romance

Dragon Age: Meet the Advisors – Josephine

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The eldest daughter of a noble Antivan family, Josephine is a rising star among diplomats, skilled at forging alliances with tact, grace, and carefully cultivated favors.

Of all the advisers in Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jospehine (AKA Scribbles) is the only without a solid history in the lore. Having spent some time as an ambassador in the courts of Thedas, she is very familiar with politics in and out of Orlais. She is the Inquisitions administrator and ambassador, working through papers and politics to get (and keep) the backing of influential figures required to secure the power of the Inquisition. She is an optimistic sort, and fully believes that the Inquisitor is the best hope to end the chaos across Thedas.

She brings about a new sort of character to the DA universe. She is not a fighter. As an Antivan noblewoman, likely nearly as familiar with the Crows as she is with the courts, she’s probably not helpless. But she is most useful staying at the keep and doing paperwork and meeting with nobles and all that stuff most people would consider boring. She is a true diplomat. Most of the prominent characters in the DA universe are fighters, and many of the diplomat types seem untrustworthy (i.e. Anora). With the Inquisition, however, Josephine isn’t trying to gain any sort of power for herself. She legitimately believes in what the Inquisition is trying to do. That will make for a nice dynamic.

Josephine is an old acquaintance of Leliana’s, and they work very well together. And, while she and Cullen respect each other, their philosophies often clash. As for the Inquisitor, Josephine is available as a romance for an Inquisitor of any race or gender.

Overall, I’m excited to see what comes out of this kind of character. While she’s not my first choice for a romance, she does sound like a great friend to have.

Dragon Age: Inquisition will be released on October 7, 2014 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Solas – The Mind

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Solas is voiced by Gareth David-Lloyd, known for his portrayal of Ianto Jones in in Torchwood and Doctor Who. I’ve you need me I’ll be in the corner dying from joy.

He mastered his magic without the help of tutors, spending years exploring the spirit realm of the Fade and coming to an understanding of its denizens that few others could claim. He would be happiest left alone to sleep in ancient ruins, searching for memories and knowledge that has been lost for ages, but the Breach in the sky threatens all worlds.

“The Hedge Mage” – Solas is very much a free thinker. He is not Dalish, but he’s not from an alienage either. He grew up an apostate in a small village. He spent most of his time alone in the wilderness, and that is where he prefers to be. He’s self taught, and has spent a lot of time in the fade, coming to understand it as few mages do. Because of that, he can use magic in ways that most other mages wouldn’t even think of.

Solas found the Fade on his own, he went in without preconceptions, letting him explore the area and befriend spirits without the black-and-white mentality that holds back mages trained in the Circle.

Solas is a new kind of character to appear in the Dragon Age universe. We have had several kinds of mages, and several kinds of elves, all of them breaking the rules to some effect. All of them have viewed the Fade with the same sort of caution. The Keeper even has taught Merrill repeatedly that she cannot trust anything inside the Fade. Yet, Solas will explore the land of dreams, and even befriend spirits he meets there. To him, it’s not a black and white issue at all. This is good, this is bad, this versus that, us and them – to Solas, there’s always a bigger story. There is always more to it. As Solas would put it, “It’s more complicated than that.”

I am, at this point, 100% convinced that Solas is a romance option for the Inquisitor. And I really do intend on taking it. As a side bar – I can always tell who my favorite characters will be (Cole, Solas) and, so far, my favorite romance has always been the elf (Zevran, Fenris). I have a problem, you see.

Anyway. As for the rest of the Inquisition, Solas does not get along with Vivienne. She is cold toward him as only Vivienne is capable. She is very much pro-circle, and holds all the same views as the circle in regards to the fade. So, naturally, he thinks she’s close minded and she thinks he doesn’t know what he talking about. While I think he’ll generally get along with Bull, they will also get into disagreements over the freedom of thought and other things about Qunari beliefs. I have complete certainty that Solas and Cole will get along swimmingly. Solas being a lover of the fade, and Cole being a type of spirit demon guy. I’m looking forward to that.

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I am extremely excited to see get to know Solas. How about you? What do you think of the newest (and final) companion of the Inquisitor? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Dorian – The Redeemer

 

BrKum9sCIAA_Os4He wears the labels of “pariah” and “outcast” proudly, knowing that views of the Imperium are unlikely to change until and unless someone of his ability stands up to make a difference.

