"You want to know what my name means? It means Protect, and it's not just a name for me. It's a promise I take very seriously."
Retha Adaar is a Tal-Vashoth mage and is more famously known as the Herald of Andraste and the leader of the Inquisition. A former lieutenant of the Valo-Kas mercenary company, she was hired to serve as a bodyguard of Divine Justinia for the Conclave, only for the Temple of Sacred Ashes to explode and for the Breach to appear in the sky.
Overview[edit | edit source]
Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]
Even by Qunari standards, Retha is very tall. Standing almost seven feet, she is used to towering over most people she meets.
Wanting to stand out among her kin in the Valo-Kas, she dyed her hair black, as opposed to the natural white hair most Qunari have.
Her horns curve backwards, resembling the horns of a high dragon.
Personality[edit | edit source]
As a mercenary, Retha is more used to being a follower rather than a leader. Although her former commander, Shokrakar, was training her to one day take her place, she had barely scratched the surface of leadership skills when she became the Herald of Andraste.
Behind her tough girl exterior lies deep fears of making the wrong decisions and the consequences that follow, but her strong willed determination to finish any task and her willingness to listen to others allowed her to power through her initial reluctance and become a confident leader the Inquisition needed.
As a mage, she is torn about her opinions of mage freedom. She values her freedom and ability to choose for herself what kind of mage she wants to be. She knows if she was born under the Qun she would be bound in chains with her mouth sewn shut and that is the last thing she wants. However, she has seen first hand what the consequences of losing control can do for a mage, and she is deeply afraid of losing control and getting possessed by a demon, so she often questions if it's a necessary sacrifice to place restrictions on a mage's freedom for the sake of protecting others.
Some might consider Retha a pyromaniac with the way she throws fireballs with disturbing levels of excitement when she fights, but there is a method to her supposed madness. She is proud of her skill, not just because she likes to blow things up, but because every successful spell shows perfect discipline and control over her powers. The spell was executed exactly the way she wanted it to go, and the fire only harmed who she wished it to harm, rather than burning out of control and accidentally harming herself or somebody else.
Talents and Skills[edit | edit source]
Retha is a talented mage, specializing in the art of Fire Magic, which she uses with deadly efficiency on the battlefield.
Her mercenary background means she is skilled in living off the land and on the road. Outdoor survival is easy for her, and so she feels more at home in a tavern or camping in the woods than she does in a castle like Skyhold.
She is a master of military strategy, and so she is equal parts brains and brawn in a fight, allowing her to trick and outsmart her opponents right before she blows them to bits with a well placed Fireball.
Biography[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
Retha was born in 9:12 Dragon to two Tal-Vashoth who recently broke away from the Qun.
Her father was an Arvaraad and her mother was the Sarebaas he was charged with looking after. Retha's father always felt the Qun was too harsh towards their mages and he eventually grew too attached to his Saarebas for his own good. The Qun demands that if a Saarebas is separated from their Arvaraad then they must be killed. When the worst case scenario occured during a skirmish in Seheron, Arvaraad could not bring himself to do it. The Saarebas had become his Kadan. Knowing the Ben-Hassrath would kill them both for his failure to uphold the laws of the Qun, Arvaraad deserted Seheron and left for the Free Marches, Taking his Saarebas with him.
They built a small house together in a forest outside the city of Starkhaven. Arvaraad took to mercenary work to put food on the table, while the Saarebas tried to maintain her mental stability by doing peaceful activities such as maintaining a garden. She eventually gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, although they decided when she came of age, they would let her pick her own name.
The three Tal-Vashoth lived together as one big happy family for several years, until Arvaraad's past came back to haunt him. When Retha was twelve years old, A trio of agents from the Ben-Hassrath discovered her father and recognized him as a deserter. They followed him back to the house and ambushed him. Arvaraad fought as hard as he could, but the assassins had the advantages of numbers and surprise. Retha's mother opened the door expecting to greet her Kadan, only to see him cut down right in front of her.
What happened next could only be described as bad to worse. Consumed by an unspeakable rage, Retha's mother became an abomination and slaughtered the Ben-Hassrath agents. She then turned her attention to her daughter. Knowing that wasn't her mother anymore, she ran with the abomination in hot pursuit until she was cornered. That's when her magic first came to life. Fire erupted from her hands, and Retha was forced to kill her mother in self defense.
The roaring inferno caused by the battle between mother and daughter did not go unnoticed. Several hours later, a group of Templars stumbled across the crying Retha, having saw the blaze from the city and grown suspicious the fire was caused by magic. Seeing the apostate in question was a Qunari savage, they were prepared to just kill her instead of taking her to the circle, but Retha had attracted another group to her location, a group of Tal-Vashoth.
The mercenary company managed to intimidate the Templars into standing down. Not having the Numbers to battle such a large group of Ox-Men, the Knight Captain angrily ordered them to take the girl and leave.
After the Templars left, the leader of the mercenaries stepped forward and dried Retha's tears. She identified herself as Shokrakar and her company as the Valo-Kas.
In-game[edit | edit source]
- Denied being Chosen by Andraste
- Formed an Alliance with the Templars
- Formed an Alliance with the Grey Wardens
- Stroud is left behind in the Fade
- Gaspard became Emperor of Orlais (Rules Alone)
- Morrigan drank from the Well of Sorrows
- Convinced Calpurnia to stand down
- Cassandra became Divine
- Disbanded the Inquisition after Trespasser
Post-game[edit | edit source]
With the Inquisition Disbanded, so they would not be bogged down and interfered with by politics and the risk of infiltration by spies, Retha said her goodbyes to her friends and became an official member of the Bull's Chargers, wanting to spend the rest of her life fighting at the side of her Kadan, the Iron Bull.
