Character's name: Warden Yve Cousland
Character's LJ: nodamsel
Character's canon: Dragon Age: Origins; Human Noble Warrior origin.
QUICK NOTE HERE: the Warden is an interchangeable character in Dragon Age, you pick the gender, race, and class, and are given a choice of nine different backstories altogether. You very much make the character's personality from a variety of different choices and I do believe that most if not all Wardens are different from the choices they make. THIS SAID, I am okay with there being other Wardens who have walked the path Yve did, though I would not be okay with another female Cousland. Though they could be very different personality-wise, the backgrounds would still be more or less identical, which I think puts them too close together? but... yeah. She's sort of like an OC, but also... not.
personality outline of your character:
Yve started out as your typical headstrong young woman from a background where she was permitted to learn the sword alongside her brother. Though she had a very good education and upbringing, she was often difficult to control and gave her tutors and nanny many headaches. She was disrespectful of elders and superiors alike, had very little patience for pomp and circumstance, and was endlessly frustrated when she was forced into the role her noble upbringing brought upon her. Still, she did remember what lessons interested her, and as she grew her prowess not only with a blade, but in formulating battle strategies and working out diplomatic problems (when she was forced, that is) had people whispering that Teyrinr was sure to pass over her elder brother and into her care.
Of course, part of that somewhat spoiled but still clever girl died that day that Arl Howe turned on her father and brought destruction down upon the Cousland family. In her place was a girl who was bitterly angry for what had happened to her family, and was now expected to willingly sign her life away to an elite order of soldiers. She lashed out at others where she could, was somehow even more disrespectful to superiors (including the king) and though she was sarcastic and mean to others, she ultimately kept so much of her pain to herself.
There wasn't much time for that, soon enough. She was pushed into the role of leader, despite being completely inexperienced in true battle, and it was up to her to call the shots, potentially deciding what the fate of all of Ferelden may be. She made several large and dire mistakes as she tried to find her way through being a Grey Warden and uniter of the people. It was living with the consequences of these mistakes she grew. She started to learn to think things over more carefully, despite a press in time. She learned to listen to those around her, for they were wise and though people ultimately listened to her, she took the guidance well.
She became a strong leader, and though the sarcasm never quite wore away, and the confidence in her own abilities only grew, she also learned how to be kinder, especially to those she'd lashed out at previously. Under Oghren's guidance she learned how to focus her anger into her fighting, and put it aside when she was in royal halls in an attempt to recruit assistance for overcoming the Blight. She became a woman truly worthy of being one of the last Grey Wardens.
To those around her, she eventually made them her family, as she had lost her own. She looked to Wynne for guidance when she herself faltered, and she learned to look to Alistair as a partner, after a rocky beginning. Even Morrigan she considered a close friend, who despite her air of unimpressed could be insightful. She treated those around her with more respect than she gave most, and though she was inclined to ribbing them sometimes (especially Alistair, but honestly he's such an easy mark) ultimately it was plain that she had come to care for the people she'd surrounded herself with.
In romance, Yve had a somewhat peculiar approach for a woman of her breeding. She was never particularly afraid of sex, or physical contact, but intimacy was a problem for her, and likely the chief reason that even at the ripe old age of 21 she was still unwed. She may lie with a suitor or take a lover for a brief time, but then they were sent on their way, when they tried to become closer to her. Alistair was the first she truly let in, because he was the first to refuse her advances.
history and background of your character OR link to a really good wiki page with their history. In either case, explain where they cut off from the timeline:
if all this TL;DR makes your eyes cross here is a bulletpoint list of everything you should know in a nutshell.
Yve was born to Bryce and Eleanor Cousland, the younger of their two children in the Teyrnir (sort've like a providence) of Highever. She was hardly your typical child of wealth and power, however. She loved dirt more than dresses, and swords more than dolls. She was raised as a warrior, and though her mother attempted to impress upon her feminine habits, few actually made their way into her young daughter's thick head.
Battle though, that was something she became very good with. She started out just fighting her brother, soon enough working up to sparring with her father's soldiers. All were surprised at how capable she was with a sword, and how easily she could overpower even her brother Fergus, who was much older and stronger than she.