Dorian is a Tevinter mage who, unlike every other Tevinter mage we’ve met thus far, disagrees with what the Imperium is doing. He comes from a wealthy and influential family, and is a very powerful mage. He would be the “perfect mage” (and, subsequently, the perfect son) if not for a few key ‘flaws’. For one, he opposing everything the imperium stands for. He thinks the imperium is corrupt and wrong in what they do. Also, he’s gay. And he’s not ashamed of either of these things. He’s become a sort of pariah among the upper families of Tevinter.

His place in the plot is interesting. So far, it is clear that Dorian once studied under Alexius, a corrupt Tevinter magister and a major member of the Venatori. Not much is known about the Venatori. We know that they’re activities cause the Inquisition to have reason to intervene, and we know that at some point the Inquisitor can storm a keep run by the Venatori, and the faction eventually takes over Redcliffe Castle. This, again, is extremely interesting as it is said that Ferelden will not fall as long as Redcliffe stands. This brings question to the state of Ferelden and the exact level of involvement from Tevinter.

Because of the state of Tevinter (and the world) Dorian is generally a bit jaded. He’s sarcastic, witty, and very intelligent. Behind this, he’s a bit of an idealist. As in, he’ll still be disappointed when bad people do that bad things he expected them to do. He also dabbles in some Tevinter specific magic that most mages from other places might consider ‘distasteful’. Namely, spells involving spirits and the dead.

Because of his general personality, he and Vivienne come into conflict quite a bit. They’ll tear into each other, but, according to David Gaider, they’re the Statler and Waldorf of Thedas. Maker help us. His interactions with Iron Bull are also noteworthy, as Tevinter has been at war with the Qunari for centuries, and neither of these character are typical of their homeland. I image there will be others who don’t appreciate his quips, and those that really do (namely, Varric. Possibly, Sera). And I image do his his spirit/dead things related magic he’ll have at least something interesting going on with Cole.

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So far, I quite like Dorian. And I quite like that fact that he’s definitely a romance option for a male Inquisitor. His personality type, right off the bat, is quite similar to Zevran. And I love Zevran. So I’m very excited to get to know him and the story surrounding him. What do you think of Dorian so far? Disappointed/excited he’s gay? Ready for all the dashing wit? Let me know in the comments below!

Iron Bull – The Muscle

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Bull is voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr., the voice behind James Vega in Mass Effect 3.

Years of living outside Qunari rules have him wondering which identity is really him. Whoever he is, he’s more than happy to join the Inquisition and get paid to kill demons.

I am perhaps most excited to get to know The Iron Bull. Second most excited, at least. Unlike every other Qunari that has appeared in the Dragon Age universe, Bull is described as laid back and friendly. As made clear from listening to Under the Horns – a preview of some of his dialogue and character. Bull is a Ben-Hassrath – a group of Qunari spies and secret police. He was the best, and he did it until the harsh battle became too much. He was then sent to Orlais to observe and report. Years later, he still sends the reports. But years outside the Qun have definitely changed him, and he’s not quite how yet. But he knows he loves to eat too much, drink too much, and have sex with whoever he thinks can handle it. He’s been described as the James Bond of Dragon Age.

What he does need are people he can trust to watch his back and friends he can laugh with. After surviving years of ugly, nasty fighting, The Iron Bull has learned not to take anything too seriously. Unless it involves demons.

The Iron Bull is scared of perhaps one thing: demons. Well, so far it’s been described as more of a ‘they freak him out’ because they’re weird and creepy and they possess people. That  being said, he gets along with just about everyone in the Inquisition, Cole included. They’re all part of the team, and if you’re on the team, you’re on the team. The only person he may be at odds with from time to time is Varric – and we all remember Varric’s experience with the Qunari. And, if you’re new to Dragon Age, let’s just say he saw them at their absolute worst.

Bull has been confirmed as a romance option for a male or female Inquisitor of any race. Let us come together and squee.

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So far, I’m loving what I’m seeing here. Bull seems both interesting and awesome as a character, and I’m about that life. What do you think about Bull so far? Yay or Nay to a romance? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Blackwall – The Resolve

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 Blackwall is one of the rare few Wardens who chose, of his own accord, to pick up the shield. He believes so wholeheartedly in the noble ideal of the Grey Wardens that he would rather have this life than any other.

