PERSONAL JOURNAL: kesiah
ARE YOU 16 OR OVER?: Yes
OTHER CHARACTERS: None currently!
CHARACTER NAME: Anders
SERIES: Dragon Age: Awakening
CANON POINT: End of Dragon Age: Awakening
AGE: mid to late twenties
PREVIOUS GAME HISTORY: N/A
New to being a Grey Warden, Anders likely doesn’t fit the image most would have of the noble men and women who regularly lay down their lives in order to protect others from the constant threat of darkspawn. For one thing, he’s rather easy-going, prone to making light of situations, responding to such things with jokes or sarcastic comments, and seeming to take few things entirely seriously. He refers to being a Warden as a walk in the park, asks fellow Warden Sigrun about what the Legion of the Dead did when they weren’t busy dying, and even refuses to take the subject of the main religion in Thedas entirely seriously, talking quite openly about how Andraste, prophet and bride to the Maker, was ‘quite the looker’. Something that would no doubt send any devout Andrastians that might have overheard into rants on respecting the Maker’s bride.
In truth, Anders really uses his sense of humour, easy-going personality, and playful flirting as a cover for what concerns really bother him. Taken from his family as a boy for having magic, Anders chafed at the imprisonment he felt the Chantry forced on all mages, but at the same time was well aware that there was little he could really do about it all. Despite the number of escape attempts he made and the lengths he went to in order to avoid templars and recapture, his phylactery would always point them towards him again and he would wind up right back where he started. This frustration at being unable to change his fate as well as the treatment – and occasional abuses – he both witnessed and experienced in the Circle only served to fuel his anger and frustration in turn.
Since making his anger at his experiences obvious isn’t really the best of survival tactics in the Circle of Magi, especially when that anger is directed at the templars watching them and the Chantry that teaches that magic is a danger to mages and normal people alike, Anders learned quickly to keep those opinions to himself, and any comments he does make are generally off-hand remarks, only briefly touched upon before switching to a different topic – such as when he mentions to the Warden Commander about his year spent in solitary confinement; he doesn’t linger on the subject, preferring instead to talk about the cat that kept him company – or jokes which grey the area between the reality and exaggeration – one such example occurring when the Warden first meets him and Anders makes a joke by claiming templars would kick him to wake him up.
This humour also colours his interactions with other characters in the group, though it’s really only at its darkest when the topic is Anders’ past or the templars and the Circle – other, general joking is far more light-hearted, and he gives as good as he gets when it comes to teasing, like the back-and-forth banter he shares with Oghren. Anders is also more than happy to flirt easily and freely with others due to how genuine attachment isn’t a good idea in the Circle, making purely physical dalliances a far safer distraction from the strict rules the mages are often forced to follow.
As mentioned, one area where Anders’ feelings are obvious despite his attempts to hide them is his opinion on templars, the Chantry, and the treatment of himself and other mages. Unlike the man Anders becomes in Dragon Age II, this younger version of the mage is concerned more with his own freedom and well-being – claiming that he’d rather keep his head down and stay out of trouble, watching out only for himself – than getting into the mess of trying to assist other mages as well. As such, Anders tends to focus more on his personal experiences with templars and in the Circle, perhaps because speaking about others’ suffering as well makes it more difficult to justify why he does nothing for them.
Finally, the desire for freedom is a big motivation for Anders. Ever since he was taken to the Circle at such a young age he’s wished for it, making no less than seven escape attempts from the Circle in the years he was there before eventually succeeding. He freely admits that he dislikes the idea of being caged and compares being a Warden to a similar type of prison – though one he admits is far better than the Circle and seems willing to at least try and live with for a while. Needless to say that a lack of freedom is something that will grate at him particularly in any situation where he feels trapped, and he’s highly likely to make more and more reckless attempts at escaping as time progresses. Something that will no doubt come into play in his new home.
Anders is a mage, meaning he is capable of drawing power from the Fade – the place where both demons and spirits reside and also where the minds of humans, elves, and Qunari go where they dream – in order to cast spells of varying effects. Anders primarily uses his skills for healing, as it allows him to close wounds, set bones, and drive back illnesses more effectively than most other mundane methods are capable of achieving. He can even use his magic to revive his fallen companions in battle, assuming they are not completely gone, and can also create a variety of potions, salves, and poultices thanks to his skill in herbalism.
As well as his skills in healing others, Anders is capable of a range of elemental-based magic, both for offensive and defensive purposes – he can blast an opponent with fire, ice, or lightning, or equally shake the ground beneath their feet and cause a little chaos there – and he can also utilise more mental-based skills – such as a mind blast to disorient opponents in an area around him, allowing him to get some distance as mages don’t tend to fair well in close combat.
