"Sometimes I’m surprised my clan didn’t just up and leave me in the woods; I was half feral already, I’m sure I would have done just fine." - Raynda Lavellan
Physical Appearance Edit
Raynda is 5'5" with blue-green eyes, a long nose, a pointed chin, and vibrant red hair that is usually pulled back in a messy ponytail. Blue vallaslin is on her cheekbones and both her face and the rest of her is covered in freckles. She has a scar through her left eye.
Observant, unable to resist making a joke and excitable, Raynda has an irrepressible passion for life. She rarely stays down for long. She is inclined toward reckless behaviour, partially out of curiosity about what might happen and partially because it's just fun - a trait that does not tend to endear her to the friends she leads into danger. Starved for unconditional love from her clan but affectionate, she found momentary companionship among strangers but formed few permanent attachments until she met her future husband, Cullen.
Talents and SkillsEdit
- Singing, though she rarely does
- Making flower crowns
- Writing children's fairytales
- Coming up with creative profanity
Early Life Edit
Mirae "Raynda" Syriannas Lavellan was born on a dark and stormy night in the mountains of the Free Marches. The harsh weather was considered an ill omen by the clan's Keeper, a prediction that was realized when Raynda's mother died shortly after giving birth to her. As her father had disappeared, presumed dead, only a month prior, the young elf entered the world with no immediate family. She was taken in by her mother's best friend who was heavily pregnant at the time. Only a day after Raynda was born, her guardian went into labour and had a son, Tamaris, "Your forever second." Born alone, within a day she was already effectively betrothed.
Tam and Raynda were inseparable as children. She was constantly testing her limits with the clan, running headlong into dangerous situations without thinking and dragging Tam along with her. Tam's mother grew to resent the wild child who she felt negatively impacted her son, and so cared for her physical needs but gave her little affection. Even at a young age she had a fascination with the world of the "shemlen," often running away from the camp to observe passing travelers. After nearly being caught a few times she taught herself the best ways to be stealthy and learned to move silently through the forest, leaving few traces and becoming virtually invisible among the rocks and trees.
When Tamaris came into his magic at age 11, the Keeper made him her First. His new responsibilities left far less time for Raynda, who came to resent how serious her friend had become. As he learned more and more about Dalish history, he began to argue for isolationism from the human world which lead to many disagreements with his one-time best friend.
Raynda became a hunter, growing skilled with a bow and capable with a dagger. Though she accomplished every mission, often bringing back more game than any of the other hunters, her compatriots tried to avoid working closely with her due to her penchant for recklessness. She appeared to never feel fear or have concern for the safety of the other hunters, which won her no friends among them. Her seeming inability to refrain from optimistic jokes in an environment full of elves who took their lot seriously prevented her from truly fitting in, and many of the clan began to only interact with her out of obligation or love for her departed mother. She spent much of her youth either alone with her thoughts in the forest or in the company of the clan's halla.
Eventually, Raynda's recklessness caught up with her. While observing a group of humans from a hidden spot, she was betrayed by the humans' dog sniffing near her. The humans turned out to be bandits who threatened her with death "or worse." She was able to escape, but only by killing two of them. In their rage, the humans raised a mob against her clan. The clan hastily packed their aravels and left the area, but not without a fight. In the confusion many elves were wounded and a small child was killed. Following the attack, Raynda was encouraged to pursue a career as a scout for the clan, far away from them. She gratefully accepted the position, feeling that if she stayed she would only be a liability and cause more of her people to die.
Working as a scout and messenger for the clan, Raynda spent more time in cities in the Free Marches and made friends with many humans and city elves. Eventually, she realized that she didn't want to return to her clan as a full member, preferring the freedom of life on the road even despite the loneliness it caused.
Sent on a mission to spy on the conclave, an accident granted her the ability to close rifts. When people began calling her the Herald of Andraste, she was initially appalled but convinced by her advisors that whether she believed it or not, the title provided hope to the hopeless. Being hailed as a hero was a new experience for her given the complicated history with her clan and her own self-image as a failure.
The Inquisition provided her with a chance to learn more about the world around her and become exposed to different belief systems. She was not overly shocked by the revelations that the elven gods were merely powerful immortal mages, as she had already accepted that Dalish legend was likely only an interpretation of the past rather than a completely accurate representation. Despite her semi-agnostic beliefs, she remained culturally Dalish and continued to ask the Creators for help in tough situations out of habit.
Raynda disbanded the Inquisition following the revelation of spies working within it at the Exalted Council in 9:44, choosing to maintain it as a shadow organization. She and her husband, Cullen, left Skyhold shortly after the Council and continued to work with the new Inquisition through letters at a distance.
After the Council, Raynda and Cullen established a life in South Reach, near Cullen's family, and opened a clinic to help Templars to wean themselves off lyrium. Cullen was enthused by the work and rarely missed fighting (though he continued to train daily), but Raynda craved adventure. They reached a compromise by Raynda's becoming a Red Jenny and spending occasional nights out up to no good with Sera. The Red Jenny connections helped to track down potential leads to Solas, whom Raynda hoped to redeem and convince of the value inherent in the present world.
The loss of her left arm was exceptionally troubling to Raynda, who had once been so skilled at archery. Unable to draw a bow, she turned to dagger work. She had always been good with them, but as a result of the increased training became a force to be reckoned with even one-handed.
Romantic Relationships Edit
Cullen Rutherford Edit
The Commander of the Inquisition quickly won Raynda's heart with his awkwardness in private combined with his effectiveness in the field. She recognized his skills in battle and leadership and realized that she had truly met her equal, someone with abilities complementary to her own. It never bothered her that he wasn't an elf; he was a match for her in every way that Tam had not been.
