Dragon Age: Origins
Alistair Theirin - Alistair is the first Grey Warden you meet (aside from Duncan). He was raised in a Chantry monastery and was training to become a templar when Duncan recruited him. He comes off a bit clownish at first, but you find out later its his way of hiding his vulnerabilities. Although his upbringing has sheltered him, he’s a fairly down-to-earth person with a noble heart. He can let his emotions get the better of him at times, but they are always genuine. Having little in the way of family to call his own, Alistair often relays that the Grey Wardens became a surrogate family to him, and that Duncan was a father figure to him. Duncan’s death at Ostagar hangs over him throughout the Grey Warden’s mission, and the only way Alistair will abandon you is if you let Duncan’s killer live.
Leliana - Leliana was raised in Orlais (aka Fance), a country that once occupied Ferelden (your country), however she was born in Ferelden as was her mother. A bard by trade (aka spy), when her former master betrays and attempts to silence her, she has no reservations about defecting to Ferelden, where she feels she belongs. She is taken in and given shelter at a Chantry, where she eventually becomes a lay sister, rekindling her faith in the Maker (aka God). Leliana seems flighty, but she has a steel in her that shines through when it counts. She is deeply spiritual and devoted to her beliefs, however she interprets the Chantry’s doctrine and tempers it with her own sense of morality. Depending on your choices, your party may be ambushed by a group of assassins sent by Leliana’s former master. You can then choose to confront her master for the attempts on Leliana’s life, where you learn the bardmaster was also Leliana’s lover. Initially, Leliana will want to kill her, but she can be dissuaded from this with a little effort. If you let her master live, Leliana will angrily inform her to stay out of her life. Later, Leliana will have a crisis of character, wondering if she’s truly changed or if she’s just fooling herself. What if she turns out just like her master? You have the opportunity to console her and tell her she is a good person because she chooses to be.
Zevran Arainai - Zevran hails from Antiva (aka Italy), a warm country to the north of Ferelden. He serves a distinguished group of assassins called the Antivan Crows, having been purchased as a child and forcibly molded to the role. As it happens, when you first meet him he’s been sent to kill you. Failing at that, he offers to serve you, instead of certain death upon returning to the Crows. Zevran, rather surprisingly, is a man of his word, and unless given ample cause not to fights at your side even against his former brethren. He is easily the most flirtatious of your party members, though this may be a disarming tactic to keep himself in your good favor. How ever charming he is, or how sad his history, Zevran is still an efficient, hardened killer who— without hesitation— will cut down any who stand in the way of reaching his goal (in this case, your goal). Given time and enough trust, however, he will admit to resenting the life he has been forced into, although he seems to have resigned himself to it as the only way he’s ever known.
Dragon Age II
Anders - Any mage outside the Chantry ordained Circle of Magi is deemed an apostate, hunted by the Chantry’s Templars to be retrieved, or killed if necessary. Anders has spent most of his adult life on the run as an illegal mage. He once joined the Grey Wardens, the only position a mage can hold outside Chantry rule. During his time with the Wardens he fused with the sympathetic Spirit of Justice, becoming what the Chantry call an abomination. Unfortunately, Anders’ anger and bitterness twisted Justice, corrupting the spirit into Vengeance, a self-proclaimed icon of mage liberation. Anders is remorseful their union has changed Justice so much, but he has vowed to continue his efforts. Anders has become volatile since he joined with Justice and he often snaps. As Anders will tell you, it’s hard to know where Justice ends and Anders begins. However, much of the man Anders once was remains. He likes to use sarcasm and humor to deflect others, and he dislikes being directly questioned about his nature with Justice. He can be surprisingly flirtatious, though he becomes flustered when the attention is returned. With Anders’ harshness it can be easy to write him off, but he has a very tender underbelly he tries very hard to deny. He doesn’t feel he can let himself become distracted from his goal, and eventually he will reach a point he will go to any (and I mean any) lengths to achieve it.
