Sova Tabris, born 9:10 Dragon, is the Warden-Commander of Ferelden, known as a silent stalwart among her colleagues. She comes from humble beginnings in the Denerim alienage, but considers it home above all else.
Sova is small, even for an elf. What she lacks in height, she more than makes up in muscle — despite her wiry frame, Sova is ripped and incredibly muscular, but it is mostly hidden by her armor.
She takes after her father in complexion, pale and easily freckled. Her hair is a warm auburn, kept long and tied back out of her face. Sova is very fond of practical appearances, particularly in her line of work, so her only cosmetic frivolties are the two studs in the cartilage of her ears. They're in the shape of dogs, and meant to honor House Theirin. For Reasons™.
In a word, Sova is blunt. She knows where her morality, honor, and duties lie, and rarely strays far from them. As a result, Sova is constantly distancing herself from her emotions to remain level-headed in high-stress situations. She is used to putting duty before feeling, mission before self.
Though blunt, Sova is polite in most situations. She only turns to sass, irony, and brutal honesty when a person reveals themself to be willingly ignorant or awful. There is patience in her bones...but only to a certain point. She will stop compromising when the other party stops to compromise, or if they are unwilling to budge in the first place. She takes no shit, and will likely never take shit.
What Sova values most is freedom, and oppressing freedom is the one thing that will break her sense of duty. She will not stand for anyone being enslaved, held against their will, or oppressed and discriminated against politically, for reasons that every Tabris can relate to. Her ultimate goal was to free her alienage, and if that meant killing an Archdemon, she was gonna fucking kill an Archdemon.
Talents and Skills
Sova is very fast on her feet for a warrior. She fights with a sword and shield, but her shield becomes another weapon most of the time. It's less of a protector and more of a...disk-like sword she can bash into knees. These techniques were learned from her rogue mother, as well as Sova's sneaky observation of Templar training at the Chantry.
Outside of combat, Sova is an OK cook, pretty good at whittling, and nearly surgical when repairing more mechanical items. Bodahn often joked that she was just a weird-looking dwarf. It was not appreciated.
For as long as she can remember, the alienage was always home. It was not perfect, it was certainly not always pleasant, but it was home, and this was due in no small part to her family. Soris, Shianni, and Sova grew up playing knights together, running around with sticks as toys and aspiring to something higher. Adaia and Cyrion adored their daughter, passing on what they could before the former's untimely death; while Cyrion gave her his quiet strength, Adaia gave her a fighting spirit. She inherited intense compassion and empathy from them both, and is grateful every day for the time she had with them in her youth.
While Adaia taught her to use a blade, Sova always preferred swords. She used techniques her mother taught her, but also learned by observing the Templars and city guard in the Marketplace. She would perch on rooftops to watch the soldiers train, and mimic their movements until she was so sore she couldn't move. It started as a hobby, but it soon became a drive; she wanted to learn to fight to escape the Alienage, and learn how to improve it from the outside in.
Then she got engaged to Nelaros. And we all know how that turned out.
Sova tended to go for the "Golden Approach" — that is, she achieved all the middling results of these quests in an attempt to keep as many people alive and not pissed off as possible.
(Meta answer: I love the idea of this elf just doing what she thinks is her job and having no idea what will come of it, and somehow becoming an urban legend that accomplished all these feats with her ragtag team. She sees it as doing what she needed to do, but history certainly doesn't.)
- Sided with the mages, and spared them. There was no reason to slaughter the mages, even with all the Templars dead or dying. Cullen was clearly out of his mind when he recommended that, and Sova realized it was a desperate situation...but even with lives on the line, she couldn't keep the mages imprisoned anymore. They had suffered enough. In hindsight, she would have liked to leave more of a militant presence there in case of blood mages, but they had little resources.
- Created a truce between the werewolves and the elves. It was one dude fucking it up, and it wasn't like they needed to kill each other to resolve some sort of issues. The werewolves just wanted their bodies back, man. Both sides did fucked up things.
- Didn't defile the ashes of Andraste. Almost cried talking to the Guardian. Killed a bunch of cultists. You know how it is.
- Used the mages to save both Connor and Isolde. To Sova, Isolde was crazy with grief and Connor was only a child — neither deserved death, and the mages were just across the lake. It was a boat ride away. Why not, huh?
- Sided with Caridin and destroyed the Anvil. I'm gonna be honest, I didn't completely understand this quest and played this game over a year ago, I cannot remember why I did this, only that it felt better than siding with Branka.