When she started growing closer to Cullen, she became afraid that he, too, would abandon her as soon as she made a thoughtless mistake. She tried to hold back her feelings to prevent further heartache, especially after she allied with the mages of Redcliffe to close the Breach rather than the Templars that Cullen argued so strongly for. When he respected her decision and did not change his behaviour around her or tell her that she had ruined everything, she began to allow herself to indulge in thoughts about what a life with him might be like.
After the destruction of Haven, she decided that life was too short to waste time deliberating about whether or not to pursue someone she had come to care a great deal about. With the knowledge that her clan would likely disown her for the relationship, she made the decision to tell him how she felt at the first opportunity to do so. With Cullen she was always blunt about what she wanted, which he seemed to appreciate, and never felt like she had to hide part of herself even for a moment.
Raynda's relationship with Cullen tempered her risk-taking behaviour. The Commander weighed decisions carefully and soon she began to as well. She became softer as a result of the relationship and was more open to letting others in. Secure in the knowledge that Cullen would not leave her, she blossomed and became more confident. One of the greatest joys in Raynda's life was convincing Cullen to do something silly and undignified.
Close Friendships Edit
Raynda's childhood best friend, born only a day after her. His mother had been best friends with hers and it was expected that one day they would be bonded. Tamaris is the only person Raynda will allow to call her by her birth name of 'Mirae,' though he usually shortens it to 'Mir." They were inseparable until Tam was discovered to be a mage and took on the role of First in the clan. Still very close but with less time for each other, Raynda and Tam argued often about the role of the Dalish in Thedas.
Tam harbored a crush on her for years when they were teenagers, but Raynda had little romantic interest in him. She knew that what they wanted out of that relationship was very different. Tam was looking for someone more traditionally Dalish, to stand by his side and help to guide the clan when he eventually became Keeper, while Raynda simply wanted companionship and someone to love her unconditionally. After she lost her virginity to another boy at an arlathvhen, unwittingly making Tam jealous, he made his feelings known and she let him kiss her. Once was more than enough for her, he was a brother and friend to her and it felt too weird. After a small cooling off period they were able to remain friends.
Tamaris never understood Raynda's interest in human society, and when her curiosity ended in the death of a child was the driving force in sending her away from the clan when he told her that there could be no future for them if she continued to endanger the clan with her foolishness.
Dorian Pavus Edit
Raynda and the Tevinter mage, Dorian, felt an instant connection from the moment they met in Redcliffe. Both felt as though they could never be accepted by their families and had voluntarily exiled themselves. They shared a mutual curiosity about each other's cultures and enjoyed spending time people-watching (and gossiping) both at Skyhold and in the field. Dorian never allowed Raynda to wallow in self-pity and Raynda did the same for him. Raynda enjoyed that she had found someone she could use her sharp tongue on, playfully flinging sarcastic insults at the mage who returned them in kind. The friendship she had with Dorian was the most valued in her life.
Cassandra Pentaghast Edit
In many ways, Cassandra reminded Raynda of her clan's Keeper, not-so-quietly disapproving of her improper actions. Though initially put off by Cassandra's strong beliefs, Raynda soon considered the Seeker one of her dearest friends. The bluntness with which Cassandra showed her affection to those she cared about was very familiar to Raynda. She liked that Cassandra would openly challenge her decisions, forcing her to justify the reasons why she made them rather than allowing her to go on gut feeling. Their relationship was one of mutual respect for each other's abilities. Raynda never stopped teasing Cassandra for her love of romantic novels, though she would occasionally "borrow" the books and devour a chapter or two before replacing them on Cassandra's nightstand.
Though Sera and Raynda got off to a rocky start when Sera accused her of being too "elfy," the two became fast friends. Like Raynda, Sera was experiencing a bit of a crisis of belief that Raynda was able to help her through. Sera vocalized the thoughts that Raynda was afraid to speak, which allowed them to have a frank dialogue about Thedosian religion.
Sera made her laugh, and Raynda could never resist someone like that. She could see how, if she had not been raised in a clan, she might have been a little like Sera. Though Sera's exterior was harsh and crass, inside she cared deeply for her friends and the group she considered to be "her people." The friendship became a partnership when Raynda became a Red Jenny.
Clan Relationships Edit
Keeper Deshanna Istimaethoriel Lavellan Edit
Far more influential than her adoptive mother, the Keeper was a guiding force in Raynda's life. She was constantly disappointed by Raynda's disobedience but her wayward actions only seemed to endear her further to the Keeper. Before the Inquisition, Raynda would have said that she was the only person who would miss her if she died.
The name "Raynda" is not one commonly used among the Dalish and is in fact a childhood nickname, formed by joining "Mirae" and "Da'len," the Dalish word for child. The exasperated Keeper said both together often when Raynda got into trouble and over time it melded into one word.
Raynda's real name, Mirae, means little thief, lit. "sticky fingers," an apt name for her given her future career.
Raynda briefly encountered her future husband, Cullen Rutherford, when he was Knight-Captain in Kirkwall while on a mission for her clan and recognized him upon her arrival in Haven. Cullen did not remember her.
Raynda kept her hair very short, saying that long hair was annoying and required too much maintenance, until acquiring her scar in 9:35 Dragon. She grew her hair so that she would be able to cover the scar but hated it constantly being in her eyes and began to keep it tied up in a ponytail that always seemed to come loose halfway through the day.