Still, when Yve was 21 and the darkspawn rose in numbers great enough that fear of another Blight came upon the lands, she was expected to stay behind to attend to the Teyrnir and act as head of the house in her father and brother's absence. She was furious, and when a Grey Warden named Duncan came calling saying he was looking for recruits, she attempted to convince her father to allow her to sign up. As the Wardens are a life calling, he naturally refused, which just frustrated Yve all the more.
Her frustration was short-lived, however, as in the dead of night, after Fergus and a large company of Highever's troops had departed the castle, they came under attack, by Highever's long-time ally, Arl Rendon Howe. Howe's men slaughtered any in their path in an attempt to wipe out the Cousland family, and the bulk of Highever's forces had been sent ahead to assist the King. Yve awoke to the sounds of her mabari warhound howling and screaming outside her door. She was set upon by Howe's men, but fought them off, and then went in search for her family. She found her mother, though they discovered Fergus's wife and son slain in their rooms. Yve was desperate to get her mother out, so they made for the larder, where the servant's exit would be their only escape.
They found Yve's father mortally wounded there, and while she was prepared to drag him to safety, Duncan appeared, intervening. The Cousland Teyrn and Teyrna refused to leave the castle, and Duncan promised to deliver their only daughter to safety, but he revealed he had not come to the castle because of one of the young knights. In fact he had made the trip because of Yve herself, having heard of her great potential in battle. Reluctantly Bryce agreed to Duncan's conditions, and though Yve now tried to remain behind, unwilling to leave her parents, Duncan pulled her away, and together they escaped.
Together they traveled to Ostagar, where the king was preparing for a fourth battle against the darkspawn, after three successful assaults. It was here that Yve was inducted into the Grey Wardens, after a small task requiring her and the other recruits to go find and kill darkspawn, and recover the ancient Warden treaties needed in the event that this was a true Blight. She was the only survivor of the Joining, one succumbing to the poisoning of the darkspawn blood required to be ingested for induction, the other being slain due to cowardice. She then caught her first glimpse of the Archdemon, in the vision granted to her when she blacked out.
She didn't have long after her Joining to adjust to being a Warden, however. At nightfall the darkspawn were on them, and she and Alistair, a Grey Warden who was six months her senior, were tasked with lighting the beacon to signal to King Cailan's father-in-law to begin an assault that would flank the darkspawn forces and win the battle for them.
Things went horribly wrong, however. Darkspawn had invaded the tower, despite it being above the fighting, and when Yve and Alistair finally reached the top and lit the beacon Loghain didn't come to the king's aide, signaling a retreat, instead. Yve and Alistair were overcome by the darkspawn in the tower as they rushed over the fields and destroyed the king and his men, and would have been dead if not for the intervention of a powerful witch by the name of Flemeth.
Yve had been badly injured in the fight, however, and lay for several days under the care of the witch, while Alistair learned news of their loss at Ostagar, and despaired that Yve may not awaken. She did, however, and after they learned of what Loghain had done, it was painfully clear what they needed to do. Alistair suggested going to his old home of Redcliffe, to ask for help to muster forces from the Arl there.
So, the surviving two Wardens set out on the road to Redcliffe, Flemeth's daughter Morrigan accompanying them, as well as Yve's faithful dog, the oddest looking party of travelers you ever did see. Yve was cold towards Alistair at first, despite his own pain at losing Duncan who had been like a father, and she mostly ignored anything he said to her. They picked up a Qunari warrior in the small town of Lothering, who had been sentenced to death, as well as a young woman who had once been a sister within the Chantry (Thedas's version of Christianity.)
In Redcliffe, they came upon a horror, some kind of ailment had stricken the Arl, but in addition every night hordes of undead were swarming the village, killing any they could and dragging them to the castle to be made into new additions to the army. the Wardens stood in battle with the remainder of Redcliffe's men, and when the sun rose over Redcliffe none lay dead save the fallen soldiers who had been transformed. It was in this time that Bann Teagan, Arl Eamon's brother, left for the castle when Eamon's wife came looking for him, pleading that a demon had them captive within and she needed him to come with her alone. Fortunately Teagan wasn't a complete fool and gave Yve the key to the secret entrance to the castle, before departing with the Arlessa.
