Skip to Main Content
2016-12-09 06:09 pm (UTC)
fenris | dragon age | reserved
: Over 18
: runehallow @ plurk
: 3 years working for the Company
: Dragon Age
: Company Enforcer
Fenris is a warrior specializing in two-handed weapons. Most of his abilities were gained through years of hard training.
STRENGTH | PASSIVE: Fenris is exceptionally strong, particularly given his relatively slight figure.
STAMINA | PASSIVE: Having survived harsh conditions for many years, both as a slave and as a fugitive, Fenris is capable of pressing on long after an ordinary person would have exhausted themselves--both in battle and in general.
SWORDSMAN | PASSIVE: Fenris is most proficient with a greatsword, weapons-wise; he can use it for a number of feats--such as crushing blows, whirlwinds, and staggering his enemies.
COMBAT EXPERIENCE | PASSIVE: Fenris is a seasoned fighter; even while enslaved, he was often put to use in defeating his magister's enemies. He knows tactics, strategy, and how to sustain himself during even protracted battles.
His more unusual abilities come from the lyrium tattoos etched all over his body, translated to be circuits implanted with phasing technology in this universe.
MAJOR | LYRIUM GHOST: The tattoos allow him to enter a wraith-like state, making him difficult to track.
MAJOR | PHASING: Fenris can phase through solid objects of any kind; he most frequently uses this ability to reach into someone's body and either crush or tear out their heart.
MAJOR | SPIRIT PULSE: Fenris's tattoos flare with energy, lashing his enemies with force and stunning them briefly.
Like anyone, Fenris's personality is heavily informed by experience and memory. Unfortunately, his memories--and lack thereof--have left him troubled, vengeful, and afraid. His early life is a mystery to him; he has pieces of it only in fits and starts, and in what little scraps he gathers from the (altogether terrible) people who knew them then.
His solid memories start from the moment he acquired a series of magical markings all over his body, the lyrium tattoos, a process he describes as sheer agony. The absolute trauma of the process may have interfered with his memory up to that point--or he may have endured another experiment specifically designed to force him to forget. In any case, Fenris's life after this point built the foundation of his identity.
It was not a pleasant foundation.
Danarius, a powerful Tevinter magister, owned Fenris until his eventual escape. The length of their time together is not specified, but it was significant. Fenris acted as Danarius's bodyguard, sommelier, bed partner, foot rest ... in essence, whatever Danarius wanted, at the moment he wanted it. Fenris was also tormented by Hadriana, Danarius's apprentice; she would deprive him of food and disrupt his sleep, simply out of sheer cruelty, knowing that a mere slave had no power to stop her.
Eventually, Fenris flees and makes his way to Kirkwall. Throughout his flight, he's pursued by slavers and mercenaries hired by Danarius to recapture him. It's during one of these times that he meets Marian Hawke and the rest of her friends. Hawke et al had walked into a trap set for him, and then agreed to assault Danarius's Hightown mansion afterwards. This meeting proves fateful, because it sets the course for nearly the next decade of Fenris's life -- though Marian is, unfortunately, a mage.
Even after his successful escape and his new group of (sort of kind of) friends, Fenris has a difficult time breaking free of the scars slavery has left on him. To the average person, Fenris comes off as quietly intense, brooding; direct in his thoughts and unswerving in his opinions. He distrusts magic on principle and has no love lost for mages as a whole. To his mind, every mage is a ticking time bomb, a person with power who will--if not now, then eventually--do anything to amass more and more of it. Like many in Thedas, he views blood magic as an order of evil above the rest. He witnessed its depravity regularly in Tevinter, where the practice might be publicly frowned upon but is privately widespread.
He has seen slaves sacrificed for something as trivial as a party trick; he has seen the innocent and the downtrodden crushed, physically and spiritually, by the magisters that bind them. Nothing good can come of magic, and very little good comes of the people who use it (with a few admitted exceptions).