Grey Wardens are defenders of the people. This is Blackwall’s believe and his general disposition toward the idea of choosing a side to fight on. He is driven by morality. He doesn’t necessarily have to act, there is not circumstance that has forced his hand, so to speak, but he is going to do something regardless. It’s not because there’s no one else to do it. It’s because it’s his job and it’s the life that he chose.

He’s aware that in wars, the people who call the shots are often safe in their fortresses. It’s the soldiers who die. He’s seen people with power abuse it and use it to manipulate others, and he absolutely hates that.

Blackwall is described as generally guarded, but will loosen up around certain people. His propensity for sharing war stories over a nice drink may make him get along with those like Bull. However, his driven moral stances may put him at odds with some of those very same people. I’m interested to see how that turns out. Whether or not he is a romacne option for the Inquisitor is still up in the air.

In Blackwall’s character profile, they hint at the possibility his relationships to other characters evolving over time. Which gives that idea that the members of the Inquisition will have relationships have dynamic with each other as with the Inquisitor. This is something that I really like about DA2 (and Mass Effect) that I felt was actually lacking in Origins. Your companions talk to each other, their relationships changed over time. For example, Isabella and Aveline’s arguing evolves into friendly bickering. They hang out with each other when they aren’t following Hawke around. If Hawke does not romance Fenris or Isabella, the two start doing that sex thing. They talk to each other, they have preferences, and their relationships to change over time. I have to see this to a greater extent in Inquisition – as in, characters react not only to the decisions the Inquisitors make, but to the decisions other characters make.

Blackwall’s presence also brings to question the presence of the Wardens in the game. There are several clips in the trailers hinting at conflict with the Wardens. I wonder if they were able to remain neutral as, technically, the wardens aren’t supposed to get involved in the war. Their only job would be to figure out the deal with the hole in the sky. But the wardens were definitely up to something in the second act of DA2 (perhaps pursuing whatever it is Morrigan gives the Hero?). It gives question as to whether we’ll see Carver/Bethany in any sort of cameo, or any of the prominent Wardens of games past. Like Oghren, Nathaniel, and, of course, the Hero of Ferelden (assuming he/she survived the events of DA:O). At least, any of these are subject to be mentioned in passing. There aren’t so many Grey Wardens that they never would have met.

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So far, I like what I’ve seen from Blackwall. He sounds like a good companion to have, and a good friend to have. Because he fights for the cause, Blackwall seems like one of those that will be fighting whether or not he joins the Inquisition. I’m very interested to learn more about him. What are your thoughts on Blackwall so far? Yay or Nay to a romance? Do you think his presence will have any bearing on the overall presence of Wardens within the game? Let me know in the comments below.

Sera – The Wildcard

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Sera is voiced by Robyn Addison.

Sera is impulsive and revels in the moment. For her, it’s not about what’s right, it’s about what’s right now.

Another troublemaker to ass to our cast of characters. Generally an outsider, Sera stumbles upon the Inquisition in the streets of Orlais. She’s brash and fun, and a member of a group previously known in the world of Dragon Age – the Friends of Red Jenny. So it could be cause for speculation the kind of skills and the kind of perks Sera can bring to the table. This group in encountered in a side quest in Dragon Age: Origins. In Dragon Age 2, it is revealed that this is the group who has been providing rewards to Hawke for dealing with the gangs in Kirkwall. This very quickly paints Sera in a group of people who may fall into the Robin Hood type. And it is very clear that Sera fights for the people.

Doing something for the ‘greater good’ makes her angry, because she thinks that’s shorthand for ‘let’s hurt people who don’t deserve it because it’s easier.

It seems like Sera will always be that character searching for the ‘better way’. Unlike the majority of character in the Dragon Age universe (I’m look at you, DA2), Sera fights in the middle. She doesn’t care for politics or things like that – it’s all about the people and what’s right.

Because of this, Sera probably won’t get along with Vivienne. But I do see her enjoying Bull and Varric, to some degree. Because of her stance, I thought she might be one of the characters to get along with Cole, but I was very wrong. She calls him ‘it’. As for the Inquisitor, it has been confirmed that she is a romance option for a female Inquisitor.

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So far, I really like Sera and I’m really excited to get to know her. The middle ground is where I tend to fall, and that was something that was definitely lacking from DA2. However, I feel like there will be a natural clash in that many of the decisions that have good effects now may cause bad things to happen later. i like to think of the big picture, and that might cause some issues down the road.