They were hardly met with no resistance inside the castle, and had to fight their way through more undead, in the process discovering a blood mage by the name of Jowan locked in the dungeon. After poking him a little he revealed he had poisoned the Arl, but that the demonic forces here weren't his doing. Yve decided he was best right where he was and left him locked up as they ventured further into the castle.
They made their way to the main hall, and discovered that the evil emanating from the castle was actually the son of the Arl and Arlessa, Connor. He'd been possessed by a demon when he'd been trying to use his magical abilities to help save his poisoned father. They were able to calm the demon for a brief time, after a fight with more soldiers, though they then came up against some very difficult choices. Kill the child, and kill the demon, or use Jowan, and his blood magic to send someone into the Fade (dream world) to fight the demon possessing Connor. The third option was to go to the Circle of Magi for aide, as with several mages and lyrium you could send someone to the Fade, as well.
Yve couldn't stomach the thought of killing a child, and she feared another attack on the village if they left for the Circle tower which was a day's walk north. So as the Arlessa was willing, Yve agreed to allow Jowan to perform his blood magic ritual, which would require the life of the Arlessa and all her blood, to send Morrigan into the Fade.
It was a success, and Connor and the Arl both survived, but Yve's already strained friendship with Alistair was all the more damaged. He resented her for allowing the Arlessa to sacrifice herself to blood magic of all things, and she allowed him to resent her. Still, though, the silence was maddening, and after they recruited the Circle of Magi to their cause (after having to assist in freeing the tower from even more Blood Mages) picking up an elderly mage by the name of Wynne to their personal cause, Yve made it her top priority to find the Urn of Sacred Ashes, to hopefully heal the still comatose Arl of Redcliffe, the only man besides Duncan Alistair had ever seen as a father.
It was a hard journey, they were attacked by assassins a few times (and once even gained a new ally in the elf assassin Zevran) and they were faced with a gauntlet of trials in the tomb where Andraste's ashes lay, but were ultimately successful, and saving the Arl began the slow repair of Yve's companionship with the only other surviving Grey Warden. Though with this feat also came a surprising turn, that the only option to try and oust Loghain, who since his desertion at Ostagar had been putting a face forward in an attempt to rule the kingdom and painting the Wardens as dangerous criminals; was to put Alistair forward as the rightful heir to the throne. Which was true, of course. He was Cailan's half-brother, though it was obvious enough to Yve that Alistair had hardly any interest in leading the country. Still, she agreed with Eamon's plan, and set out to work on recruiting the dwarves and elves to aide the Wardens in fighting the darkspawn, while he called together the Landsmeet in Denerim to announce Alistair's intention to ascend.
The elves proved to be an interesting challenge, they were faced with genuine werewolves, and though she went into the forest with the intent of killing a creature called Withertooth which was the first of the werewolves, ultimately Yve discovered the truth of matters was the leader of the Dalish elves, Zathrian was the cause of the curse, and Withertooth was in fact a spirit that had grown weary of the world, as it was. Yve was able to get Zathrian to see that the werewolves had changed since the horrible people whom he had cursed so long ago, and he released the spirit, thus killing himself as well in the process. She began to grow into her own and learn that not always did the first option presented to her have to be the path she chose.
After gaining the help of the elves from Zathrian's successor, they headed to the underground city of Orzammar. On the journey there, Yve was able to learn a little more about the Grey Wardens of past from Alistair who was now openly speaking to her again, and in addition learned that Wynne should by rights be dead, but had been spared by a benevolent spirit of the Fade. Her ties with her companions strengthened, and her friendships with all only grew, as she opened herself up to them more, piece by piece.
