'Life is a vast field where we either follow the barren trackways beaten by others or diverge and feel the grass between our toes.'
Noalen is a Dalish elf mage who attended the Divine Conclave in 9:41 Dragon. Following an explosion after an arcane ritual gone awry, a magical mark was imprinted on his left hand and he became known as the Herald of Andraste and later Inquisitor of the Second Inquisition.
Physical Appearance Edit
Like many elves, Noalen is slender without much muscular development to speak of. Compared to most other elves however, he is also unusually tall; as a result, 'the tall elf' has become somewhat of a sobriquet for him.
After arriving at Haven, most people were surprised an elf from the Dalish clans, a people who spend most of their lives outside, could be so pale. In truth, Noalen is naturally light skinned, a trait inherited from his father. He tans easily in the sun and had a much darker complexion while still living with his clan. But as quickly as his skin darkens, it blanches just as easily in the absence of sunlight. His journey from the Free Marches to the Conclave offered his skin more than enough time to revert to its natural ivory colour.
His unusually coloured eyes often strike people as his most recognisable feature; his pupils are surrounded by a ring of golden brown, his outer irises are of grey green colouring, which can look grey, green and at times even turquoise depending on the light shed upon them. He inherited this trait from his biological mother; in fact, Noalen is the spitting image of Athalia at the same age.
His long, wavy hair is a dark shade of golden blonde, usually kept together either in a ponytail or a dishevelled braid, unruly strands hanging loosely around his face most of the time.
Noalen himself does not much care for his looks. His long, narrow face seems disproportionate to him and, along with his long nose, is a source of insecurity to him. He would not consider himself good looking by any standard. Odd most likely, 'unusual' at best, but not attractive. Others are generally more forgiving when describing him, seeing a unique face, easily remembered; a pair of beautiful, distinctly elven eyes and elegantly shaped lips. Most also find his smile very endearing, especially since he gets dimples in his cheeks when he does, a trait that has effectively earned him the nickname 'Dimples' with Varric.
Ever since Noalen finally sat through an entire marking session with Keeper Deshanna, his face bears the vallaslin of Mythal, the elven All-Mother, Protector and goddess of Justice and Love.
When in 9:41 Dragon the Antivan artist Camore Zevcardo - a dear friend of Josephine Montilyet's - visited Skyhold, he felt so inspired by Noalen's looks that he produced a sketch of him. It was copied many times, spread throughout the continent and quickly became famous all across Thedas. The original drawing was gifted to Noalen by Zevcardo. It adorns a wall of his chambers in Skyhold and Noalen and Camore remained close friends thenceforth.
'There are many things we do not understand, cannot explain. But if we don’t listen with all our senses, we never will.'
- Noalen Lavellan
Noalen is curious, open-minded, reserved - even distant - and has a dry sense of humour.
Growing up among the Dalish, Noalen may have learned many a thing about survival in the wilds. It did, however, teach him very little about the outside world and its dominant culture and society, leaving him woefully ignorant about most issues plaguing Thedas. His closest advisors in the Inquisition frequently regard him as 'naive' and 'sheltered'.
Noalen is very much a daydreamer, having spent the majority of his youth and young adulthood retreating into the realms of his imagination. He often gives off the impression of being countless miles away and sometimes has difficulty pulling himself back to reality. He tends to form ideas and theories in his head that have little foundation in realism and he is inclined to view memories through rose coloured glasses, putting them on a pedestal that reality cannot reach. Noalen very much enjoys the idea of certain concepts, but when confronted with reality often finds himself disappointed that it rarely lives up to his expectations and fantasies.
Noalen is introverted, withdrawn and quiet, finding solace within the comfort of his own mind. To people who don't know him well, this can make him come across as distant, quiet and at times cold. Those who take the time to get acquainted with him and prove themselves trustworthy are however quick to find a warm, compassionate core inside this shell. When Noalen truly comes to care for someone, he is loyal to a fault and mates for life.