What are your thoughts on Sera so far? Do you wish she was a romance option for a male Inquisitor as well? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Cassandra Pentaghast – The Believer

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Miranda Raison is returning to voice Cassandra for DA:I. If you don’t know, this chameleon has appeared in Doctor Who, Merlin, and 24: Live Another Day.

She is both pious and driven, the sword in the right hand of the Divine, seeking justice above all else.

Cassandra is another familiar face in the world of Dragon Age. She first appears in Dragon Age 2, interrogating Varric in 9.40 Dragon (3 years after the events of DA2). This prompts Varric to tell her (and, by extension, the player) the story of Hawke – The Champion of Kirkwall and the person right at the center of the start of the mage-templar war. As she says in DA2, she isn’t looking for stories, she’s looking for the truth.

She is a tough, but also a bit of a romantic. Made clear as we see her becoming a fan of Hawke during Varric’s story. As a member of the Seekers of Truth, Cassandra continues to serve the Divine in her quest to end the chaos. Despite this, it is still unclear exactly where Cassandra stands in the conflict. So far, it looks like she’s fallen somewhere in the middle. She has doubts, and is beginning to see the world in shades of grey (rather than a rigid black and white).

She is known to generally ‘see eye to eye’ with Bull and Vivienne. As for her relationship with the Inquisitor – well, she’s a confirmed romance option. it is unknown whether she will be gay, straight, or bi (fingers crossed for a bi Cassandra) , or have any racial preference. But we do know that she is more than her harsh exterior, and very much a romantic.

What are your thoughts on Cassandra? So far, I’m really excited to get to explore her character in Inquisition. I found her interesting in DA2, and I can’t wait for more. And, yes, I am very open to a romance. Leave your your thoughts in the comments below!

Vivienne, “Lady of Iron” – The Ambition

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A leader among the mages and official enchanter to the Imperial court, she is renowned as a fearsome woman who achieved her position through guile and deft political maneuvering.

One of the earliest companions announces, Vivienne is new to the mainstream lore of Dragon Age. Based on her character descriptions – ambitious, unwavering – I would imagine  Vivienne will end up in the Inquisition regardless of what the Inquisitor has to say about it.

Like Varric, Vivienne can get just as much (if not then more so) done simply by using her words. She worked for Empress Celene as the official enchanter of the court in Orlais. She was set to become the first enchanter at one of the circle towers of Orlais, but then the sky tore open and monsters started coming out.  She does not believe that mages should be separate from the circle, and this will likely paint many of her reactions with her fellow members of the Inquisition.

She takes great pride in her work, and her interactions with a certain unnamed Inquisition mage can be a little… explosive. In a good way. Mostly.

Between Dorian and Solus, I really hope it’s Dorian. So far, the only Inquisition member we know she does not get along with is Cole. As for a relationship with the Inquisitor, a romance has not been confirmed. Due to the fact that there will be more romance options than in any previous Dragon Age game, I would consider a romance option here likely.

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I’m very interested in exploring Vivienne’s character. She seems like a very powerful woman, and I’m about that life. What do you think of Vivienne so far? Let me know in the comments below!

Varric Tethras – The Storyteller

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As always, he will be voiced by Brian Bloom.

Varric Tethras is one part adventurous rogue, one part dashing storyteller, and three parts trouble.

(And Bianca – never forget Bianca). Unless you’re new to DA, you met Varric as a required companion for Dragon Age 2. For Dragon Age: Inquisition, it still looks like he’s required, but may not necessarily have the Inquisitor’s back quite in the way he had Hawke’s back.

His character profile is very clear that nothing at all has gotten better for Varric. He’s, obviously, still finding himself thrust into the center of these conflicts. However, this time he doesn’t have a friend in sight. At least not at the start of it. But he remains, more or less, the storyteller we know and love.

He tells stories to rewrite events he’s lived through and make them less senseless, the people in them more inspirational, and to drag some meaning out of the mess that surrounds people he cares about.

True to character, he makes an effort to get along with every member of the inquisition. Save for Cassandra, of course. And, as seen in the 30 minutes of gameplay leaked a couple months ago, Varric wants to help people. A decision the Inquisitor (or any character, for that matter) makes that goes against this will almost definitely have a negative bearing on Varric. Whether or not he is a romance option for any version of the inquisitor is still up in the air.