All Anders’ spells draw on the pool of mana he has available to him, and he is incapable of performing any magic if that supply is drained. Mages normally regenerate mana over time, though there are also lyrium-based potions that will allow it to be restored more rapidly if required, so it generally doesn’t slow him down for too long... unless he runs out and hasn’t access to any more of them.
Beyond his considerable magic skills, Anders’ initiation as a Grey Warden has also changed him, both for better and for worse. Surviving the Wardens’ Joining has granted Anders immunity to the threat of the poisonous Taint that all darkspawn carry... at the cost of infecting him with it in a form that will lead to eventual madness and death. It also allows him to ‘hear’ the Calling of an archdemon or something that can mimic it, such as Corypheus in the Dragon Age II Legacy DLC pack, and sense the presence of darkspawn nearby. The Joining has also granted Anders increased stamina, with an additional cost of an increased appetite.
As mentioned, Anders is skilled in the arts of herbalism and creating potions, poultices, and the like from various plants and substances to aid his work healing others. Unfortunately, unless the setting happens to have those exact same herbs and such, he may find that he has to either adapt what he knows to what similar items he can find, or be very sparing with what potions and such he does have on him when he arrives.
Anders is equipped with:
* Tevinter Mage Robes
* Magus War Boots (that come with a rather foreboding quote) and engraved silver bracers
* His Fox's Pendant, a gift from Bann Ferrenly for a past deed
He'll also have with him:
* A small ginger kitten
[The video comes on to Anders frowning at his unseen audience, his curiosity about this city and the people in it overridden somewhat by the uncertainty brought on by being here in the first place. He starts speaking once he thinks that the amulet might be working as he’d been told, though he’s a little doubtful how true that is, or if someone’s simply hoping to make him look like a fool talking to himself.]
I’ve been told that people can hear me and see me through this amulet, so I’m hoping that isn’t going to turn out to be some sort of prank, a ‘let’s make fun of the new arrival’ joke or something. But if it is true, then that might also mean I can find out a bit more about this place and how they managed to get a Grey Warden all the way out of the Deep Roads and to some strange city.
[A beat before Anders has to add:] Not that I really mind leaving the Deep Roads early or anything, but it is strange. This isn’t the Fade either, that much I’m certain of. I can’t decide if that’s a better or worse situation, though.
[There’s a meow from somewhere unseen and Anders absently reaches down to scoop up a ginger tabby kitten, smiling as it proceeds to start climbing over his shoulders and playing with the feathers on his robes.] Well even if people don’t know where exactly this is or how we got all the way here from the Deep Roads, perhaps they can tell us where to find some nice fish, can’t they, Ser Pounce-a-lot? Or at least what people in this city think of mages?
[His eyes flick to the screen again, wondering what, if any, reaction that might get. Andraste’s flaming arse but the thing was strange to talk to.]
Are the templars here the kind who might give me a head start or a chance to turn myself in? Or should I get ready for the good old boot to the head?
It had been a few weeks, long enough for Anders to decide that while some parts of this city were nice, yes – especially things like not being hunted down simply for being a mage outside of the Circle and having access to hot, clean water wherever he liked and the way talking to people was so much easier than trying to find them or write them a letter and get someone to deliver it – while all those things were nice and useful, Anders just wasn’t comfortable in this city any more. It felt like a cage, even if it was a larger one than the Circle had been (not to mention how it was filled with far more interesting people than some of the other mages had been), and Anders had never been one for feeling trapped. He’d run from the Circle more times than any other mage he knew of, and the fact that they kept dragging him back hadn’t stopped him from trying again and again.
One city wasn’t going to stop him either, as far as he was concerned.
Sure, he thought to himself as he packed some food and other basic supplies into his pack, people had said that leaving wasn’t possible or easy, but mages had said that about the Circle as well and he’d managed to get away from that after enough tries. Who was to say that this city was any different?
“We’ll never know until we try, won’t we, Ser Pounce-a-lot?” Anders asked, scooping the ginger tabby up and setting him on his shoulder. Ser Pounce-a-lot mewed in reply, little kitten claws catching in the material of Anders’ robes as he pulled himself up to a more comfortable vantage point.
Reaching up to scratch Ser Pounce-a-lot behind the ears briefly, Anders moved to pick up his staff and check his things one final time before heading out the door. This city was far larger than any other he’d known in his life, so he’d need to get a move on if he had any hope of making it out and somewhere safe before nightfall. Testing if he could leave was one thing. Testing if the stories of what happened at night were true or not was something completely different and not anything he was particularly looking forward to trying, personally. Better to leave that to other people than a lone mage who was far better at healing.