He usually tries to see the good in people, exerting mercy wherever possible and his gentle, kind nature becomes apparent sooner or later to most people who meet him. Undogmatic and curious, Noalen delights in learning about and understanding different people, cultures and ideas. His nonconformist and spiritual nature make him open to new experiences, especially those often misunderstood or ignored.
Noalen has an almost pathological need to feel utterly safe and dislikes unpredictable situations - hence opening up to people and showing his vulnerable side is something he avoids whenever he can. His greatest wish however is to find a home for himself, a stable base, static and reliable, something he can always fall back on - perhaps even finding this in someone else. Regrettably, this also renders him 'static' on a personal level rather often. He is afraid to take active steps in any direction which prevents him from truly growing as a person and overcoming his fears.
Anxious and prone to melancholy, fear controls much of his life and actions; prevents him from rising to his true potential. He fears other people, he fears being hurt and - most of all - he fears abandonment from people he has opened up to and cares for. He is afraid anyone who comes to know him, his true personality, will sooner or later come to consider him 'not good enough' or disagreeable and leave.
These fears also tie in with his strong desire to remain in control of himself and his life. He's very afraid of uncontrollable situations and he detests unpredictability. He favours Frost Magic over the other two primal elements; ice being contained, predictable and easily focused onto a single point. Fire and electricity are too unruly, too prone to spread and get out of control.
Talents and SkillsEdit
As a mage and a Dalish elf, Noalen can count many a practical skill among his arsenal.
- Survival - Having lived a nomadic life, Noalen can navigate the wilds very well. He can hunt, skin animals and cook. He has a rudimentary understanding of herbalism, is an excellent climber and can forecast weather changes.
- Magic - Noalen is a naturally talented mage, his ties to magical energies and the Fade are unusually strong. He can 'hear' the flow of the arcane all around him and is well-versed in transmutation magic, drawing mana from myriad sources. He was taught the secrets of Nature Magic by his Keeper but has always had a more inherent inclination towards Creation and Spirit Magic. His battle skills are best described as 'adequate'. While he possesses a certain knack for Frost Magic, his true talent lies more in protection, healing and evasion.
- Dreamer - Some years after his magic first manifested, Noalen started to experience the first symptoms of Somniari. Naturally drawn to the Fade and the realms of imagination, there is no telling how good a Dreamer he may have become with proper tutelage. This was not to be though as he has ingested dream suppressants from adolescence at the behest of Keeper Deshanna. During his time with the Inquisition, Solas teaches him how to control his skills, but it would only be much later that Noalen actually discovers the truth about being a Dreamer at all.
Noalen was born on the fourteenth of Wintermarch 9:15 Dragon to Athalia, a young, recently widowed huntress. Honouring the wish of Ezrin, Noalen’s deceased father, Athalia named the newborn after its paternal great-grandfather. Overwhelmed and unwilling to raise a child on her own, Athalia gave the child into the care of Noalen’s paternal aunt, Deshanna, who was quite young herself at the time and still a First in training to Keeper Mathan’el. Noalen soon proved to be a burdensome infant, frequently crying and waking from his sleep. He grew into a difficult, stubborn toddler; as soon as he learned to talk he started questioning the stories of the Keeper and Hahren and was quite reluctant to accept what he was told as fact.
During childhood Noalen grew curious and developed a wide range of interests. But as strong as his fascination for different fields could start, it waned just as fast. He grew bored easily, especially when he thought he had learned all there was to know about a certain subject and the monotonous day to day life in the clan soon ceased to offer him the stimulus he longed for. As a result, he sought his excitement elsewhere and frequently wandered off on his own against Deshanna’s instruction. It did not take him long to find an enjoyable pastime in watching human settlements from a distance and wondering what their lives were like. Intrigued by the people with round ears, scepticism about what his clan had told him of the ‘shems’ grew. With his naive outlook, Noalen saw no more than a people not particularly different from his own; they faced hardships just the same and made a living through hard work.