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I am definitely excited to see Varric. With a 50 hour story arc and 100 hours of content, I’m very excited to see where the story takes him. What are your thoughts on Varric? Yay or Nay to a possible romance? Let me know in the comments below!

Dragon Age: Inquisition – Heroes Trailer, Dragons, and Romance

This trailer shows us a lot of what we already know, featuring Blackwall, Iron Bull, Vivienne, and Sera. What is most significant about this trailer, for me at least, is that it is the first trailer to be narrated by the female inquisitor. It also pushes forward this idea that rather than joining a famous faction, as in DA:O, or falling right in the middle of a battle you previously had nothing to do with, as in DA2, your character is starting a faction in order to take control of the chaos. And that sounds pretty neat.

Since this has come out, we’ve gotten a few more hints from the Dragon Age team at E3. The footage they have been showing today (shown with Twitch in the morning and IGN in the afternoon) has given us a bit more about the characters and the kind of combat you will be doing in the game. The footage featured a female mage Qunari inquisitor, and featured an encounter with a dragon as well as a scene with a previously unnamed companion.

Fighting dragons has gotten a significant upgrade as now you can use your party to target and injure specific parts of the dragon. For example, you can take out one of it’s legs and limit it’s movement. The dragon with also move around much more than the dragons of previous games, making a DA encounter with a dragon something that is a bit more similar to something that would happen in Skyrim. There will be various tactical options you can take, such as giving your party orders with the tactical camera, which is a pause-play sort of style of gaming. They are also introducing a new kind of combat mode where you give your party orders and, after they are carried out, the game waits for new orders, effectively turning the combat encounter into a sort of game of chess. Of course, we will always have the option to just play through the fight in real time.

We’ve also learned that Tevinter mages will be playing a significant role in the story of the game. The video they’ve showed today shows us an encounter toward the end of the game against a Tevinter mage. Prominent in this encounter is the previously unnamed companion: Dorian. He appears in the trailer at 1:08, standing behind Varric. He is also in the banner image of the DA:I Characters, standing next to Iron Bull. He is a Tevinter mage who is unhappy with the path that Tevinter is taking. He once studied under one of the game’s antagonists. And, perhaps most importantly, he has a wicked mustache.

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We’ve learned a few new things about the characters in the game. The Dragon Age website added a profile for The Iron Bull today, describe him as a really friendly guy who gets along with most of the characters. This will be a very new kind of Qunari, as Quanari characters encountered (namely, Sten and every single Qunari in DA2) have had the same steely disposition. Not Bull, apparently. We’ve also learned that DA:I will feature more characters than any of the previous games, including nine possible companions (many of whom you will have to go find out in the world) and three advisers who serve as the sort of face of the Inquisition. Two of those advisers, we know, are Leliana and Cullen. On top of that, there will be many cameo appearances and other prominent characters, such as Morrigan and Alistair.

Only two prominent Inquisition members remain as of yet unnamed. From left to right, in the image above, we have: Cullen, Vivienne, Varric, Unnamed Companion (possibly Cole), Solus, The inquisitor, Iron Bull, Dorian, Leliana, Sera, Unnamed Adviser, and Blackwall. Of the companions, we see three rogues, three mages, and three warriors. Even with the advisers, there is one warrior, one rogue, and the third may actually be a relatively normal person, probably serving as a political adviser.

Mike Laidlaw teased a bit about romance, saying that there will be more romance options available than in previous games. We already know that, like in DA:O, characters can be gay, straight, bi, or whathaveyou and their sexual preferences will not bend to the will of the inquisitor. Romances are going a bit deeper, as they can have very big reactions to the decisions you make. It is possible to piss off a companion so much they leave the inquisition forever. We’re also getting the free-conversation options back. meaning, you can talk to your companions whenever you want to. It won’t be two conversation, a gift, and suddenly love. I’m looking at you’re ridiculousness, Dragon Age 2.

So far, it’s a lot. And we’re expecting a lot. Another 30+hour epic fantasy game from Bioware.

I mean, that’s what I thought. Until we were informed that the ‘quick’ play through option for this game, the length of the game if you avoid side quests and what not, is around 50 hours. With a hint of more than 90 hours of total content.

If I wasn’t sure that this game was going to ruin my life, I am now. Happy gaming, my friends.