- Made Alistair the solo king. Go away, Anora. If you're going to try to kill the party, you're going to have to try harder. Sorry we killed your dad.
- Had Alistair perform the Dark Ritual, killed the Archdemon. It does not sit right with Sova that Alistair had to sleep with someone unwillingly in order for her to survive. She does not like that, and it was through a very long teary-eyed discussion with Alistair that she settled upon this. Her rationale was that she can do far more good alive than dead, even if she ended the Blight...but part of her still regrets it.
I'll be honest. I own Awakening, but could not convince myself to keep playing Origins, so I've never touched it. I've never played Origins DLC. I don't know who Nathaniel or the rest are. I'm a failure, I know.
BUT, beyond that: Sova continues her work as Warden-Commander of Ferelden, preferring a hands-on approach when dealing with new recruits. She leaves much of the bureaucracy to her trusted subordinates, and is currently off looking for a Cure with her mabari, Angelo. She and Alistair called off their affair shortly after the Blight, and she lives a happy and fulfilling life as an aunt to Soris and Shianni's children.
- Her mabari is a big ol' hound named Angelo, and she is her faithful companion until the end of his days. Angelo is incredibly intelligent, and honestly, Sova spends more time talking out her decisions with him than anyone else.
- Morrigan is like a sister to her, but a sister that you argue with and sometimes hate more so than a sister you love unconditionally. After the Dark Ritual, Sova didn't think she could ever look Morrigan in the eye again, and had no desire to maintain a relationship. They fell out of contact shortly.
- Wynne was so unlike any older woman Sova had met that their relationship had a rocky start. She mistook Wynne's kindness for patronization, but eventually came to realize that she's just very empathetic. She unabashedly asked Wynne for life advice until her death, which Sova mourned greatly.
- Sova respects Zevran, though again, they had a rough start. They talked about their life as impoverished elves in a city, and became unconventional friends. His flirting flusters her.
- Sten is an odd case, and Sova doesn't quite know what to make of him. She respects him as a warrior, and she respects his bluntness. But there is so much about his culture she doesn't understand, and so much he refuses to explain, and that always left a barrier up between them.
- Oghren grosses Sova out, sorry. He made some smart remark about elves as soon as she recruited him into their little Warden party, and she just could not speak to him in very long segments at all.
- Sova softened Leliana. The two did not see eye-to-eye on many things, as Leliana could be unintentionally patronizing at times, but they shared a commonality: passion. For better or for worse, Leliana seemed to really care about her time in the Chantry, and truly believed in her mission for the Maker. She needed something to fight for, something to believe in, and if that meant embracing Chantry rhetoric, then so be it.
- Sova is very much of the opinion that you can recognize the brutality of your combat skills, but also be proud of them. And being uncomfortable with that, as Leliana was, is what makes people people. It didn't mean she needed to go back to a life of murder and backstabbing.
Sova romanced Alistair, surprise surprise. She had never really had feelings for anyone (she's definitely asexual, heteromantic) until homeboy came at her with that rose, and then she realized oh no, he's cute! and they dated throughout the Blight. He was very much a source of comfort and emotional stability for her as they worked through this terrible war. As the only other Warden, she felt she could talk to him about things she couldn't with the others. They also kissed a lot.
Importantly, Alistair made her feel wanted and loved. It was difficult meeting hostility wherever she went, when she was just trying to stop this stupid Blight, and having someone warm to snuggle up to in camp was so nice. At the Landsmeet, she didn't trust Anora to be queen, and knew Alistair would be a great king for Ferelden...but she didn't want to lose him. They eventually decided to stay together, after a very teary discussion, even if Alistair were to get married, which they knew was inevitable, but far in the future. There were more pressing things to worry about, like the scary darkspawn dragon demon they needed to kill.
The two stayed together for several months after the Blight, their duties pulling them farther and farther away from each other. Eventually, after much consideration, Sova realized their relationship would be so much better if they weren't romantically tangled — every meeting wouldn't be like walking on eggshells, and the threat of adultery would be removed entirely.
There is a part of Sova that begrudged that she was not eligible to be queen...but over time, she realized that splitting up was the best decision they could have made. Their platonic friendship is powerful and strong, and it's not awkward or painful for them anymore. They're best friends, and that much is undeniable.
- Sova cannot tell a joke for shit. Most of her humor is incredibly dry, so when she does tell a joke, there is always a very long pause while everyone in the vicinity processes that a joke just came out of her mouth, and then another pause while they decide if it's better or worse to laugh.