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Olivia Trevelyan is the youngest of four children of Bann Alfred and Lady Odiane Trevelyan of Ostwick and the only mage in three generations of the family. In 9:41 Dragon she accompanied the First Enchanter of the Ostwick Circle to the Divine Conclave, where after interrupting a plot to kill the Divine she was named the Herald of Andraste and later became the leader of the Inquisition.
Olivia was aptly named for her olive skin, so rare among the Trevelyans, yet present in their bloodline thanks to a Rivaini great grandmother.
Her family made sure that Olivia has been taught that personal wants and needs must come second to the advancement of the Trevelyan clan. As a kind and gentle spirit, her timid attempts at rebellion were immediately squashed. Throughout most of her life others have made choices for her with some grand plan in mind. Olivia's time as the Inquisitor helped her find her own voice and empowered her to stand on her own and make her own choices. She is therefore intensely sympathetic to anyone who is forcefully bent to someone else's will.
Talents and Skills
While she is certainly adept at killing things when pressed, Olivia prefers to resolve conflicts peacefully often winning people's hearts with her sincerity.
Olivia's greatest passion always lay in Herbalism and Potions. As an enchanter she was assigned to the Circle's herb garden and she made sure that the garden in Skyhold was unrivaled in it's collection of plants and herbs.
Olivia is very well versed in Theodosian and Chantry history and can recite many verses of The Chant of Light from memory.
It is false to say the Trevelyans control Ostwick. They control the Chantry and in Ostwick it is enough. Trevelyan children are raised to be loyal to their city, the Chantry, and, above all, their family. Marriage prospects, careers and oftentimes baby names are chosen with the sole purpose of solidifying their position and strengthening their ties to the Chantry.
When Olivia was born her parents decided that after she comes of age she will dedicate herself to the Chantry. Because of that she spent most of her childhood with her tutors studying history and theology. Her magic showed rather late, at eleven, after she set fire to a particularly uncomfortable dress she was expected to wear to the Harvest Festival. After the fire was put out and Lady Odiane was helped up from her fainting couch, the Trevelyans had to reconsider Olivia’s future. As shameful as it was to produce a mage, it could still be used to their advantage. After all, the newly appointed First Enchanter, a distant relative of Bann Alfred, would need an apprentice and later on a successor who could appreciate the subtleties of Ostwick politics.
In the Circle
Noble mages in the Ostwick Circle are afforded privileges unheard of in most of the Circles in southern Thedas. As a Trevelyan Olivia was no exception. Even before her Harrowing she was allowed to leave the Circle to attend family functions as long as a Templar was present in the room with her at all times. She had her own debutante ball when she turned sixteen with both First Enchanter and Knight-Commander present.
After passing her Harrowing and becoming a full fledged mage she was accepted into the Loyalist Fraternity as is expected of a Trevelyan mage. She led a peaceful and quiet life until the Mage rebellion broke in 9:37 Dragon. Even though the Ostwick Circle maintained neutrality during the conflict she was whisked away to her family’s estate and later on sent to the Conclave alongside the First Enchanter, both for posterity and to keep her away from the tumultuous crowds of her city.
- Allied with the mages. Her fellow mages have been other's pawns for too long. It was time for them to stand on their own.
- Allowed the Wardens to rebuild. Olivia was outraged by Corypheus’s and Erimond’s plan to mislead the Wardens and use their confusion to create an army of demons. She believed they deserved a chance to rebuild and that Warden Alistair was the right person to lead them.
- Chose Sophie Hawke to distract the Nightmare in the Fade. It was a split-second decision but Olivia knew Sophie was ridden by guilt for releasing Corypheus and she would've preferred it that way.
- Didn’t drink from the Well of Sorrows. Olivia had no interest in subjecting herself to the Well's powers especially when Morrigan was more than willing to do it herself.
- Olivia rejected the notion she was Andraste’s chosen. Having spent all her life a political pawn of her parents she didn’t want her newly found freedom to be defined by the divine instead.
- Kept the Inquisition as a peacekeeping force. Olivia hoped to put a quick end to Solas's plan by using vast resources of the Inquisition.
- Chose to try and redeem Solas. Olivia believed him to be misguided more than outright evil and she hopes one day she can dissuade him from the mistake he insists on making.
Olivia was drawn to Cullen from the early days of the Inquisition but after learning about his past she was afraid he’ll never see her as more than an untrustworthy burden especially after she chose to ally with the mages. To her surprise he showed her more understanding and compassion than she ever expected from a Templar. As both were equally inexperienced in the matters of the heart it took a slow and awkward courtship before Olivia took the plunge and admitted her feelings. To her delight Cullen felt the same way and they entered a caring and devoted relationship.
Josephine and Olivia formed a quick friendship bonding over their similar outlook on life and their love of chocolate. Olivia fully credits Josephine with surviving the Halamshiral Ball without offending anyone and even endearing herself to the members of the court.
Olivia liked Leliana and tried to become her friend but she never managed to get past her guard. However she fully supported Sister Nightingale’s appointment as Divine Victoria and pledged Inquisition to be a peacekeeping force under her command.
Olivia and Dorian connected almost immediately. How could they not after they shared so much: from their magic abilities to the scheming ways of their parents. After they found out they were related they started affectionately referring to each other as “big brother” and “little sister”.
Varric found the most eager listener in Olivia. He told her the most outrageous tales and she never left his side without making him promise he’ll tell her more.
Olivia greatly admired Cassandra and the strength of her convictions. She was Olivia’s first choice when she knew violence was inevitable. Even though Cassandra never accepted the credit, Olivia firmly believed she owed everything she became to the Seeker.
Olivia and Blackwall were a respectful and professional towards each other but they never became close. Their relationship was irreparably damaged after he revealed the truth about his past. Though she released him from the Val Royeaux prison she insisted on Thom joining the Grey Wardens as the real Blackwall intended.
Olivia spent hours in Cole’s company fascinated by his compassion and the unexpected ways he came up with to help people which she loved piecing together from the odd bits of Skyhold gossip.
Olivia respected Solas and his extensive knowledge of the Fade never once suspecting what his true nature was.
Sera reminded Olivia of her rebellious sister Ingrid and while she didn’t always agree with her approach to life she knew it was coming from a good place. Olivia even allowed herself to get involved in prank or two but she also tried to be a calming influence on the elf.
Iron Bull was the first qunari Olivia has ever met and he fascinated her with the stories of the life under the Qun. She saved the Chargers when their lives were at stake at the Storm Coast and encouraged Iron Bull on his journey to become a Tal-Vashoth.
Vivienne reminded Olivia of the worst qualities of her family - the ruthless ambition, the self-serving hypocrisy, the condescending “my darlings” her mother was so adept in. Olivia avoided her as much as she could wishing she had the courage to turn her down when they first met.
Olivia believes that the Maker, while exists, have departed from the world abandoning his creation, not because he was disappointed, but because his task was complete.
She loves chocolate and savvy Skyhold visitors know that delicate Orlesian pastries are a sure way to earn the Inquisitor's favour. She prefers herbal tea with honey over any other drink.
She has a dry sense of humour that she lets shine when she's in the company of people she trusts.