Fenris - Fenris is a former slave from the mage ruled Tevinter Empire (aka Roman Empire). Although he escaped his master, a Magister named Danarius, he’s remained on the run from bounty hunters ever since. Fenris was imbued with lyrium tattoos which give him several unique abilities, but at a price: the procedure he underwent to get them was so excruciating it wiped out most of his memories. Fenris’ major obstacles are finding his own identity and the family he’s lost, as well as securing the freedom he’s fought so hard for. As a result of years in slavery, Fenris harbors a hatred of mages. Although he does not make it his life’s mission to go out slaughtering mages, he understandably he holds little sympathy them (or slavers, for that matter). He can come off as severe, but he does have a sense of humor. He also has a soft, daresay innocent side to him, likely a result of his amnesia. As a slave isn’t educated, Fenris confesses he is illiterate, in spite of this he has an impressive knowledge on a wide variety of cultures.
Sebastian Vael - Sebastian was a noble who was exiled at a young age and eventually became a Brother of the Chantry (kind of makes him the Spear Counterpart to Leliana). Sebastian wasn’t always so willing to devote himself to the Chantry, but the Grand Cleric’s patience eventually won him over. He is always reaching out to others, ready to welcome any who might consider converting to the Chantry (not very subtle about it either). He is always courteous and polite to others, regardless of sex, class, or race. He is especially compassionate, even biting his tongue when in the presence of illegal mages (your friends), though his position demands he should report them. He has a fairly serene disposition most of the time, although his anger packs a bite. He has a mild kind humor, although dirty jokes—or talk of sex in general— will make him get uncomfortable and quiet. When he’s sent word his family have all been slaughtered by an opposing house, he finds himself at odds with his desire to avenge them and the Grand Cleric’s belief that death is never the answer. The conflict between his responsibilities as the last living heir to his house, and his role within the Chantry place a great deal of strain on him. The Grand Cleric’s eventual death also takes a huge blow to him, he will abandon you if you do not avenge her.
Captain Isabela - Isabela (not her real name) is a notable pirate and raider from the country of Rivain (aka Bohemia). Former owner of the now shipwrecked Siren’s Call, Isabela is a wild and free spirit who lives for the thrill. Having developed her own fighting style, she refers to herself as a Duelist. Isabela keeps few people close, and trusts even fewer. This is understandable given she was sold into marriage as a child by her own mother. She eventually managed to hire someone to kill her husband (Zevran, ironically) and took over command of his ship (with little argument from the crew it seems, which might speak to how good she is as a Duelist, or how bad her once husband was as a person). Isabela is extremely playful, flirty, and quite promiscuous despite her trust issues. She can also be an affectionate protector (mostly to Merrill). Being a pirate, Isabela is involved in unlawful to downright amoral activities, and will always encourage you to loot and pickpocket when the opportunity presents itself. Given enough time, however, you can appeal to her better nature. If you do so successfully, she will intervene during a potential crisis that could avert all out war with the Qunari (metal skinned, horned giants that resemble ‘militant Islamic Borg’ according to the writing staff…).
Merrill - Merrill is one of the Dalish; nomadic clans of elves that travel the continent of Thedas, refusing to submit themselves to human rule (humans conquered their homelands and enslaved them some millennia ago, slavery of elves is now illegal in Ferelden, but not everywhere). Merrill was once First to Keeper Marethari (aka her apprentice), and would have eventually taken the leadership role in Maretharei’s decline. However, Merrill believes that the elves’ salvation is in reclaiming their lost history and heritage, a goal she seeks by any means necessary. She resorts to using blood magic, a practice punishable by death in Chantry governed Circles of Magi, abhorred even by the wild Dalish. This choice results in her clan shunning her, and she asks you to escort her to Kirkwall where she can continue her studies. At first, Merrill comes off a bit haughty—as most Dalish do— but she mellows with her time in Kirkwall (she’s a bit of a tsundere when it comes to you). She is incredibly naive about the human world, and sometimes laments how homesick and lost she feels. Her crisis point comes when she seeks to repair the Eluvian, an elven artefact, which she cannot do without help from a Spirit. Merrill goes to unseal this Spirit, not fully recognizing it will attempt to possess her. To save Merrill, Marethari contains the malign spirit within herself and you and Merrill are forced to slay her. This worsens the rift between Merrill and her people, and she is finally outcast entirely. Heartbroken, Merrill retreats to her hovel in the Kirkwall alienage (aka elven ghetto). Depending on how you’ve treated her (supportive, indifferent, etc) she will beat herself up for not listening and shatter the artefact, or she bemoans Marethari and the clan never understood what she was trying to do, and it should’ve been she who paid the ultimate price.