“That’s what happens when you’re responsible for lives other than your own, isn’t it? You do what you have to do.”
Persephone "Effie" Hawke is the eldest child of apostate Malcom Hawke and Lady Leandra Amell of Kirkwall. She is best known by the people of Thedas as the Champion of Kirkwall for her defense of the city-state against the Qunari and later took on the title of Viscountess of Kirkwall. She is also known in some parts of Ferelden by her Avvar legend-mark of Effie Earth-Shaper.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Biography
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Miscellaneous
- 5 Links
- 6 Gallery
Standing at 5’6”, Effie is of average height with an athletic build. She has long, dark brown hair and navy eyes. Her pale skin and bright red lips are often remarked upon by those who meet her.
Distinctive features include:
- Korth's arrow (the tiwaz rune) tattooed on her lower lip and chin represent honor, justice, and self-sacrifice, and her commitment to the Avvar gods.
- A runic inscription tattooed across her upper back. The ancient language of the tattoo is indecipherable to all who have seen it. Rumor holds that it is either a blessing or curse given by an Avvar clan in the deep recesses of Ferelden's Frostback Basin.
She has a strong personality and some would consider her almost tyrannical in her views on magic. As an apostate, many expect her to be sympathetic to the plight of mages in Thedas. She is, but as an apostate who never resorted to the use of blood magic or succumbed to possession, she has no respect for mages that do, especially as possession usually entails the corruption of a god. However, as Anders once noted, perhaps she cannot relate to the desperation of Circle mages as she herself had never been locked behind the walls of a Circle.
Talents and Skills
Her combat abilities are often described as "violent," "devastating," and "utterly magnificent." Those who have seen her in action remain terrified of ever coming up against her in combat.
Her natural affinity for primal magic was developed during her time with the Avvar and her force magic was developed by her father. The two magics often work in tandem, striking from both above and below.
- Force magic: As the daughter of a mage trained in the Kirkwall Circle, she mastered force magic.
- Primal magic: She has a natural affinity for primal magic, further developed in the five years she spent with the Avvar studying under the clan's augur and a visiting shaman of the Lady of the Skies, Sky Watcher Amund.
- Hand-to-hand: In addition to her magical abilities, she trained to use her staff in hand-to-hand combat. Almost all of her physical combat abilities come from studying under Sky Watcher Amund.
Effie is not Andrastian, instead choosing the follow the beliefs of the Avvar. As she trained under an augur and a shaman, she is proficient at reading omens and believes in prophecies and visions.
Persephone was born on the darkest day of the year, 21 Haring, in 9:06 Dragon to Malcom Hawke and Leandra Amell. She carried the Hawke surname although her parents never married.
Effie's magic manifested at the age of seven. She always believed it had been the manifestation of her magic at such a young age that kept her parents from marrying in a chantry. The family was constantly on the move until they finally somewhat settled in Lothering in 9:20 when Effie was 14 years old and the twins were 7, except that Effie did not stay in Lothering long.
In 9:21, Malcolm took Effie to live with the Avvar clan at Cairnhold in the Frostback Mountains to help her learn to better wield her magic. She stayed with the clan until 9:26 when she returned to her family in Lothering. She doesn't talk about her time with the Avvar, nor explain how she earned her legend-mark of Effie Earth-Shaper. To this day, she is the only Lowlander known to have received one.
When Malcolm died in 9:27, Effie became the head of the Hawke household, despite her rocky relationship with her family.
Dragon Age 2
Although her arrival in Kirkwall was marred by difficulty, Effie develops a fierce love for the city-state and would do anything to protect it. Others may question the decisions she makes, but Effie does not shy away from making difficult decisions in the name of the greater good.
She became Viscountess of Kirkwall in 9:37 after siding with the Templars, however she refused to martyr Anders. Although he was killed in the subsequent battle, that decision created a rift between her and Sebastian Vael.
As viscountess, Effie worked closely with Knight-Commander Rutherford and what remained of Kirkwall's Templars to support the rebuilding of Kirkwall. It's during this time that a northern Templar on temporary reassignment from Starkhaven arrives and, for better or worse, changes the trajectory of her life.
Despite her infamy across the Free Marches, there are very few who would say she did not work in the best interest of the city of Kirkwall. Sebastian Vael is the notable exception as he actively worked against her to sow discontent with the nobility of the Free Marches.
