istimaethoriel is appointed to the Wycome city council, and the clan sends Minaya a hart out of gratitude. She names him Shoran (meaning "happiest on the journey" in Elvhen).
The decision of who should be Divine is a difficult one. Being unfamiliar with much of Andrastean faith, Minaya doesn't feel she knows enough to have a say in their future. Regardless, the decision is in her hands. She worries about Leliana's plan to make so many drastic changes in a short period of time, while also disagreeing with Cassandra's idea of putting things back the way they were. When she finds the opportunity to take a third option, she pounces on it, loudly proclaiming the Inquisition's support for Vivienne as Divine.
After Corypheus's defeat, Minaya returns home for a visit, and immediately realizes the difficulty of trying to live with a foot in two worlds. She remains in Skyhold for much of the next two years, wrestling with her own future.
When the Inquisition's fate is called into question, compounded with the mark acting up, Minaya clings to any sense of stability she can find. The more things come apart, the more she does as well, until she's hanging on by her fingernails trying to make it through. As her condition progresses, she's forced to face her own mortality in ways she never had the time or inclination to ponder before.
The amputation of her arm is a blow, more painful because of what it represents than because of what it is. She's lost her ability to return to the clan - she won't lose the Inquisition as well. Angry and hurting, Minaya rededicates the Inquisition to its new causes: acting as Divine Victoria's honor guard, and stopping Solas, whatever the costs may be.
It takes several months post-game for Minaya and Josephine to tie up all of the Inquisition's loose ends, not to mention adjusting to their new reality. They are the last of the Inner Circle to return home.
Minaya makes another visit to her clan in Wycome. The event is an emotionally trying time, during which they confirm they need to part ways. She keeps in regular contact with the Keeper, the Second, and her birth mother through letters. The clan also agrees to protect her in the future should she ever be ordered to live in a Circle.
Josephine's parents invite the two of them to live in House Montilyet for the time being, having come to accept their relationship (at least to some degree). They have moments of tension, but eventually settle into a comfortable routine.
Minaya tries for a while to get used to a prosthetic forearm, crafted for her by Dagna on a 3D printer. She dislikes the feeling and uses it only when necessary, preferring to leave her arm stump as-is.
- Cassandra and Minaya got off to a rough start, but eventually developed a mutual respect for each other. Upon learning Cassandra is a former Tranquil, Minaya finds being around her a little uncomfortable. They both acknowledge neither of them really understands the other's world or circumstances, but try to be kind to each other regardless. Post-game, they exchange Satinalia cards and are connected on social media.
- Minaya tried her best to get along with Solas, though his complaints about the modern Dalish didn't exactly endear her to him. Still, she enjoyed having someone to speak Elvhen with. They settled into a tense sort of acquaintanceship.
- Once he revealed his true identity and plans for the future, Minaya took it as a betrayal of the worst kind. Furious at what he put the Inquisition, and all elves, through, she vows to stop him at all costs.
- Varric is always there to get a smile out of Minaya, even when she's at her lowest. They both love the fine art of storytelling, and spend many late nights in the tavern sharing tales. After he becomes Viscount of Kirkwall and elevates her Keeper to a title within the city, she visits once or twice a year.
- Blackwall, on the other hand, was always closed off, and Minaya tried to give him his space. She doesn't know much about Grey Wardens, and wanted to be respectful. When he revealed his true identity, things fell into place for her; it was some time before she decided what to do. She sentenced him to become a real Warden after Corypheus's defeat, and was pleased to see he was doing well by Trespasser. They chat online or over the phone when they can, but are both very busy.
- Minaya was keen on being friends with Sera, thrilled to have another elf on her team. Sera's dislike of "elfiness" threw a wrench in that plan, and they never became close. Throughout their time spent working together, Sera often made it her mission to accustom Minaya to the modern world, including trying to teach her to drive a car. This was met with mixed reception; sometimes, Minaya was glad for the nudge, and other times she wished it had been left alone.
- Iron Bull intimidated her at first, but they became fast friends upon realizing they weren't so different: two misfits looking for "their people" and a purpose. She makes a point of being there for him in the difficult transition of becoming Tal-Vashoth, and he does the same for her years later when she loses her arm.
- Vivienne and Minaya butt heads often in Haven, each of them unable (and perhaps a bit unwilling) to understand the other's preferred lifestyle. Minaya is flummoxed by the Circle system; Vivienne can't comprehend the way the Dalish treat mages. The destruction of Haven - and later, Vivienne's companion quest - put things in perspective. The two of them agree to start over, becoming close friends and confidants by the time Corypheus is defeated, and Minaya wholeheartedly supports Vivienne's new role as the Divine.
- From the moment she sees him inside the Envy demon, Minaya recognizes Cole for what he really is - she's had extensive training in recognizing spirits and demons. She trusts him immediately and often goes to him when she needs help. Cole takes care of her where he can, grateful for her friendship. He is influenced to become more spirit, and returns to the Fade after Trespasser, but promises she will see him again.
- Cole's companion quest doesn't happen here. Screw that noise. He's more spirit; I'll figure out how that happens later.
- Dorian gained Minaya's respect from the moment she heard how much he'd done in order to warn them at Haven. They spent time together in Skyhold's library. She was transparent with him about the plan to meet his father and convinced him to try and make peace - for the sake of his own mental health, not necessarily the relationship itself. She speaks to him regularly after he leaves for Tevinter.
- Josephine is Minaya's rock, a certainty in this new and unfamiliar world. Their relationship bloomed as the Inquisition grew, and despite two busy schedules, they spend as much time together as they can. In the evening, they're often found each working on their own projects in comfortable silence in Josephine's room. Josie works to teach Minaya all she needs to know about nobility and the Grand Game, while being more than willing to learn anything about Dalish life and customs that will make Minaya a little less homesick.
- Initially, Leliana frightens Minaya a bit, and seems to be pushing her away. With a little persistence, and encouragement from Cassandra and Josephine, they're able to become friendly. Minaya encourages her to soften her outlook, and uses the Inquisition's resources to help Leliana connect with her love the Hero of Ferelden more often. (That said, she never fully understands the purpose of breeding nugs if one doesn't intend to eat them.)
- Cullen is Minaya's key to learning much of what she knows about the mage-templar conflict, and confirming her anti-Circle beliefs. She encourages him in his fight to stay off lyrium, and later helps his plan for a templar rehab clinic get off the ground.
- Her Varric-given nickname is "Tabby," as she has a fondness for cats, and takes in many strays.
- Minaya experiences pain hyposensitivity, rarely feeling an illness or injury until it's critical (see: the mark in Trespasser).
- She neither believes nor trusts Minaeve's story, and is afraid of her. In the past, Minaya knew only one mage who was thrown out of a clan, for repeatedly endangering the other Dalish and attacking someone's First at Arlathvhen. He was ejected from the clan (ultimately to be killed by wild animals) after this last incident; they told the children it was "because there are too many mages here" to keep from scaring them. Minaeve therefore brings this horrifying sequence of events to mind and Minaya is never able to trust her, ultimately leaving her to perish in the destruction of Haven.
- She has sensitivity in multiple senses, mainly touch, and can be easily overloaded.
- Her first name loosely translates to "seize the moment" (from min [current, present] + esaya [to undertake, to attempt]*).
- Iron Bull has theorized she may be autistic.
*Translation courtesy of Project Elvhen