is the first place a visitor browses, it requires a fast introduction. The reception of visual arts and literature is wildly disparate, hence the method of highlighting particularly commendable works has to vary as well. Today, Thedas-in-love
, backed up by our esteemed associates from Dragon-Age
, begins a series of special features for our talented writers. A community feature, Confessions of a Thedosian Novelist will aim at giving more insight into the specifics of writing, creating a hub for writers to communicate with their fans.
Our second artist to be interviewed is NorroenDyrd
, a woman of Renaissance equally prolific in literary and visual arts (both digital and traditional). Sit back and enjoy Norroen describing her literary workshop and inspirations as we talk about the many versions of Thedosian storylines, with heroes of all kinds of walks of life, often giving the conventional villains of the game a second chance they embrace with all their might. When did you begin writing? Was it after picking up so many wonderful artistic genres like paintings or prior to it?
I have been both writing and drawing since childhood (I mean, duh, who hasn't?). But think I began writing in English when I was around 16 years old, inspired by the wonderful universe of the Elder Scrolls, TES: Oblivion being the first fantasy RPG that I played on my own, without my mother (who is still gaming with me, but in parallel rather than together).You post quality works of both literature and various visual arts. Does either dominate the other? Do they inspire each other?
Yeah, I guess. When I come up with an idea, I always evaluate how much free time I have to give it substance, which influences my choice of medium. Writing is faster because I do it in public transport, waiting in queues, and such. Drawing requires a free afternoon at home.You are extremely prolific in creating complex, relatable characters. Would you like to introduce the readers to the jolly crew? Your journals detailing the sorrows of Maedhros, the time Enasalin spent with Isabela or Farkhad's love are incredibly pleasant to read, let's spread the love!
Pff, that's one way of putting it!
I do have very, very many characters, and I like to repeat that it is no-one's obligation to memorize them all. But if anyone wants to read about my Inquisitors, here are the journals in question:
Inquisitor Master Post of Doom!UPDATE: Aidan Trevelyan is now Ed trevelyan's father rather than brother. You can go see his new face(s) on my Tumblr:
I have been wanting to do this for a long time, firstly because I had a dire need to arrange my countless Dragon Age: Inquisition OCs in a more systemic way; and secondly because I secretly hope someone will find this interesting!
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my throng of Inquisitors!
(For those not too familiar with Dragon Age, all of the Inquisitors belonging to one race have the same last name because that is a preset for the protagonist in Bioware games; though some of my fellas and gals actually are related to one another, as you will see shortly).
My 'canon' Inquisitor (ie the one I beat the game and all DLC with). Male mage, in his early to mid twenties. Impulsive, flashy, vain, and secretly very inse
The Inquisition ReservesEDIT: I have come up with yet another new character concept! You can see the screenshots of this new Inquisitor on my Tumblr:
And here is her short bio:
Her name is Cassia Trevalis, and she is a Laetan from Tevinter, who got to the Conclave because she works as a scribe (the scar on her lip is from a time when an impatient patron threw a set of writing paraphernalia into her face) and was part of some Venatori’s (Erimond’s, most likely) entourage. Like many of my mage characters, she is very awkward (hence the permanent blush). She is also terribly near-sighted (hence the squint), and may end up wearing glasses like Maedhros.
Despite having received a certain education, she is less versed in magic and the general academia than an Altus would have been; a lot of the spells she uses are self-learned from the time when she came across a collection of lecture notes dropped b
MOAR Inquisitors + OtherDragon Age NewsUpdate:If you were to tell us which game out of the three you focus on these days in your creative process, which one would that be?
I initially wanted to have my nerdy dwarf Shohana to romance Sera; but their relationship would have turned out too similar to Seragna, so Shohana will end up with Felix (in my headcanon, of course).
IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT THE AWKWARD WORDING OF THE PART OF THIS JOURNAL THAT HAS TO DO WITH A DRAGON-AGE THEMED SATIRICAL STORY HAS BEEN USED BY SOME PEOPLE AS AN EXCUSE TO BULLY THE STORY'S AUTHOR. THESE PEOPLE ARE IN NO WAY AFFILIATED WITH MYSELF, AND I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE FOR THE MISUNDERSTANDING. THAT PART OF THE JOURNAL HAS NOW BEEN EDITED TO SOUND CLEARER. I DO NOT CONDONE BULLYING ON- OR OFFLINE, AND I KINDLY ASK THE READERS NOT TO REFER TO ME AS AN ENDORSEMENT OF SUCH BEHAVIOUR.
Since I really love the character creator in Dragon Age: Inquisition, I used it to fashion myself some new toons the other day. I don't know when I'll be able to actually play with them, but I just had to create them before I forgot their general design and backstories. ^^ (I a
Assuming that you mean the Dragon Age series, I currently find Inquisition most inspiring, because it's my favourite game of the franchise (yes, I know it's a controversial opinion, but I am afraid I don't see myself changing it).Can you tell us a bit about the things which inspire you in the game you currently create for the most please? Elaborating on the world state(s) is welcome too!
I like games with a fully customizable character creator. It helps me flesh out my OCs and give them unique quirks. In this respect, DAI, Elder Scrolls Online, and partly Skyrim, are my favourites. As for world states, I have way more Inquisitors than Hawkes and Wardens, so I mostly just slap stuff together at random to see outcomes. But I have yet to muster the courage to create a world state where Alistair is a Warden and Hawke is enough of a douche to be left in the Fade (rivals with Varric, companions left them, Fenris sold to slavery, etc... Brrr!).Let's roll a die (well, more like dice) to pick a Warden you will tell us more about. Lady Luck chose Nella Amell. I have trouble choosing which Hero of Ferelden I enjoy the most, but Nella's story resonates within me the most, I think. Please run wild: describe the world state, which Hawke and Inquisitor followed her in helping the peoples of Thedas, share trivia, tell us about the situation with Justice in love as well! Finally, you not forget about the new generation. We want to hear of it all.
The Hawke in the worldstate of Nella, a shy and timid Spirit Healer is Summer, an elf-blooded Purple rogue who romanced Fenris (Malcolm was elf in this continuity to create an 'All Amell girls fall for elves' running gag, especially since Bethany becomes involved with Orsino), and the Inquisitor is Yavanna Lavellan. Alistair fathered Kieran and has been made king, and Leliana looks to be on her way to becoming Divine. Anders is still alive, so if Nella ever meets him, Justice might ask his vessel to share a platonic kiss with her. Not too much in compliance with the lore, Nella and Zevran have a son named Regalo, who will grow up to be the object of a crush of Dorian and Bull's adopted Qunari daughter, some years younger than him.Similarly, the Champion of Kirkwall we'd like you to tell us much more about turns out to be Aristide. I find him endearing: delicate, a bit on the shy side, his love kindled with Isabela seems like a touching story. Go on please in a similar way to how you talked about Nella's world.
Actually, I need to delete Aristide and remake him, because the preset I used for him is supposed to be Asian-ish, and stereotyping Asian men as timid and fragile is wrong and harmful (especially since Varric's nickname for him is Teacup).Out of your many lovely Inquisitors, the dice chose Arryn Lavellan - something I am delighted with. He was the first Dalish protagonist I could truly relate to. The romance with Lady Seeker remains among the works of yours I recommend first. You can't dislike this man. He's witty, heroic, with his heart in the right place. Topmost, he breaks stereotypes. Tell us about his world state, his friends, foes and, of course, his precious Cassandra.
Loool, the way you go on about Arryn, his head will swell! He is quite vain, that chap. The Warden in his worldstate is a very similarly tempered male Surana who romanced Leliana, giving the two Hands of the Divine some unexpected common ground. The Hawke is Archer, a carefree, laid-back rogue whose flirting with Cassandra caused Arryn to get rather embarrassingly jealous. Arryn's best buddy is Vivienne, who made him discover the world of fashion and whom he supported as Divine, quite proud of the notion of a mage in power. He is also quite close to Dorian, albeit in a strictly platonic way, because I want to enforce the idea that a gay man can be friends with another man without immediately reaching for his pants. To read stories about Arryn, you can go to my gallery or send me an Ask on Tumblr!I think we can discuss other Inquisitors now. The very first Inky of yours I met was Azelma Cadash. She remains a solid favourite. Was her romance with Blackwall unexpected for you? Was it pre-planned? And how is Thom dealing with her fascination with the sea?