In Orzammar, they were faced with a political problem. The King had recently died, and two people were in a fight for the throne. Yve needed a quick resolution, and as the dwarves seemed to be having trouble, she decided to help them along. She sided with Harrowmont, who seemed, at least to her, like the best chance she had at getting the help she needed. She was asked to fight for him in a tournament the dwarves held called the Proving, and pretty solidly trounced all her competition (not literally, though she was twice as tall as most of her opponents) though it wasn't enough for her support to be in his corner, they needed to go to the Deep Roads, which were the underground tunnels lost to time and darkspawn hordes, to look for a lost woman by the name of Brahnka, a Paragon and the only person who could call a solid end to the fight between Harrowmont and the late king's youngest son.
They gained a surprise companion, a dwarf named Oghren, who had been waiting for someone to go in search of his wife, and though he was a complete drunk, Yve was glad to have his axe in battle. They fought their way through the Deep Roads, down through darkspawn hordes that grew more challenging the deeper they got. At one point Yve was nearly crushed by an ogre that seized her when she wasn't able to dart away from it quick enough, but Alistair was upon it and took it down before it could do her in. Surprisingly it was this act of valor in battle defending a comrade that made Yve more closely examine her feelings towards her fellow Grey Warden. Though it was hardly the time or place for such things, she mulled it over in the back of her mind while they found their way into the lair of a horrible abomination called the Broodmother, which had once been a dwarf but had been horribly corrupted by darkspawn to breed more creatures, and fought even deeper still to the lost thaig of Caridin, finally locating Branka.
Here, they found she'd gone out of her mind on a quest for an object of terrible power, and even Oghren realized she was no longer the woman he had married, so they took her down, before destroying the Anvil of the Void. Yve and her party returned to Orzammar and spoke of what had happened, the dangers of the Anvil, and finally a choice was made to put Harrowmont on the throne. They departed, Oghren coming with them, no longer having a reason to remain in Orzammar.
When they camped, Yve spoke with Alistair, discovering he had a sister in Denerim where they'd soon be heading, in addition to finding out he had feelings for her. It was difficult not to make fun of him, because of the ridiculously corny way in which he admitted to it, but she returned those feelings, though she agreed to go slowly, because he was such a delicate flower. She also spent more time learning about Oghren, and he taught her the ways of a berserker, harnessing anger and pain and focusing it into battle.
This was actually a very good way for her to get her stress out. And as Oghren had commented after one training session, she had a lot of pent up anger that had been festering for quite some time.
They returned to Redcliffe, and then set out for Denerim, and to the Landsmeet. Things weren't so glassy smooth, of course, Loghain was hardly going to take them opposing him lying down, and they ran into several snags once reaching Denerim, least of which being more assassins. The current sitting queen, Cailan's widow and Loghain's own daughter, was being held captive by Arl Howe in his estate, on Loghain's command. The Wardens were bidden to retrieve her, and while this initially was supposed to just be a sneak and escape mission, it turned into a chance for Yve to finally see vengeance set upon Howe for his betrayal to her family.
She herself delivered the killing blow, before setting the queen free and attempting escape. Unfortunately, Alistair and Yve were captured by Loghain's guard, and locked up in prison. They escaped, however, due to most of the guards being complete idiots and falling for Alistair and Yve's TERRIBLE acting skills.
They also cracked a few of the skulls of the cleverer guards, and released some people (including a Grey Warden named Riordan!) before returning to Eamon's manor. Here, Yve spoke with Anora and learned of the woman's own ambitions towards the crown, and while she hesitantly suggested to her the idea of marrying Alistair, it ultimately became a choice she herself vetoed, after speaking to Alistair about it. Though she didn't tell him, then, she'd made the choice to back Anora for the crown. Though she cared for him, and knew he could stand tall when he needed to, she knew this was not a life he wanted, and Anora was far more fit to rule.
After this, they needed some additional time to gather further evidence of Loghain's treachery, and went to investigate a problem in the elven Alienage, as well as speak with a few key members of the Landsmeet. Yve also allowed Alistair the side trip to meet his long-lost sister, though that hardly turned out the way he expected. She assured him that just because that woman and he shared the same blood, it didn't make them family, and that he had a family, traveling and fighting by his side.