His persistent absences from and lack of active participation in the clan led to him becoming somewhat of an outcast. The other clan members did not know what to make of him and found his fascination for humans peculiar. Clan Lavellan had never held decidedly anti-human views; even after some of their hunters had been killed by Orlesian Chevaliers in the Dales - the event that made the clan decide to venture north and roam the Free Marches - they continued to treat the humans they traded with fairly - albeit warily. Some had stronger opinions on this than others, but all of them agreed that it was best to keep humans at a safe distance. Noalen's interest in them was not met with approval and made most of the clan regard him as something of an oddity.
Despite all this, the clan cared for him like they did for any other member and they tried to interest him more in elven traditions, religion and actively attempted to include him in the clan's daily life. Deshanna, having only just reached the age of thirty when Keeper Mathan'el passed away, was quite preoccupied with her new duties as Keeper and left Noalen - who was only six years old at the time - alone for the most part. She was convinced that he would find his own way in the clan and - being rather open minded herself - was not particularly worried about his unusually strong interest in humans. Indeed, she was of the opinion that an inquisitive mind and an adventurous spirit could only be of benefit to his character. She tolerated his behaviour and frequently defended him from the criticism other clan members conveyed about him.
Despite his sceptical and rebellious nature - Noalen proved to be the kind of child who could continue asking 'Why?' endlessly - he came to enjoy life in the clan well enough. To this day he has fond memories of evenings around the campfire, entertaining with tales, song and dance.
From a young age Noalen adored halla for their strong-willed nature and intelligence. He often wandered the wilds with the halla, following them wherever they led him and he helped raise a newborn when he was seven years old. As a result he grew quite close to Nathari, the clan's Halla Keeper. When Noalen was only nine, he became one of the youngest Halla riders the clan had raised in three generations, which gained him at least a little respect with his kin.
The first display of his magical talent occurred when he was eleven years old. While he was playing a game with two other children his age, he dissolved seemingly into thin air and rematerialised several feet away.
Despite her trepidation, Deshanna took this revelation in stride. She had hoped to keep Noalen, whose standing with the clan was not particularly high and whom she considered too 'soft', away from a position of authority, instead wishing him to become Nathari's apprentice and eventual successor. Furthermore, she - like most of the clan - still held high hopes for Neriel, granddaughter of the late Mathan'el, to show signs of magical talent. Though magic ran strong in their bloodline, Neriel, at fifteen years old, had yet to display any indication of the gift.
Deshanna decided that the best she could do was teach Noalen to at least control his magic, especially since it had a tendency to burst forth from him with increasing force - like the time he inadvertently cast a massive wave of force from himself, effectively hurling a young hunter apprentice who had been bullying him several feet through the air.
The Keeper quickly came to realise that Noalen showed promise for Creation Magic, rejoicing in using his gift to harmonise with the life energies all around them and she focused his training mainly on restorative skills. The young elf enjoyed performing magic and was keen to learn as much as he could in as short a time as possible - with varying success.
The next few years of Noalen's life passed rather uneventfully. He more or less found a place for himself in the clan and even though he had not yet officially been appointed First to the Keeper, most of the clan had already come to regard him as such. Nevertheless, his interest in humans never faltered, if anything it only became stronger, but most clan members had resigned themselves to tolerate it as an eccentricity of his as long as nothing more would come of it.When Noalen was sixteen however and the clan made camp just outside of Ostwick, he made the acquaintance of Brann, a human stable boy, marking the first time Noalen came into contact with a human directly. Though apprehensive at first, the two of them quickly developed a strong friendship and Noalen eventually fell in love with the young man.
Deshanna, having been informed of the two youths’ association by a group of scouts, defended Noalen from the clan's resentment. She assured the clan that it was nothing more than an innocent, juvenile friendship and that the human would in all likelihood come to mistreat Noalen sooner or later, as humans are prone to do. She was convinced this would teach Noalen a better lesson than simply forbidding him to associate with the young man could. In truth, Deshanna’s reasons for being so lenient with Noalen and keeping the clan camped near Ostwick so long were much more personal and affectionate in nature. She suspected her child had fallen in love and wanted him to enjoy the pivotal experience of first love as fully and undisturbed as he could.This summer of 9:31 Dragon proved to be an eventful one in Noalen’s life.