Orlesians still tell the story of the day in 9:42 when Effie blew open the doors of Skyhold and stormed into the main hall as a perplexed Inquisitor Trevelyan simply stared at her. If not for an old friend from Kirkwall, many believe she would have been imprisoned for her audacity. In fact, it was that same old friend, Cullen Rutherford, that let slip to Varric that the Inquisition would be helping invade Kirkwall, pushing Effie out of hiding and through the doors of Skyhold.
Varric brings Effie's two mabari war hounds to Skyhold: Cerberus, a black mabari who wears the kaddis of the Lady of the Skies, and Orthrus, a brown mabari who wears the kaddis of Hakkon Wintersbreath. As the Inquisitor does not care for her mabari, Cerberus is adopted by Rylen and Orthrus by Cullen. Cerberus accompanies Rylen to Griffon Wing Keep and he's reunited with Effie in the months before the assault on Adamant Fortress.
She also has an oath-bound steed by the name of Helge that Varric gets to Skyhold. Helge was gifted to her by her former hold when she lived in Kirkwall, though she had little cause to use him until her return to the south.
During the battle at Adamant Fortress, Effie ends up in the Fade along with the inquisitor and Warden Loghain. When they face the Nightmare, Effie doesn't allow the inquisitor the opportunity to decide, and instead takes on the Nightmare herself.
A benevolent spirit named Serenity finds her in the Fade and helps her survive. More than eight months later, Serenity helps her return across the Veil in mid-9:43. Rylen leaves the Inquisition and the pair travel through southern Orlais back to the Frostbacks where they spend the winter at Bear-Tooth Hold, where her old friend, Tryggvi Eiriksen, is thane. The following spring, she and Rylen relocate to a new hold in need of another augur.
Dragon Age 2
- Anders: When she learned he willingly allowed Justice to become a part of him, Effie lost all respect for the mage. She refused his assistance and asked him to leave. However, after he reappeared in Kirkwall years later to blow up the chantry, she declined to make him a martyr for the cause. He perished in the subsequent battle.
- Aveline: Aveline often agreed on the outcome of Effie's decisions, but not always with the method. Effie disliked the fact that Aveline refused to do her job as Guard-Captain properly and often asked Effie herself to take care of "problems."
- Carver: Carver joined the Templars in 9:34 to spite Effie for not taking him on her Deep Roads Expedition. Despite a proclaimed discomfort with the Templar treatment of mages in Kirkwall, near constant exposure to the ideologies of Knight-Commander Meredith and some of the more senior Templars took their toll on the impressionable young man. By the time of the explosion and subsequent mage rebellion, Carver had come to believe much of the family's peculiar luck could be blamed on his elder sister.
- Cullen: Over the years, Cullen and Effie came to consider the other as one of the "good ones." Neither had particularly good experiences with other mages or Templars, but gained a cautious respect for one another. That respect eventually grew into friendship when they worked closely together to rebuild Kirkwall beginning in 9:37.
- Fenris: As much as Fenris wanted to dislike Effie solely for her magic, he quickly learned that she was not like the mages he'd known in Tevinter. He respected her strong stance against blood magic and possession. Over their years in Kirkwall, they became close friends and confidants.
- Isabela: Effie and Isabela became fast friends. They both had a similar life philosophy ("I don't want relationships," Effie declared one drunken night at the Hanged Man, "Only hickeys and alcohol!") and generally made the best of the unfortunate situations they always found themselves in.
- Merrill: Although Effie allowed Merrill to follow her back to Kirkwall, she avoided the former Dalish elf as much as possible given the young woman's use of blood magic. Merrill plead for Effie's assistance with her former clan and, despite Effie's better judgment, she went with Merrill to Sundermount. Effie has never forgiven Merrill for forcing her hand and the bloodbath that followed.
- Sebastian: Despite the fact she was an apostate mage with no faith in the Maker and Sebastian a devout Andrastian, Effie had been the only one to champion Sebastian's cause to return Starkhaven to its rightful heir. They didn't always see eye-to-eye on Effie's methods, but for the most part, Sebastian respected the woman. That is until she declined to execute Anders for his crime. Sebastian did not leave Kirkwall immediately, instead staying behind to incite the nobility against the new viscountess. Sebastian eventually returns to Starkhaven and declares war on Kirkwall, requesting the assistance of the Inquisition for his invasion.