I wanted so badly to romance Cullen with a non-human or elven lady or even gent (due to my disappointment in him being straight and race-gated, I still have not found his romance as engaging as some others), so my first reaction to Blackwall was 'Ah, this one will do as a replacement'. But then I learned the SPOILERS and realized that he would be perfect both for a reformed (ish) Cadash and an Adaar who is trying to find her place among humans. His romance is still my favourite for a straight or bi f!Inquisitor. I am sure Azelma gives Blackwall plenty of cause for concern because she absolutely must swim in every body of water she encounters. This may bear some semblance to "Beauty and the Beast", but Farkhad Adaar and his shy adoration for Josephine Montilyet tugs at my heartstrings forever on. He also seems to have bonded with Bull highly in spite of how a qunari Inky gets called a Tal-Vashoth first. Can you tell us about this friendship? How do his friends react to the love he harbours for Josie?
Awww, that's sweet of you to say! The Beauty and the Beast dynamic is one of my most preferred romances! Unfortunately, Farkhad is very awkward and shy, closer to Quasimodo than the Beast, really (especially since he is actually a Circle mage, and a loyalist one at that), so once he falls in love, the entire Inner Circle, Bull included, finds themselves cast in the roles of wingmen and women.Maedhros Lavellan is a man scarred; the Anchor gives him a second chance through the people he meets. I love characters who are of sufficient age to have seen both the good and the bad. How does Maedhros deal with the revelations pertaining to the Evanuri?
Hmmm, I haven't really thought of that, but I can't imagine him reacting too well to that, as he used to be a Keeper, after all. There may even be some personal guilt involved (the way it always is with him), and he will hate himself for having been telling yunguns lies about the pantheon all this time. Of course, he had no way of knowing, but it won't stop him from feeling the way he does.Enasalin Lavellan on the eastern seas with Isabela. It is such an exciting and nuanced backstory. Speak of the times before he became a Herald and found his lifelong love.
Oooh boy, I don't think I have too many in-depth ideas, but this story gives a general overview:
Lavellan Dances***About Elissa Hawke, I can imagine just how much she and Fenris have in common. Let's ignore Varric's tall tales and hear from you how they got together.
Lavellan dances. Well, twirls and staggers and wobbles are all better words, really. He is but a da'len, and his tiny legs still retain a bit of an infant's chubbiness. Now and again, the tufts of grass twist round his bare, grubby little feet, making him lose balance and plop down on his hind quarters. But he is not discouraged; he looks up at his parents with a sunny, gap-toothed smile, and giggles as they pull him to his feet, eager to try again.
'You will be turning him into a stereotyped frolicker at this rate, vhenan,' his father says jokingly.
'Nonsense,' his mother reprimands her bond-mate, with a mock slap on the shoulder. 'Agility is good for a future hunter - and what's the harm in turning his training into a little bit of fun?'
Lavellan dances, side by side with his mother, two slender shadows moving gracefully through the gaps between the trees, circling round and round, soaring over mossy logs in tremendous, seemingly effortless leaps and turning several times bef
Despite Elissa being a mage, I followed the Friendship path in Fenris' romance, building it up to 100% so fast that he followed Elissa on her mage-saving escapades without disapproval. In-universe, I guess he was quickly drawn to her gentle and forgiving nature, and found himself quite puzzled when he realized how far he was willing to follow her.Finally, my favourite pairing of yours: Yavanna and Gereon Alexius. I cannot praise the works featuring it enough. "Amanti Munera", "Fatui Prorumpunt", "In Principio" - so many marvellous tales all lovingly bound together. How did you look at Alexius as someone more than a first act villain?