At the Landsmeet, Loghain's crimes were brought to light, and while the majority of the Landsmeet sided with the Wardens, some still stood against them. Loghain refused to concede to the majority, however, and Yve suggested they finish it, then, with honor. Loghain agreed to a duel, and one on one, Yve fought him, and won.
Though he surrendered before she killed him, it was agreed upon that he could not be allowed to live after everything he had done, and Yve, knowing of how much Alistair resented Loghain for what had happened, allowed him to take the killing blow. It was then that the future ruler of Ferelden was placed in Yve's hands, and after speaking to both parties, she came to her final conclusion that Anora was, in fact, the best candidate. Alistair happily relinquished all claim he had to the throne, and they were finally able to make plans to march for Redcliffe to face the Blight, with all of Ferelden backing them.
Sample post (just a general, everyday, puttering-around-the-ship post; please include a snippet of dialogue):
The first thing she was aware of was the frantic howling of her dog. Nothing particularly new, Boulder never shut up, even when they were at camp. There was always something to bark at, and bark he did. But the new parts came quickly after the distant barking. She was dumped from a disgusting liquid-filled sack onto a fleshy floor. Gasping for breath she pulled herself up to her elbows, squinting through the goo covering her face. A moment later there was a friendly large tongue, lapping the stuff up without trepidation, and she reached out taking a hold of her dog's neck the second she could see, pulling herself up.
This place was not Denerim. She hesitated, one hand resting on Boulder still to keep him at her side, the strangeness of her surroundings swarming into her senses. She could tell there were others around her, and she looked at the sacs, all this extremely foreign to her eyes, but... part of her was recalling.
The journey into the Deep. Flesh bags hanging off walls, the same in the Circle after the abominations ran rampant. She could not feel any darkspawn near, but that did not always mean they weren't present. It was then, she realized she was completely bare, no weapons, and no armor. She inhaled sharply, and Boulder let out a low whine at her side, sensing his mistress's sudden mood shift.
"Easy, boy," she murmured softly, rubbing a slimy hand over his equally slimy fur, and looking around, her jaw set. This hallway was hardly defensible, and she took a slow breath, before starting forward. "On guard. We are not alone," she murmured under her breath, the warhound shifting from playful pup to on the hunt easily, moving forward with his ears flat and keeping ahead of his unarmed mistress.
"Show yourself, creature! And maybe I'll call my hound off before he separates you from your throat!" She could hardly say she expected to be answered within her mind.
If the character has magic, mutant, or otherwise metahuman abilities, please explain what they are and outline EXACTLY how they function, as their powers may not work due to the nature of the ship or may need to be limited somehow: Though you couldn't call it magic persay as she's unable to use lyrium potions to bolster her abilities, Yve does have certain skills. Primarily, she is capable of sensing darkspawn if they're nearby, due to the tainted blood in her system. She is also an expert survivalist, which gives her the ability to detect any creatures nearby and determine if they're hostile or not, in addition to what exactly they may be (though i doubt she'll be able to determine a species she's never encountered before, before actually seeing it.)
Non-superhuman special abilities of note (Is your character a master ventriloquist? A naturally-occurring super-genius? The best martial artist in the world? Say so here): As has been said many times, Yve is a very good fighter. She's trained with sword, bow and arrow, and dual-wielding. She vastly prefers fighting with a dagger and a sword as opposed to a shield, and most of her skill set reflects that. She's fast, which is important when you're a dual-wielder, and though her tactics are often 'charge in and stab the things with the pointy end' she does still have the finesse of years of training backing her. She also has her survival skills, some limited poison-making knowledge, and she's able to cobble together basic health poultices out of elfroot. Just... don't ask her for anything fancy, she can manage getting you back to limping but that's about where her knowledge ends.
ADDITIONALLY I would like it if she could have her warhound, Boulder. He's... your basic gigantic dog that will kill people. He's literally about the size of a shetland pony, and is pretty much all bark and no bite so long as you don't come between him and his food or him and his mistress. he is very good to have in a fight, though, and listens well to orders, so long as Yve has told him to pay whoever he's getting his orders from mind.