But Fenris's hatred of magic and mages is also a focus for the much deeper, darker sea of rage, fear, and hatred that burns poisonous in his blood. As a slave, he was forced to keep the truth of his feelings, of his pain and despair, suppressed and locked down. He hates the awful emotions that dominate his thinking, wants to be free of them as badly as he wanted to break his actual chains. But the former process is long and arduous, and--unfortunately--not solved by simply killing the people who harmed him.
In fact, the more Fenris learns of his past, and the more he directly confronts it, the more confused and upset he becomes. When he hunts down Hadriana, she tries to use information about his sister as leverage. Enraged, Fenris promises he won't kill her, hears what she has to say, and then kills her regardless.
He receives no true satisfaction from this, and angrily shrugs off any attempts to comfort him or talk about the situation. Fenris had expected that striking down Hadriana and, ultimately, Danarius, would give him the true peace of mind he's seeking. But it hasn't, and it leaves him just as frustrated and distant as before. He expected relief, at least, but he doesn't feel even that. Instead, he's frustrated, confused, aimless. He's free, but he doesn't know what to do with his freedom. He's never truly had to make his own decisions, and he's paralyzed at the thought of doing so. He stays in the decrepit mansion where he sought Danarius until the end of the game, despite repeated attempts by various friends to get him to move. He refuses, not wholly out of obstinacy. The mansion, while a little bit disgusting, is familiar. It's easy. He doesn't have to think about it. So he stays.
Learning of his sister, Varania, doesn't help matters. She's his only remaining family, and he finds out that she betrayed him to Danarius for the chance at an apprenticeship. Hawke prevented Fenris from killing her, and he learned something even more upsetting: after repeatedly insisting that the lyrium markings were forced on him, Varania tells him that he actually competed for them as a way to earn a boon. He used the boon to free her and his mother from slavery, but she tells him that the gift was not so great as he might imagine.
Fenris thought meeting his sister would lead to a new beginning, but Varania only brought him more pain and confusion. How can he forge an identity from such a messy past, from memories either half-forgotten or unimaginably painful? How can he make choices when he has no sense of autonomy? These are issues he's just beginning to confront by the game's conclusion. He does know that he isn't alone: he counts Hawke as a true friend, and he's warmly disposed to several of Hawke's companions, as well.
It's important to note that despite his bitterness and general gloomy disposition, Fenris is not without humor, nor is he incapable of socialization. He'll laugh at a good joke, sometimes even if it's at his expense. He plays cards regularly with Varric and with Aveline's husband, Donnic; he enjoys Isabela's lively company. When he forms a friendship with someone, his loyalty is absolute, regardless of ideological differences. When Hawke fought to protect the mages from the templars, Fenris followed her. It didn't mean that he's revised his opinion on magic--he hasn't. But Hawke mattered more than his beliefs, and, being a mage, she also convinced him that some mages were strong enough to carry their burden.
Fenris likes to be understood, not mollified through platitudes. He isn't great at the comfort game himself (when Hawke's mother died, he just admitted that he didn't know what to say, and that he was sorry), and he doesn't like it when someone responds to his troubles as though he's a child in need of a hug. Rather, he prefers to have his problems acknowledged as real. He doesn't deny that he tends to dwell, but he can't help it. People are constructs of their memories, and his are mostly godawful.
His past infects him right down to his movements. Where others might stand and be idle, Fenris fidgets. He shifts his weight. Looks behind him, from side to side, as though he's expecting an ambush at any moment. It's not an unfounded mindset: until Danarius's death, he was under constant and very real threat. And afterward -- well, old habits are hard to break.
Finally, it's important to note that his positive relationships were all years in the making. He can and will warm up to new people; it just takes time. Fortunately, he doesn't require perfect love and perfect trust to fight at someone's side. He's able to look past his personal prejudices when there's a task to accomplish, particularly if someone he respects ( ... Hawke) assigned him the job.
Fenris is particularly concerned with the plight of the innocents and the disenfranchised. Or, more accurately, the groups he sees as innocent and disenfranchised (mages are always excluded). He favors help for the poor, kindness to the enslaved, and merciless justice to the slavers.
The burden of his past is a heavy weight, and he still hasn't cast it off yet. He wants to, though. He's trying.