Experiencing the strong emotions of first love woke his dormant Somniari powers. His dreams became increasingly realistic to the point that he developed difficulty to tell Fade from waking world. He never spoke about this to Deshanna; he assumed it was simply part of being a mage and as his magic grew stronger, so would his nocturnal journeys to the Fade. Unwittingly he started shaping his dreams with his subconscious and sought out several people in their dreams - most often Brann.
When in mid Justinian a Rivaini Seer passed through Ostwick, she visited Clan Lavellan and made a prophecy to Noalen at his request. She confirmed what Noalen had suspected since the start of adolescence: that he was different. He had resentfully observed himself grow different from those he considered his own and more like those with whom he found he had less in common. The Seer declared that, indeed, he was ‘both yet neither’, not to mention he possessed particularly strong ties to the Fade and after telling Noalen stories of Rivain, his dream to become a Seer was born.
Meanwhile opposing voices to his association with a human boy grew among the clan and Deshanna saw herself forced to officially appoint him as First and intensify his lessons in magic, elven language, history and leadership. Though finally allowed a staff, Noalen resented this deeply; he had no desire to be a leader and carry the burden of responsibility for the whole clan. He felt even less for his future duty of being obligated to bond with a female and sire children - mostly because to him this was a role in which he was regarded as decidedly male. Unaware of Deshanna’s true motivations, he projected his resentment onto her and their relationship soured as a result.
When near the end of August Noalen attacked a man from Ostwick, he raised the ire of the local Templar Order and the townsfolk. They refused to trade with the clan henceforth and Deshanna saw no other option than to leave. The last time Noalen met Brann he asked the human to run away with him to Rivain, as they had always fantasised. Brann, insecure in his sexuality and attraction to Noalen, refused and sent Noalen on his way. Heartbroken, Noalen resigned himself to the path that had been paved for him. He participated in clan life more than he had before, but true joy would elude him for a long time to come. He found himself despondent and aimless, but - most of all - more alone than ever before. During the day, he started to repress his feelings more than he already had. At night, however, they burst free in all their intensity. His dreams became a source of fear and it was then that he confided in Deshanna. Knowing about Dreamers but little about how to effectively train them, Deshanna decided to keep the truth from Noalen and ordered him to ingest dream suppressing herbs instead. As a result, Noalen grew calm yet empty. He functioned, went through the motions of life but lived it not.
At eighteen years of age Noalen was considered ready to receive his vallaslin. He chose the goddess Mythal as his patron, as his father and Deshanna had done before him. But Noalen would become known for his inability to remain quiet during his marking sessions. It ultimately took him six attempts before his markings were finished and he sported Mythal’s vallaslin in different stages of completion for several months.
A turning point for Noalen would become the Arlathvhen of 9:34 Dragon, when he was nineteen years old. At being presented suitable women to bond with, he claimed that it would be for naught since he cannot have children. Following a humiliating ‘test’, it was confirmed that he was indeed infertile and therefore considered unsuited to retain the position of First to the Keeper. Since expendable mages from other clans were in short supply and none were willing to relocate to the Free Marches, Noalen remained First for the time being, though respect for him grew scarce.
No one objected when he volunteered to take on the treacherous journey to Southern Ferelden at the end of 9:40 Dragon. The Mage-Templar war had raged for years and a Divine Conclave was to be held near the pilgrimage village of Haven. Curious to know the outcome of said meeting, as it could affect even the mages of the Dalish, Deshanna, with a heavy heart, agreed to let Noalen go. Little did anyone know this would become the journey of his lifetime.
'With fear running rampant, they need to see a mage standing for what is right. I will defeat Corypheus standing with them, not over them.'
- Noalen Lavellan after being appointed Inquisitor of the Second Inquisition
Main Quests Edit
- The Wrath of Heaven
- Denied being chosen by Andraste
- Never shed his Dalish beliefs in favour of Andrastianism
- In Hushed Whispers
- Allied with the rebel mages
- In Your Heart Shall Burn
- Chose to lead the Inquisition as a mage: 'I'll set an example as a mage.'