- Varric: Varric considers Effie to be his best friend. She was always willing to help him out of a bind and always provided him with the most fantastical stories. Nobody believed him, but they were all true.
- Cassandra: Their friendship is unexpected, but welcome. Cassandra joins the 'inner circle' of secret keepers, along with Cullen and Leliana.
- Carver: Although Effie and Carver have not had any type of relationship since he left Kirkwall to join the Templars at Therinfal Redoubt, they begin to rebuild their relationship with Carver decides to stop using lyrium, following in Cullen's path. When she's at Skyhold, Effie meets Carver's family: her sister-in-law, Melinda; her niece, Bethany; and learns that Melinda is expecting another child.
- Cullen: Effie and Cullen see each other as best friends and greatest supports. When the inquisitor orders Cullen to continue taking lyrium, Effie makes sure that he doesn't and helps him stay clean. Meanwhile, Cullen, along with Leliana and Cassandra, help Effie keep her secrets. Cullen blames himself for what eventually transpires as he was the one who pushed Effie to accede to Trevelyan's desire to be with her.
- Inquisitor Maxton Trevelyan: She initially has a strong dislike for the young man as she believes him to be assisting Sebastian in invading Kirkwall. Despite learning that is not the case, she still has little tolerance for him. She perceives Maxton to be a spoiled younger son of an insignificant noble and wants nothing to do with him beyond what needs to be done to defeat Corypheus. Maxton becomes obsessed with her and focuses all his productive energy at winning her over. At Cullen's urging, Effie relents and they begin a relationship.
- Josephine: From the moment they meet, Josephine and Effie have a strong mistrust of the other. The mistrust deepens to disdain when Josephine sees how toxic the inquisitor's obsession with Effie is for him and the entire Inquisition, although she would never admit it. Effie thinks the ambassador is frivolous and too pandering to the nobility, and doesn't bother to get to know her during her time at Skyhold.
- Leliana: Leliana is one of the few people, along with Cullen and Cassandra, who is aware of Effie's relationship with Rylen and supports them despite the inquisitor's increasing irrationality about her.
- Loghain: Effie is connected with Loghain while tracking down red lyrium and the two of them become friendly with one another.
- Rylen: After their short-term fling during the reconstruction of Kirkwall, Effie is surprised, but pleased, to find him at Skyhold. They rekindle their relationship and Effie has some of the happiest times of her life both at Skyhold and Griffon Wing Keep with Rylen. Because of the inquisitor's unexpected interest in her, they keep their relationship quiet from all but a few trusted friends. Despite the secrecy at Skyhold, their relationship is considered an open secret at Griffon Wing Keep. Thought the entire keep knows, no one talks about it. Rylen is the love of her life, and she the love of his.
- Sky Watcher Amund: When Effie's former mentor joins the Inquisition, their relationship is tense. Because Amund knows that her soft heart has the potential to be her downfall, he is harsh in his reminder of her fate.
- Varric: Although he still considers Effie his best friend, Varric is hurt when learns that he's been cut out of Effie's 'inner circle.' She never tells him of the relationship with Rylen, only learning about it when the rest of the Inquisition does.
What else happened
Reddit Writing Prompt Threads:
- Arrival at Skyhold (Inquisitor POV)
- Writing a Love Letter (Inquisitor POV)
- A Love Letter from the Inquisitor
- An Epiphany
- "Take Care, Sister."
- "I Don't Feel Well." (Inquisitor POV)
- The Clearing Near Skyhold
- A Game of Cards (Love Interest POV)
- "She Would, and She Will." (Love Interest POV)
- As Dark Things Are Meant to be Loved (Love Interest POV)
- Not Ready to Say Goodbye (NPC POV)
- Broken (Love Interest POV)
- Of All the Pain Since Adamant (Love Interest POV)
- Somewhere in the Arbor Wilds (Love Interest POV)
- Ghosts (Avvar POV)
- Autumn Festival (Love Interest POV)
AO3 - Full Fic
- A Much Deeper Truth (explicit, Kirkwall between DA2 and DAI)
- One For Sorrow (mature, Inquisition)
- By Her Side (explicit, modern AU)
AO3 - One Shots
- The First Lesson
- First Meeting (Love Interest POV)
- If A Different Decision Had Been Made
- There's a Book? (Love Interest POV)
- Codex Entry: Skyhold Gets Unexpected Visitors
- A Happy Reunion (Mabari POV)
- A Birthday Surprise