IN TERMS OF OVERJOYED
: Obviously, in a world where magic is scarce, Fenris's prejudices will be a bit different. But even though this universe has no proper mages or Circles or what-have-you, it still has similar institutions of power and oppression. Though Fenris begins as beholden to those institutions, he will retain his dislike for oppressive actions, for slavery, and for harm to those who are innocent and disenfranchised. His distate for magic will instead be a distaste for advanced tech, particularly of the kind that's been implanted on his own body--i.e., technology so advanced that it is in fact hardly distinguishable from magic, anyway.
Fenris was born into servitude. His family worked for one of the prominent families of the Nine, and though they were not precisely ill-treated, it was never an easy life. He grew up wanting something better, especially for the sake of his mother and sister. He was devoted to them, and would have done anything to see them happy, to see them free.
One day, the Company came calling, and Fenris got his chance. They were seeking volunteers for a series of experiments, and the reward was so great that Fenris knew it'd be enough for his mother and sister to buy their way to a better future. And it was--but it meant that Fenris's own future would be assuredly less rosy. The Company made good on their payment; his mother and sister left the family they served (though that particular branch wasn't in good straits, anyway, so that might have had something to do with it, too), though Fenris doesn't precisely know what happened to them. He's barely aware of the circumstances surrounding the experiment at all--in fact, he believes it was forced on him, believes he was captured and imprisoned and used as a test subject against his will. He further believes that something terrible will befall this family he barely remembers, should he step out of line.
In truth, Fenris was eager to join the pool of candidates for the Company's experiments. He fought for the chance, and proved himself both mentally and physically strong enough to endure the process that Company scientists had in mind. They meant to turn him into a wraith, into an enforcer capable of doing things no one else could. To achieve this, they covered his body in glowing circuits, and then implanted these circuits with mysterious technology that lets him do extraordinary things: phase through solid objects, become ghostly and undetectable, and even emit powerful shockwaves that stun and damage his opponents. The circuitry is intimately connected to his nervous system, and the method of implantation was agonizing--so much so that Fenris believes it near completely wiped his memories. Even now, the circuits are sensitive to the touch, and he has a slight aversion to physical contact for this reason.
After the experiment was complete and successful, Fenris became the Company's loyal dog. His most concrete memories begin after waking up on the operating table; as such, life with the Company is the only real life he's ever known. He goes where he's asked to, he does what he's told, and he asks few questions. Even though he disdains his masters. Even though he hates what he does. He has a veneer of stoicism; of brutal calm. But rage and sorrow roil beneath. For now, however, those feelings have no outlet. He does not yet entertain the idea of rebellion, or of running away. Where would he go? What would he do? He is beholden to the Company. For the last three years, he's existed only for them and their orders. He executes his tasks ruthlessly, and has a grim reputation as a result. Someone not to be interfered with. Someone who will not hesitate. The odd circuitry, too, lends him a dangerous air of legend; he is as a ghost, striking swift and unseen. He is employed often both for putting down dissent and as a bodyguard for the Company's higher-ups; his presence alone often serves as a deterrent to anyone thinking of trying something. And when presence isn't enough, the actual terror of his skills comes into play.
It is not a life he enjoys. But he has no way out, and no foundation of experience to draw on that might convince him otherwise.
Not yet, anyway.
Sword of Mercy
Book of Shartan
These things are all held in a Company locker somewhere.
: Much of what happens to Fenris in-game is player determinant; as such, though his canon point is the most recent available, his AU history essentially ends with him as still 'enslaved', so that he can develop his arc from there. In my playthrough, the major, relevant choices go as follows:
--Full friendship with female diplomatic/witty mage Hawke
--Unromanced (but probably had a crush, ngl)
--Not returned to slavery
--Not permitted to kill his sister
--Sided with Hawke against the Templars
--All companion quests completed
Reply to this
Thread from start
Post a comment in response:
This account has disabled anonymous posting.
You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address.
Sign in using OpenID
If you don't have an account you can
create one now
HTML doesn't work in the subject.
Check spelling during preview
This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.
Log in with OpenID?
Forget your password?
Site and Journal Search
Buy Dreamwidth Services
Gift a Random User
Site and Account