- “It's funny, isn't it? That the Blight saved me?”
- – Solona discussing her escape
Solona Jessmina Amell is a former Circle mage from Kinloch Hold and a friend of Alim Surana.
Solona was the youngest child of Revka Amell. She had several siblings who she barely remembered, as all were found to have magical abilities at young ages and taken away to Circles as a result. At the age of twelve, it was discovered that Solona, too, possessed magical abilities. She was taken to Kinloch Hold, where she met Jowan and Alim Surana , the latter of which had arrived at the Circle only shortly before. Despite their differences, the three became the best of friends and thought of each other as family.
Shortly after Alim Surana had his Harrowing, Solona had hers. While Solona was asleep, Alim helped Jowan escape the Circle, getting recruited into the Grey Wardens after. When Solona woke up, she was debriefed by Anders, who had been intrigued by the situation.
A few months later, Solona was praised by Irving and told that she had been one of the mages he would have recommended become a Warden, had she completed her Harrowing in time. Mara, a longtime rival of Solona's, was furious. To get revenge, Mara planted false evidence that Solona had been studying blood magic. With the testimony of a templar in addition to the evidence, Solona was found guilty. As she had already been Harrowed and was therefore not allowed to be made Tranquil, Solona was sent to Aeonar.
On the way to Aeonar, Solona was abused by the templars both mentally and physically, with one of them occasionally doing even worse to her when his comrade was away. The three were cornered by darkspawn, and the two templars managed to kill, the one she hated the most dying, and the other one who had been unaware of what was happening to her managing to survive. The wounded templar asked her to heal him, removing her binding so that she could use her magic. While she initially intended to heal him, he called her a maleficar, breaking what little sympathy and patience she had for templars was left in her, and killed him without even thinking. She then used her magic to freeze and shatter the shackles on her feet, grabbed a dead darkspawn emissary's staff in order to defend herself in the wild, and fled the scene. As a result of what she went through at the hands of the two templars, as well as the fact that none of the templars in Kinloch Hold had stood up for her when she was falsely accused, Solona developed a deep hatred for templars.
Solona ultimately survived the Blight. As her phylactery had been sent to Denerim, it had been destroyed during the Battle of Denerim, meaning that Solona was free to run from the Circle without them having a way to track her down. Solona settled down in a cabin in the woods on the outskirts of a small village on the Orlesian-Ferelden border. There she sold potions to people in a nearby village to earn her keep and experimented on potions in her own time. She occasionally wrote down ideas for new potions and elixirs and sent them to the Circle under a pseudonym to try and get funding, but the "controversial nature" of her formulas were met with rejection.
The Inquisition's potion master, Adan, had read Solona's theses and was fascinated. With the help of their spymaster, the Inquisition was able to track her down, and she agreed to join them.
After a month in Skyhold, she ran into Cullen, who she partially blamed for her suffering, and confronted him, sharing how she'd suffered at the hands of the two templars who had been responsible for taking her to Aeonar and the hatred she developed as result.
Solona later met Elissa Cousland (who she went by her maiden name while at Skyhold), who had come to lead the Wardens due to the absence of any leader after Stroud and Clarel's deaths. Upon realizing this was the Solona Amell that Alim had mentioned multiple times, Elissa urged her to go see Morrigan and Kieran in an attempt to give Solona closure. Solona didn't actually introduce herself, and their presence had only solidified her the decision she had previously made to never meet Alim again.
Alim Surana: To this day, Solona considers Alim one of her closest friends and an extremely important person to her. She enjoys hearing news about him go around, but since she knows he's always dreamed for freedom and must be happy with his new life — as well as the newfound revelation that he has a wife and child — she does not wish to jeopardize his happiness. For this reason, she has made no attempts to contact him, and has refused both Leliana and Elissa's offers to help her get in touch with him.
Anders: Solona is grateful for Anders having taken the time to explain what happened with Alim and Jowan when she woke up for her Harrowing. She respects Anders and feels that she owes him both for filling her in on Alim and Jowan and for his role in helping spark the rebellion which lead to the Mage-Templar War.
Cullen Rutherford: Solona always thought Cullen was a good man, and she remained oblivious of his feelings for as long as she knew him. She lost faith in him and all other templars after being sent to Aeonar, as none of them spoke up on her behalf when she was wrongly accused of using blood magic. When she ran into him at Skyhold, she initially planned on ignoring him, but felt the need to confront them. After that, she ignored him for the majority of her time with the Inquisition. While her hatred of Cullen lessened due to his attempts to distance himself from the order, she has never been able to truly forgive him.
Dagna: The concept of a dwarven arcanist immediately fascinated Solona. Solona and Dagna were both very passionate and innovative when it came to their respective fields, so this connected them. The two enjoy their chats in the Undercroft and get along very well.
Elissa Cousland: Solona was hesitant to speak with Elissa upon realizing she was a friend of Alim's, but Elissa was persistent. Elissa was also determined to get Solona to meet Morrigan and Kieran despite Solona's initial refusal. When Solona explained that she had no intention of meeting Alim again, Elissa secretly told Morrigan to inform Alim of Solona's presence at Skyhold.
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