- Specialisations for the Inquisitor
- Specialised in Rift Magic
- Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts
- Reconciled Empress Celene Valmont and Briala
- Here Lies the Abyss
- Grey Wardens rebuilt under the supervision of Loghain
- Hawke stayed behind in the Fade
- What Pride Had Wrought
- Respected Temple tradition
- Allied with guardians
- Morrigan drank from the Well of Sorrows
- Sit in Judgment
- Inquisitor was a Merciful Judge
- The Descent
- Saved mines, stopped earthquakes
- Jaws of Hakkon
- Discovered and met Ameridan
- The dragon was slain
- Earned a legend-mark from the Avvar
- Hunted down the Nox Morta
- Shared the truth
- The Iron Bull remained loyal to the Inquisition
- Solas redeemed
- Inquisition disbanded
Inner Circle Edit
'It's not easy to abandon tradition and walk your own path.'
- Noalen Lavellan to Dorian Pavus at the conclusion of Last Resort of Good Men
- Blackwall left prison as Grey Warden
- Not friends with Blackwall
- Cassandra rebuilt the Seekers
- Cassandra discovered Book of Secrets
- Friends with Cassandra
- Cole recruited and stayed
- Cole made more spirit
- Friends with Cole
- Varric tracked Red Lyrium Source
- Friends with Varric
- Dorian recruited and stayed
- Dorian reconciled with his father
- Friends with Dorian
- The Iron Bull
- The Iron Bull recruited
- Iron Bull saved Chargers
- Iron Bull became Tal-Vashoth
- Friends with Iron Bull
- Sera recruited and stayed
- Harmond alive and well
- Not friends with Sera
- Solas freed his friend
- Friends with Solas
- Vivienne recruited
- Gave Vivienne a Snowy Wyvern Heart
- Not friends with Vivienne
- Told Cullen not to use lyrium
- Did favours for Du Paraquettes
- Samson was the Inquisition's nemesis
- Learned about Samson's Armour
- Destroyed Samson's Armour
- In the elven language, Noalen means "seventh child". It pertains to an old elven children's story wherein 'Noalen' was the name of the seventh day of the week, which Solas reveals to him at Skyhold.
- Noalen is oddly touchy about revealing his age; when asked, he claims that the Dalish do not live by an exact calendar but rather the changing of the weather and the seasons and do not keep track of years the way other peoples do. It is a habit he has adopted from Keeper Deshanna.
- His greatest fear is Uncertainty.
- Noalen can 'hear' magic and often refers to magical energies as 'songs'.
- Noalen's staff is called 'Dhaveira' which means 'kissed by snow' in the elven language. It was gifted to him by Clan Lavellan after his original staff ('Lah Ghi'lal'; Guiding Voice) was destroyed at the Divine Conclave. It is carved from the Dahl'amythal and deals Frost damage. Ever since Dagna has got her hands on it, it has been fortified with a Spirit Rune. After he was forced to return Dhaveira to Clan Lavellan in 9:43 Dragon, Dagna crafted him a new staff commissioned by Vivienne, called 'Eireth Lathan' or: 'The Place where frozen love dwells'.
- Varric calls Noalen 'Dimples'.
- Noalen's greatest dream is to become a Seer in Rivain.
- His favourite colour is green.
- Noalen can speak basic conversational Orlesian.
- He tends to dress in rather muted colours and comfortable clothing.
- Noalen is fond of horses and riding. He has always kept the Fereldan Forder Dennet gifted him in 9:41 Dragon. He called the animal 'Mira', after Brann's horse, even though the Forder is a stallion - a fact Dennet frequently and emphatically points out to Noalen.
- He enjoys coffee and an occasional glass of Absence. He also has a fondness for Orlesian cakes, especially 'the purple ones with the black spots'.
Noalen's World Wiki: Edit
Want to know more about Noalen and all the Original Characters and Headcanons I have created for his little realm in Thedas? You can visit the Noalensworldwiki. Fair warning: It is a work in progress still.