While she has gone back to mercenary work, she still keeps her eyes and ears open for any signs of what Solas is planning next, having vowed to stop The Dread Wolf at all costs.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Iron Bull - If somebody told her on the day she met The Iron Bull that she would fall in love with him one day, she would have likely set that person on fire. His status as a Ben-Hassrath agent unsettled her at first and the fact that he could read her like a book no matter how private she tried to be made her even more uncomfortable.
Then Retha realized just how The Iron Bull was using his deductive abilities to help her. He was not only helping her grow into the leader the Inquisition needed, but he was giving her a place where she could drop her guard and feel safe. She had thousands of lives to take care of under her command, and now during her time with Bull, she could relax and let somebody take care of her for a change.
After nearly losing him to the Nightmare Demon at Adamant and spending a brief period of blaming herself for dragging him into a nest of demons, she realized he was the one she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, and so she took one of the teeth from the dragons they killed together and crafted the Necklace of the Kadan.
After she disbanded the Inquisition, she persuaded Bull to let her have a wedding ceremony, just so they could have an even bigger excuse to turn her joining the Chargers into a wild party.
Cassandra - When Retha was interrogated by Cassandra at the Temple, she misjudged her as just another racist Chantry Zealot who would refuse to believe she was innocent because she is a "Wicked Horned Savage" and a "Qunari Heathen" like many other Chantry Folk have called her in the past.
Once suspicion was cleared up and they started to bond, the relationship became one of comrades in arms. Retha admired her skill on the battlefield and her attitude as a woman of action. Then Retha discovered her hidden depths, mainly in regards to Cassandra's secret obsession with romance novels such as Swords and Shields. Watching Cassandra gush about the book piqued Retha's curiosity enough to read it herself. Now they talk about their favorite parts of the books they read on a regular basis like two young girls having a slumber party.
Blackwall - Retha respected Blackwall's prowess as a warrior and his Good Samaritan attitude. Somebody who was just as virtuous as he was skilled was somebody she could trust to watch her back. In her early days of command, she interpreted the high praise Blackwall gave her as a sign he had a crush on her, and thus would tease him and flirt back, although it didn't lead to anything.
When the truth was revealed, Retha decided to have Thom Rainier join the Grey Wardens. She still respected how he tried his best to make up for what he had done, and she knew the real Blackwall would have wanted him to become a real Grey Warden.
Cole - Ever since he rescued her from the Envy Demon, Retha trusted Cole completely. She knows she could not have defeated Envy without Cole's help, and so she is viciously protective of him and quick to rush to his defense when somebody calls him a demon or accuses him of malicious intent.
Retha empathizes with Cole's fear of becoming a demon, as it is the same as her fear of getting possessed by one, so she was more than happy to work with Varric to help him become more human, and she was even happier still when he managed to win the affection of the Bard, Maryden. Seeing Cole fall in love like that was like watching an adopted baby brother grow up into a fine young man.
Varric - Retha admires Varric's ability to make her feel warm inside with a good story or a game of Wicked Grace. She can't imagine what her inner circle would be like without Varric's remarkable ability to generate a sense of friendship with the group, and so she frequently takes him along with her.
After Retha disbanded the Inquisition and joined the Chargers, she and Bull made a habit to visit Kirkwall whenever they had the chance so she could visit Varric and her old company, the Valo-Kas, who now had a well paying position assisting the Kirkwall City Guard.
Sera - Occasionally, Sera gets on Retha's nerves with all the trouble she causes, but Retha has enough patience to put up with her wild antics because she understands Sera means well. She brings Sera along as often as she can so that way she can keep an eye on her and make sure she isn't causing mischief in Skyhold.
After killing their first dragon together with Bull and Blackwall, they formed a much stronger bond with each other to the point where Retha was willing to humor her by pulling the occasional prank with her.
Vivienne - While her condescending and snobbish attitude occasionally rubbed Retha the wrong way, Retha greatly admires Vivienne for the way she carries herself with overwhelming levels of self confidence and grace. She knew right away she would need Vivienne's help to improve her social skills and learn how to better conduct herself around others as a leader.
Dorian - Retha's relationship with Dorian started off on the wrong foot. She never got to meet him in Redcliffe because she suspected the note from Felix was a trap, and so she didn't go to Redcliffe's Chantry. When he came to warn her at Haven of the impending attack by Corypheus, Retha was suspicious. It was possible the Venatori were planting him there as a spy just in case the attack at Haven failed, although she quickly realized this wasn't true and he was genuinely there to help her.
Once she understood he wasn't a spy, the two mages quickly bonded and became great friends.
Solas - Retha's relationship with Solas was a complicated one. They disagreed on many things, but were mature enough to give each other a chance and work past their differences. Retha initially thought Solas to be completely insane for wanting to befriend and study spirits. She couldn't imagine the knowledge of the Fade was worth the risk of getting possessed. However, considering Solas had likely been doing this for years, and he did save her life at Haven by keeping the mark from killing her, she decided to trust him and value his advice.
It was thanks to Solas that Retha gradually overcame her fear of Demons and the Fade, which in turn inspired her to train as a Rift Mage and become more curious about different types of magic.
When Retha discovered Solas was actually the Elven Trickster God, Fen'Harel, she was equal parts hurt and furious. She vowed to stop Solas at all costs and make him pay.
Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]
- With her surname meaning "Weapon" according to Iron Bull, and her first name meaning "Protect" in Qunlat, the name Retha Adaar loosely translates to "The weapon that protects"
- Her greatest fear written on the tombstones of the Fade is "Failure"