I initially created Yavanna to romance Solas, mostly because she was based on a Skyrim character of mine, who is also gregarious, dark-skinned, and blue-eyed, and romances a problematic bald mage. But then I realized that Solavellan Hell was just too tragic for me, so I pondered over an alternative romance for Yavanna. And guess what - Alexius is also a bald(ish) problematic mage! Wondering if this was too outlandish an idea, I browsed Alexius' tag on AO3 and found this adorable story about him being in a May/December romance with a f!Trevelyan. The author also provided references to Alexius' backstory in the World of Thedas (the whole deal with Felix's childhood and Alexius' friendship with Dorian). Then I dug even deeper into his past via conversations with Archdemonblood, an awesome friend I made on Tumblr, who has some fascinating Dragon Age headcanons. All of this made me see poor ole Al in a completely new light.Alexius keeps questioning himself over his feelings for Yavanna. Some of the reasons include the relations between elves and Tevinter, him being older than her and his status as a widower previously serving Corypheus. What - apart from Yavanna - gives him strength to persevere?
Hmm, that's a hard one. I guess that in my stories, he was also inspired by his former apprentice's blooming romance with a Qunari. The important thing is that I went out of my way to emphasize that this pairing does not involve the rapey elements that such an age/background dynamic often entails.How is the relationship between Yavanna and Gereon unfolding from the perspective of the inner circle? I am particularly interested in Dorian's take on the situation.
Most of them, especially the protective warrior types like Cassandra and Blackwall, vehemently disapproved at first, but given some time and shared adventures, grew to accept Alexius as an extended member of their circle. Varric was half-puzzled, half-amused; so was Dorian (while eventually feeling happy at catching glimpses of Alexius' old self again); Cole shipped it from day one, of course.Now a moment for three characters from each Dragon Age installment who are not romanceable, but can offer strong platonic bonds. Sten, Aveline and Vivienne (whose love for Bastien you beautifully captured in several artworks). How do they mesh with your (all or select ones) protagonists? What do you as a writer think about them?
Oooh, Sten and Aveline are the exasperated protectors of my troublemaker goofs, of course! And Vivienne is actually friends with a lot of my Quizzies, now that I have grown to like her (I initially did not); her dearest friends are probably those who support the Circle (like Maedhros, for example - he likes the idea of a safe haven for young mages).I am forever delighted with the works you created graciously morphing my hapless Merida Adaar's WIP storyline into something precious. I am talking about "Like Open Doors" and "By the Order of the Queen". How is it to share inspiration with friends who are writers too? Can we - can I - hope for more collaborations of that kind in the future?
Awww, of course! I am always open to OCs meeting one another across universes! This is immense fun! I just wish I had more courage to rokleplay in real time, like peopel do in Elder Scrolls: Online. But letters from my OC to the OCs' of others and vice versa are also quite exciting to exchange! I welcome them both in ESO and in form of Tumblr Asks!It is not related to Dragon Age, but very important: you are an ardent fan of The Elder Scrolls. My favourite protagonists of yours, though all are very likable, are Durgakh the orcish magicienne and her kinswoman Umtaz who is a thief and a mage at once (some sneaky witch-thief if we listen to Alistair Theirin). Have you ever thought how certain characters you imbued with life would react to being thrust into Thedas? Let your imagination run wild, pick any combination you prefer.
Yup, I love TES to bits! It's my 'home' among fantasy universes, as it were. Due to the differences in how magic is treated (in the realm of Tamriel, some people may be prejudiced against it, but not to the point of imprisoning mages just for being born the way they are), I don't think my Elder Scrolls characters, who almost all have some share of magical talent, would be too keen on lingering in Thedas. Though I do have a High elf hero, Curuthir, who was born into a family of mages and almost disowned for poor magical talents; he would be keen on meeting Felix, I think (and low-key envying him for being accepted by his family). In general, if you want to see TES/DA crossovers, I recommend ms-katonic
's writing.Thank you so much for your time. Looking forward to your upcoming creations!